Some people just travel to see the world and some create the traveller’s tribe. Salil Nath - Regional Sales Manager, Etihad Airways is one of those few people who knows how to strike perfect work life balance. Despite his busy schedule and back to back business trips, he knows how to get a whiff of mountain breeze. Let’s see what an enterprising leader has in store.
In an exclusive interview with Adotrip, Salil Nath shares his favourite places in India and his love for travelling. Read!
: What is travelling to you?
Travelling is quite a few things, especially because I come from the travel industry. First and foremost, it's a well-deserved break as we all look forward to our travel plans the entire year. I save up my leaves, manage my savings, I am constantly planning about destinations, researching, making itineraries and investing time in reservations. So it's something treasured and a break from the usual grind. Infact, it's about spending quality time with your loved ones and gathering beautiful memories.
Being a travel supplier, it’s enriching to experience our own travel products . Usually, we sit behind desks and promote a lot of industry products. Experiencing these travel products as an end user brings more knowledge and conviction.
Also, travelling for me is extremely humbling. I have travelled to many places in India and overseas. I have gathered so many unique experiences from places and it has helped me in understanding the gaps. India is really attractive, all we need is management, cleanliness and promotion. As a travel professional, I get so many perspectives which helps in expanding my horizon.
: Which is your favourite destination in India and why?
Sissu is my current hot favourite which is in Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh. Not many people know about Sissu, this ethereal place with incredible vistas and snow covered mountains is about 40kms from Manali. I am actually an offbeat traveller, I prefer less explored places over popular hill stations like Shimla or Mussoorie. Recently, I drove down to Sissu from Manali and trust me, the beauty was unmatched. We also crossed the Atal Tunnel which is the longest tunnel in the world situated at the height of 10,000 feet. The feeling was exhilarating, infact, the drive was full of pleasant surprises and I was totally amazed by the wonders of nature.
: You hail from Baroda. What keeps you connected to roots?
I have my family back in Baroda so I visit them once every six months. That’s one factor that always keeps me connected to Baroda. Secondly, food is a big part of Gujarat, infact, the oldest culinary treasure of India. You really can’t get away with your cravings until you get a satiable dose of scrumptious Gujarati meal. Lastly, its social media. We live in that age so I follow a few pages like ‘Our Baroda’ that keeps me connected about the latest happenings.
: Having settled in Gurgaon, what’s your version of the city?
I love the cosmopolitan aspect of Gurgaon, it’s akin to Bangalore. Everything in Gurgaon is designed around convenience. The city is about the sectors and each sector is self-fulfilling. You really don’t have to hop places to gather stuff or catch up with friends. I would say that the city is built around comfort and amenities. At the same time, with plenty of development happening around in the city, a lot can be done in creating greener spaces. It's an important aspect, I believe.
: Which part of the country inspires you?
I love being in the hills wherever it is, Himachal, North East or any place in India. I am totally a hill person. I love to be on highlands, cliffs and hilltops. I am so fascinated with the view of sunrise and sunset that I constantly chase the moment of golden light in mountains. I really can’t be indoors especially during dawn and dusk. There is something invigorating and mystifying about the sunrise and sun going down. It’s something that inspires me the most.
: Any unique festival in India that you have heard of or be a part of?
There's this festival called Uttarayan in Gujarat which is known as Makar Sankranti in other regions of India. One of the most striking features of Uttarayan is the Kite Flying Festival when the entire skyline of Gujarat is studded with colourful kites. You can witness exhilaration to the next level when these colourful kites touch the deep blue skies. All that chasing, dancing, singing, teasing, feasting - it’s a different energy altogether.
: Three travel essentials
Music, coffee and a good camera
: Who is your favourite travel buddy?
My best friend, Satinder. He lives in Chandigarh, I have done plenty of interesting trips to lesser-known places with him.
: One reason why people should travel to India?
Without a doubt, it's diversity that makes India one of the most enriching places in the world. Every 100 km there's a new experience, there's a new cuisine, there's a new dialect, culture; Indian diversity is unmatched.
: Your favourite dish from the Indian menu
: One place from where you felt nothing is far?
I think Chandigarh because it's quite central. It bifurcates to many beautiful places of Himachal, Punjab, Uttarakhand. There are innumerable hill stations close to Chandigarh which makes it quite convenient for a mountain person like me.
: Which is the most peaceful place in India?
Kerala experience is quite nice especially if someone is looking for Ayurveda, wellness massages, healing massages or spas. I loved the tranquil vibes of Kerala, it's therapeutic!
: What will you drop if your baggage exceeds?
Being with an airline, excess baggage is not an issue but if it does, I can drop clothes and books.
: Your most handy gadget?
DJI Osmo. It's a super handy pocket size video camera with an inbuilt Gimbal (it's a stabiliser) and some incredible features. You can shoot high quality motion videos with so much ease. It’s my travel staple.
Salil Nath is a Regional Sales Manager - North, Central & East India, Bangladesh & Seychelles at Etihad Airways. With more than 14 years of experience in the Travel Industry, he knows the pulse of his trade as well as the ways to nurture his passion for travelling. From hopping places to experience his own travel products to making time for his leisure trips, he is totally committed to the idea of travelling and which is why he has reached this far, professionally and personally. In his vacant hour, Salil loves to do acoustic covers and recreate songs. You can find some soulful renditions on his YouTube channel.
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