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Inspirational Woman: Edwina D’Souza | Travel and Lifestyle Blogger

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Edwina D'souza I was born and brought up in Mumbai where I did my schooling. I then went to London to get a Masters degree in international management and immediately returned thereafter.

I also did an M.A in English Literature in Mumbai while working full time. Currently, I work with a hospitality firm in Mumbai where I manage their marketing and Communications.

I love travelling and exploring new places. So I simultaneously write a travel blog – Wannabemaven- to keep my passion for travel alive. My blog talks about all things related to travel – from food to cities, history, art, culture and occasionally films. I also blog extensively about Mumbai as a city – things to do, places to see, etc.

I don’t feel like I belong to any place in particular, but I have personal sentiments with Mumbai. I have a strange love-hate relationship with Mumbai – wherever I travel, I come back. I enjoy being a tourist in my own city. I connect better with expats and outsiders than with Mumbaikars who might have lived here all their life. Migrants bring with them a tourist’s eye and I enjoy connecting with them to see this city through their eyes.

I love travelling and exploring new places.

Tell us about any current projects

I’m currently concentrating on creating a wider base for my travel blog. This needs me to write interesting travel stories about cities and cultures that are not quite heard of. Indirectly, this means more travel and I’m thrilled by the very thought of it.

I wish to make my blog a cult travel feature and gain a loyal fan base of readers over time- all this while managing my five days a week corporate job. Daunting but not impossible!

How do you set goals and stick to them?

I’ve realized it is important to set goals. Daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals maybe, but do it!

If I have to give a break up, I try to travel someplace new at least once a month. I ensure, I write at least once a week on my blog. And my daily goals involve staying in touch with readers via social media. Success is sweet when it comes from the hard work you managed to put into achieving something you really love doing. That’s how I am going about it.

You seem to juggle between corporate life and travel blogging? What advice can you give to our members about staying focused and managing time efficiently?

It all depends on how badly you want something. Travel is very important to me. I don’t see it as a luxury but a necessity. So, I try to find a way to keep travelling.

I’ve realized it is important to set goals. Daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals maybe, but do it!

Edwina D'souza

I carefully plan my travels around extended weekends. Family get-togethers, parties and weddings receive little of my attention. My leaves are all spent on holidaying and exploring new places. When I wasn’t enjoying my full time desk job, I took a calculative decision to join a hospitality firm and at least bag official trips and travel writing. Another way to keep me travelling is sharing my experiences on my travel blog.

I’m currently enjoying the best of both worlds – work and travel blogging. One gives me financial independence and the other creative satisfaction, apart from independent recognition. I’m selfish to trade all this, so I go the extra mile and make time to blog while not compromising on my corporate life.

It’s important that you really find that thing that gives you a high and then hold on to it. If you started something for a motive that isn’t passionate enough, you will run out of patience and give up on it for not showing results as quickly. Perhaps, a critical advice here is identifying what is it that you want to do, take that first step, then just hold on to it!

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

For a long time, I was my biggest obstacle. I was like the crystal merchant from Paolo Coelho’s Alchemist – “afraid that if my dream is realized, I will have no reason to go on living”. I’ve gradually managed to put that behind me.

I think the biggest challenge towards achieving something is taking that first step. Everything then just falls into place. To be honest, I had no clue I’d end up being a blogger. I tried my hand at a web start-up but it didn’t work out. I had a dump of resources on my hard disk and did not know what to do with it. Blogging turned out to be the biggest game changer. It has given me a platform and my own voice. And I’ve evolved as a person. Over the past year, I’ve been developing my blog, travelling places and penning thoughts. It’s picking up steam finally and feels great that the blog is getting noticed now.

I think the biggest challenge towards achieving something is taking that first step. Everything then just falls into place.

What has been your greatest achievement personally?

Around the end of 2014, I felt like I was at a stage where I wasn’t taking enough risks and meeting new people. So on the first day of 2015, I packed my bags and set out to explore a city I hadn’t seen before with a group of people I hadn’t met before. Was it a wise decision? I don’t know. Was it worth it? It was liberating! I had never done anything like that before. It felt like an achievement. Of course, I still don’t think it was my greatest achievement.

I think my greatest achievement is yet to come. I’m hoping I’ll get a sense of realisation on my greatest achievement when tears roll down my eyes from happiness. That bitter-sweet moment will say it all.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?

Everything happens for the best. I am happy where I am right now. If and when I feel like doing something, I’m sure I’ll do it. I have that faith in myself. It is important to keep that faith!

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I don’t have larger than life role models. Little things keep me inspired, empowered and motivated. The city inspires me; people living in it inspire me. Of course, women primarily inspire me for a lot of reasons that has to do with me connecting with them as a woman who commonly shares a patriarchal society. There are a lot of inspirational women out there. I’m just a recycled version of them all.

What does the future hold for you?

More travel, I hope. I nurture a dream to have my own travel channel someday.

While I’m happy managing work with travel blogging, I will plan to go location independent sometime in the future. Bag freelance work, become a consultant, have a travel podcast, make documentaries may be. We’re living in an exciting time where money can be made out of doing anything. I want to open my laptop in front of an exotic lake in some European country and call it my office for the day. Exciting, right? I’m a work in progress!

About Edwina D’Souza

Edwina D’Souza is a travel and lifestyle blogger and a full time marketing professional based out of Mumbai.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.wannabemaven.com

Twitter: @wannabemaven

Facebook: Wannabemaven

Instagram: wannabemaven

This article was provided by WeAreTheCity Mumbai Committee Member, Abhishek Chandola.

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