Someone has rightly said that couples who travel together, stay together, and proving it right is none other than Shonik Goyal. The man in question, in an exclusive chat with us, shed light on his family, his lady love, and his ‘Nothing is Far’ moment.
So, without further ado, let’s check out the many stories of this man that are interesting and inspirational, both.
The clouds entered our room and it was so pleasant and relaxing that it made the trip just perfect
: 5 elements that make a tourist spot worth going according to you
For me plenty of sightseeing is important so one is that. Then the weather has to be good and calming. The place also must be slightly secluded, and then some activities should also be there. The last element should be that it needs to have some historical relevance to keep me hooked on it.
What is that one memory of childhood during a vacation that you still cherish the most?
We went for a holiday when I was just a toddler and could barely walk. So, once I was trying to walk on the floor when a monkey came and picked me up. It was a little harrowing but, thankfully, the monkey left me there. While it was a little painful, the kind of attention I got after that for 2 months was pretty amazing.
If you have the right strategy then you are bound to achieve your goal
: Since you have made it big and have carved a niche for yourself in the industry, tell us about your ‘Nothing is Far’ moment. A moment during a trip that changed your life or perspective.
So, in August we went to Garudmaachi, which is near Pune in Maharashtra, for a team bonding event. There, we were assigned the task of crossing rivers while trekking and let me tell you that since it was raining cats and dogs, the terrain became extremely slippery and the water flow of the river also increased.
All this initially made the task look very tough but when we crossed one small river, the team started strategizing and post that, when we were crossing a bigger river, it became easier for us to do it. Even when we were trekking on the hills while coming back, the risk of slipping was very high. So, then again we strategized it, as a result of which we reached the starting point safely, even before time.
It became a perfect example of how we can perform and utilize all the available resources. And achieve the target with coherence and right action. That was my ‘Nothing is Far’ moment. If you have a common goal, have the right strategy then no matter how difficult your goal is, you are bound to achieve it.
: Tell us about the most romantic travel getaway that you took in India with your partner and the most unique thing that happened there.
I have traveled a lot with my partner but if I have to choose one particular vacation then that has to be Munnar in Kerala. We went there during the rainy season, and it is a known fact that in Monsoon, Kerala looks picturesque and nothing short of heaven. You get to see a lot of beautiful waterfalls that you will feel are coming straight from heaven. Such is the cleanliness and beautiful flow of the water.
So, we started our journey from Cochin to Munnar by car while enjoying waterfalls on the way.
When we were about to reach, the tea gardens started and low-lined clouds came over and covered the entire tea estate there. It made for a phenomenal view and took away all our tiredness.
My wife was feeling sick due to motion sickness but the moment we passed the tea gardens, the greenery, freshness, and mist in the air made her feel completely fresh.
Very soon we entered the Club Mahindra Mount Serene Resort, where we were staying. Even there, the clouds were so low that they entered our room and it was extremely pleasant and relaxing, to say the least.
I want one and all to visit Munnar during Monsoon and spend at least a couple of nights over there. It is simply WOW!
: You must have traveled to many countries by now, what makes India different from the rest of them
India is very diversified and here, we have plenty of options. You can do anything and everything in India. If you want to see the hills, we have the beautiful Himalayas covering us. Then for beaches, you can go to Goa, Bhubaneshwar and many other places. If you love wildlife then you have Gir forest in Gujarat, in Uttarakhand, you have Jim Corbett.
: The most bizarre thing you ate on a vacation or tell us if there are plenty of them
Very recently, I traveled to Phuket. It was a family trip and my brother too joined me. We went to a sea-side buffet where it was just seafood and ate crabs, lobster and duck. While the duck was very good, one of the crabs we ate was very, very frightening because we could see its eyes too. That was a very ugly feeling and I could not get over that feeling for the longest time.
Then in India, once we went to Chilka lake in Odisha where they catch a fish and then cook it in front of you. But, I didn’t like the way they were catching the fish and the way they were processing it. While it is rated very high, on hygiene and taste front, it lagged for us.
: Three overrated tourist destinations in India
I think Mussoorie is very overrated. 20 years ago it was amazing but not today. It’s pretty much over-crowded and the traffic situation is also pretty bad. Next is Dharamshala. Until a few years ago, it was not at all over-crowded but now it has become a concrete jungle. The third one for me would be North Goa as it has become really dirty now. It is no longer a worthy place to go, South Goa is way better I feel.
Now we will do a travel rapid fire and you need to be quick
: Traveling with kids or without them
: 2 Indian languages that you can’t speak but want to
Marathi and Kannada
: How often you go traveling in a year
7 to 8 times
: 4 things that you never forget to pack for a vacation
Goggles, comfortable clothes, headphones, comfortable pair of shoes or crocs.
: Trekking on the mountains or chilling by the beach
Chilling by the beach
: Travel for you is
: Describe India in one word
: Out of 10, how much would you rate India as a tourist and not as a citizen
We will give you 4 situations and you have to tell us what would you do or how would you react in these situations
: If you are stranded on an island with your family with no phone and ample food
Since we don’t get to spend quality time with our family in this fast-paced world, so, I will enjoy that time with my family and will try to utilize whatever food we have.
: If your favourite actress is willing to take you on a vacation but you are not getting any leaves from work
I will try to persuade my boss and will try to understand what is stopping him from giving me the leaves. But, whatever it takes, I will ensure that I get the leave and proceed with the vacation.
: If your tickets are booked but your boss cancels your leaves
I will be very disappointed but still I will ask my family to go for the vacation and I will join them later. Maybe a day or two later but I would definitely join them.
: If you wake up one day to find out you have a million dollars with you but you can only spend them on traveling or buying things that are only travel-related
I would go on a world tour because I still have to cover the US and a huge part of the UK.
For the unversed, Shonik is currently heading the Distribution and Logistics team at Bajaj Consumer Care Limited. Previously as well, he was associated with several MNCs like Bharti Infratel Limited and GSK Consumer Healthcare India to name a few.
With a career spanning over 15 years, he has experience in end-to-end supply chain management including Strategic Sourcing, Capital Sourcing, Contract Governance, Material Planning and more.