The age of the internet has made people stay back in the comfort of their homes, consuming content and art while falling back on their sofas. In such a world, Aakanksha Monga is redefining the boundaries of travel and making us want to pack our bags and head for our next adventure.
A well-known travel content creator and social media influencer, Aakanksha has now more than 240K subscribers on YouTube and 720K followers on Instagram taking people on a virtual tour with her travel videos.
She left a stable job in the financial and marketing world to pursue her genuine desire to travel around the world, have new experiences and meet new people. Having travelled to more than 10 countries, she is now inspiring others to travel and see the beautiful world with their own eyes.
Beginning of Travelling
The 23-year-old travel content creator, who is now sought after by several brands, belongs to an army family and owing to her father’s profession, used to be constantly on the move.
In an interview, Aakansha explains how travelling was very natural for her. She says, “Moving ten schools and multiple cities outside and within India made me quite adept at travelling.” This is how the seeds of interest in travel were sowed inside of her.
Although this discovery of the love of travelling happened very early on in her life, Aakansha continued to work full-time at LinkedIn as an associate creator manager. She explains how she would juggle between her travel blog and full-time corporate job by taking up various workcations.
She mentions in a few of her interviews that she had rented an apartment in Goa, and would manage by working on the weekdays and taking trips on the weekend. As this arrangement went on for a while, Monga took several other workcation trips to Sri Lanka and Thailand.
She says, “It was a great way to balance my work and travel.” Monga, soon realized, that her true passion lies in travelling, thus she quit her job to pursue her passion full-time.
Favourite Travel Destinations to Explore
In the past few months, Monga has been travelling to several countries but mentions fondly in all her interviews that India and Indonesia remain her favourite places to explore even now.
Due to its vividly different topography from the north to the south, India has attracted her. The north-east has especially been able to carve a special place in her heart. The lush waterfalls, the exuberant mountains, and the welcoming people – all make her want to return to the seven sisters.
Indonesia, too for its diverse and unique landscape, has left a lasting impact on Monga. The picturesque active volcanoes, gushing waterfalls and the hike trails, all are characteristic of Indonesia’s splendid beauty.
The Economics of Travel Content Creator
A constant question haunting every other travel content creator is how to manage the expenses, especially if content creation is your full-time job. Aakanksha Monga has shared a few interesting anecdotes which if followed, one could travel well within budget.
She explained how when she was travelling in Europe, she chose to stay in hostels instead of hotels, which helped her cut down her expenses to a large degree.
Sharing her active interest in saving the environment, Monga mentioned how choosing to buy only from local shops instead of the big brands has helped her curtail the costs and contributed to keeping her activism for the environment alive.
Aakanksha goes on to add how she prefers to use local transportation, when she is travelling, as it is a cheaper alternative and also allows her to maintain her budget and explore the rawness of the city, she is visiting. She advises that being true to one’s passion is the key to creating quality content.
She says, “However, there are many avenues of earning from travelling like brand sponsorships, affiliate marketing or launching your own products. But it all comes once you have built a community.”
When Monga quit her job to pursue her love for travelling, she had a meagre few followers on Instagram. Now, her community of followers have increased to lakhs of people and has also made her own blog where she has listed several essentials like female and skincare essentials for fellow travel enthusiasts like herself.
Travelling for the Whole Life
When asked if she would ever experience burnout from travelling after a few years, Monga replied that she would never owing to her childhood experience of never settling down in one place.
She adds how there is a plethora of cultures and traditions, which she has to explore and would never feel bored to experience new adventures or make new acquaintances. Perhaps, she might be travelling to a lesser number of countries, but her zeal to travel shall never burn down.
Monga has mentioned several times in interviews that travelling has contributed to making her the person she is today. While coming in contact with a different culture, adapting to the norms and regulations of the specific country, making acquaintance with new people on a daily basis and learning about their struggles and sources of happiness – all of these, Monga mentions have shaped her into a kinder and more adaptive person.
Travelling opens up a different worldview for you which makes you rethink life – how you connect with people who converse in a different language, have varied ways of expressing grief and joy, yet are but human like you and me. She says, “There is no better way to see more perspective in life than meeting new people.”
Aakanksha Monga truly stands as an exemplar of someone who pursued her passion despite all odds. While she could have stayed back in her previous job, she chose to tread down the more difficult path by staying true to her creative passion and continuing to create quality content for her audience.
Her travel videos on Instagram and YouTube not only capture the aesthetic beauty of a place she is visiting but also give a glimpse of the people she is meeting and her commentary on the place as well.
In a few months, Monga has reached the heights of success collaborating with various brands and building a larger community of followers. As she inspires thousands of people to follow her footsteps and to follow one’s passion, Monga’s own story of a solo travel content creator is no less of awe and wonder.