A Couple Who Inspires To Travel Through Living Their American Dream. An Interview With Sanjay & Riya -GV’s Talk – Blogwithgokul.

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen, I happily welcome you all to GV’s Talk – a series of interview with inspiring people across the globe.

Gokul: Welcome to GV’s Talk, Sanjay & Riya! Merry Christmas to you both!

Let’s Kickstart the interview. 

Can you guys tell me about your first trip that you went together since the Trip Couple was born? Anything special about that place? 

S– Merry Christmas Gokul! We started off our first trip for Trip Couple by visiting the WTC.

R– Oh my god! It’s been almost two years since that trip. August 2nd week Trip Couple turns two years old.

G– Congratulations on that!

S– There is a reason why we chose World Trade Center initially because Riya arrived first in the United States in December on 29th 2015. She hasn’t been to New York before so I wanted to show her this brimming multicultural magnificent city and also this to be her first US destination to explore.

R– Moreover, my college was nearby and also Sanjay’s workplace was just opposite to WTC. For the video perspective, we found this place to be best because we already had prior knowledge about its history and also it was just a 30 mins ride on the train from home. We even knew what spots we should select for good visuals.

S– When we watched our first video on WTC we felt that we wanted to recreate in a better way. Initially, we just went around the WTC and shot the video but on the remake which we did a few months ago we had gone up to the 100th floor of WTC and have tried to get much better visuals.

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Are you guys inherited with lots of money to frequently travel? What do you guys think? Is it necessary to be rich to go on a trip? 

S– Haha! Absolutely not. I have a full-time job and Riya studies at the university and we live in New York. It is damn expensive to live in New York. Most of the places we travel around are in New York. Places like the NW upstate could be reached around in 3-4 hrs drive. So, it’s all in our vicinity.

R– We really don’t believe that being a traveller means you need to have frequent international trips. Exploring nearby destinations is more than enough to keep yourself educated with history and lets you know more about it. We encourage our followers to start exploring from their hometown and it could change the stigma of thinking that a traveller means a person who only does International trips. We had to turn down a lot of opportunities to do International due to financial constraints.

S– We are really not into splurge. We live a modest life so whatever extra penny we could save we use it for our trips and creating videos.

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Riya Overlooking the New York City.

People say once you’re married or if you have kids or get occupied with work they never find time to travel. Is it just our state of mind that holds us back from travelling? What do you guys think about it? Of course, you guys are proving it wrong but still… 

R– Yay! We have proven it wrong!

S– We believe that if you believe in your passion you will definitely find time to accomplish it. Saying that you don’t have time is just an excuse I believe.

R– We also split our responsibilities. Now that I am working too it is quite a task but we make sure that the job is equally split among us for instance, for a trip if Sanjay is busy with the editing stuff I take in charge of the planning the itinerary and we help each other. I believe I am lucky enough to find my soulmate who shares the common interest. Eeee.

We even make sure that we go to the movies and watch at least two movies in a month. So I believe its an excuse people make if they do not have time to travel.

S– Yes, if you are really passionate about travelling you would definitely find time for that.

R– Talking about travelling after having kids. We have examples from our trip couple community. We recently had a family coming all the way to the US from Dubai with three little kids all around the same age and they rented a car to see around the country!

S– Yes, we had Anand from Muscat who arrived in the US along with kids. There was another family who came along with kids too and travelled to Vermont and they even tried ski diving! So these all examples!

R– So yea! we don’t think these are travel barriers anymore.

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Packing bags is a nightmare for many. I personally hate them though. I often do get confused about what to take along with me. How do you guys pack your travel bag? 

S–  I am really not interested in packing travel bags. What I always check on is whether there is a pair of dress and charge in my camera, rest all is done by Riya.

R– I don’t really hate packing maybe because I am used to it. We only have an extra pair of dress for shooting videos. Like if its a 5 days trip we carry 6 pairs. We have almost everything geared up in the trunk of our jeep. We make sure there is first aid ready for long trips and so on. We care the camera bag the most while flying. We really don’t want someone to dump heavy baggage onto the top of it. We are always on the lookout. Our clothes luggage would be somewhere else which we usually don’t worry about. Unpacking and cleaning it up after the trip is a mess but! lol!

Sanjay is it true that travel is all about unexpectedness? What would you have to say to people who do not travel in the fear of not working out as planned? 

S– Many people do have fear for that.

R– Unexpectedness can happen everywhere not just while travelling. We must set our mind to be flexible. We had a lot many issues while travelling, last time we were on a tight budget and that was the time when we got charged 500 dollars for speeding ticket.

S– While visiting Grand Canyon we had to skip one part of it to reach our hotel on time and catch the flight the next day. We were quite sad for skipping that part of Grand Canyon but to our surprise, we were able to witness a great sunset on our way back which we showed on our Youtube channel. It was mesmerising!

R– On our trip to San Francisco our bag was stolen and we lost our passports and green card. We had to wrap up our travel to 5 days. So whenever you plan, plan for the unexpected and be a little flexible and have a backup if you cannot visit a particular place.

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Hersley’s love!

I have heard that people have misconceptions about a particular place until they visit them. Have you guys ever been astonished about a place that turned out to be just the opposite to your thoughts? 

S– Yes, that has happened much time. Riya did some research and came up with a place called Catskill mountains. She said we can have a train ride through the woods. It’s fall time so we could see colours but I wasn’t much fond of the place like I was thinking why should we travel this far to have a train ride? So yea I was hesitant first but then when we actually got to the place it was so beautiful that the colour was so stunning in green, yellow, red and so on. The mountaintop view was absolutely breathtaking. Anybody could actually drive all the way up there.

R– To the contrary, we drove a lot to a place to witness some Christmas lights.

S– It was a place called Coastguard Christmas Village.

R– We drove pretty far and it did not really meet our expectation.

S– Yea we had both experiences, but usually it turns out well!

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Imagine a fairy rings your doorbell and says that she can either offer 10000 Dollars or a trip to visit a place which you have dreamt about for ages. What would you guys choose? 

S – We would choose 10,000 dollars. Haha! We could really have a European trip. Maybe an Iceland trip first. Then go around Finland, Norway and so on with the remaining money.

R– We could go three to four countries with our budget plans with money. If the fairy would have said that she would give 1000 dollars and then a trip. I would have chosen the trip for sure.

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Tell us about your worst trip ever! 

S– We haven’t had any worst trips yet. Its been only two years since we started travelling so we are still experiencing everything one by one. Our trip to Las Vegas has been one of the most memorable trips ever. We almost spend 2500 dollars for that but it was worth it.

R– Yes, the most memorable trip to cherish forever.

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What you like the most and the least about Sanjay as a travel companion? 

R– I think what I lack is what Sanjay has in him. So we balance each other. They have been examples. He is always cool and carefree and tries to make me happy when I get worried. I was so terribly worried when we lost our passports but he was still happy about it. Haha.

S–  I tried to be cool unless it’s a dead situation. We had a trek which scared the hell out of us.

R– Maybe that’s the worst trip we had?

S– Yes! that’s it. This happened when we were so confident about doing hikes. We did 4 to 5 hikes in Pennsylvania and New York so we were pretty overconfident about doing hikes. We went to see crystal caves and then explored the caves and we started to hike around 5 in the evening. All of the sudden, it became dark and we never expected it to get so dark. The sun was setting on the other side of the hill. Soon after it became pitch dark and we had almost hiked for two hours up the hill.

R– We were so unprepared that Sanjay was just in his shorts, tees and boots whereas I was in casual wear and sports shoes.

S– I carried a lantern that was the only source of light and Riya was walking in front of me. Soon after, we heard a hissing sound and to our surprise, Riya found a rattlesnake right in front of her. She jumped backwards and fell onto me. We both were lying down with rattlesnake beside us. Riya is so scared of snakes that she almost fainted. Then we realised we have to get back to our car immediately when we found out warning signs to look out for bear attacks. We gathered our courage and kept running downhill until we reached an electric post. We stood there back to back to see if anything comes to attack us. We could hear spooky sounds and howl. I only had five per cent battery on my cell phone when I tried calling 911 for help.

R– We literally stood beneath the post for half an hour waiting for help. Believe me, it was like waiting for three hours. Thereafter, the firemen arrived and helped us reach our jeep. I was scared as hell and getting inside the jeep was heaven to me.

S– We drove for 2 hours back home and that night Riya couldn’t even sleep. We slept with lights on. Yes Gokul, this could be the answer for both the questions. Phew! A scary trip.

R– We always say don’t underestimate the nature be all prepared for the worst or at least have boots while on a hike! Haha!

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Tips to have a perfect American trip? 

S– I believe that the road trip is different for everyone. It depends on the time you visit. The east coast and west coast is totally different.

R– The thing you have to keep in mind is to do a bit of research on the internet. Everything is available there. You just have to spend some time on it. Make sure if your travelling on a tourist visa to the US then you have your medical insurance, medical care is so expensive here. Just a precaution. Talking about food, every kind of food is available here from Italian to Indian. Internet connectivity is great that you have access to it everywhere touristry. Another thing people should keep in mind is that do not carry heavy baggage. Most domestic flights have limitations and you have to pay extra. So carry less. People always keep in mind the terrorist interventions that have happened in the country so the security is vigilant and strict. Any unseen situations can lead the flight to be cancelled to that area. Get note of the emergency numbers and you are all going to go for the American adventure.

S- You see almost all landscapes in America that you will never go back disappointed.

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Your dreams and expectations for Trip Couple in future? 

S– Our greatest dream is just like all the travel lovers to travel all around the world. I always wanted to break my fear. I was always scared of heights so last time I went to a zip line which is the highest in North America. That’s the first step.

R– My fear for snake haven’t gone yet, Haha!

S– Haha! Also, create good quality contents on travel on Youtube and also spread positivity.

R– Pray for good health to travel more and spread good vibes.

 

Thank you so much for having your time both of you. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Blogwithgokul©

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This Malayalee Couple Vlogger Is Set Out To Explore Dubai- An Interview with Midhun and Vasu -Blogwithgokul (GV’s Talk)

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen, I happily welcome you all to GV’s Talk – a series of interview with inspiring people across the globe.

Gokul: Welcome to GV’s Talk Midhun and Vasu!

Let’s Kickstart the interview. Tell us about yourself.

Midhun- We live in the United Arab Emirates lately. We are natives of Kerala, The beautiful south Indian state of India. We grew up there and after marriage, we moved to Dubai.  That is when the idea of vlogging struck right into our minds. I tried my luck and people seem to like it. Yes, that’s why we are here now!

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‘Vloggers’ The term that could describe you both. Right? How did your journey as a vlogger begin?

Midhun- I am a persistent viewer of Mo Vlogs. I watch that almost all day. Then I started to watch Casey Niestat Vlogs. I admired their way of presentation and editing. I understood that it would be quite popular and accepted by the English viewers but was doubtful about the regional viewers. After a while, I came across the videos of vloggers from Kerala. So, that’s when we thought it’s time to start vlogging and the journey begun. 

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Vlogging could be tough I assume especially when you’re in the middle of the street and when people stare at you while speaking to the camera. Is it true? If yes, how do you tackle it? 

Midhun- Anybody can buy a camera and edit videos without much prior knowledge in them but I guess the real challenge that arises is the one you said ‘dealing with the people around you’. Not only in the Middle East but in India as well when you walk around the streets talking to your camera they are chances that people get offended especially if it’s a woman near you. They might think that you are trying to capture them, they wouldn’t know if your a vlogger or a youtuber. I make flights reviews often and it’s an absolute challenge to record video in a confined space without spoiling the privacy of other passengers. I mostly turn my camera towards the window and shoot.

Vasu- For me overcoming the fear and shyness was the major challenge. Initially, I felt really awkward to talk to a camera which was a non-living thing, I felt weird but later I got accustomed to it. I was a person who had stage fears and whenever we had a stranger on the vlog I prefer to be silent but now things have changed after our 90th video. I am more comfortable to interact with people and talk to our travel companion which is our little camera.

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‘A turning point’, one vlog that you could mention that just blew your expectation? 

Midhun- Well the turning point was, While I was vlogging all the way to India from Dubai Actress Swetha Menon was in my same flight and I met her and told that I am vlogging and requested her to say ‘Hi’ to my subscribers and then a thumbnail for my video. The video just went viral crossing 1 lakh views. That was the video which made me realise that even I can achieve one lakh views being a regional language video creator, it was unbelievable. If Shwetha Menon reads this blog we both take this opportunity to thank her from our heart. Thank You Swethaji!

I went through your vlogs on YouTube and when I scrutinized through the comments. Most of them are so eager to know about this and have asked ‘Midhun and Vasu! What are your jobs?’ Haha. Yes, what do you do for the living? Full-time vloggers? 

Midhun- Yes! I Think it is one of the questions which I get often asked. Most of the Youtubers from Kerala like Sujith Bhakthan, Ebadu and so on would have answered this about them almost every month. I have income through three sources presently. I run a start-up company in Dubai, then I also work as a director for a US-based company.

Vasu- I work for a travel company.

Midhun- We have also started to earn quite a sum of money through Youtube recently as well.

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Vasu it’s your turn first. What makes Midhun a good travel companion? And then Midhun how about you?

Vasu- Actually, whatever I say he listens…

Midhun- Hey! When in Kerala, Whenever I ask her to hang out she jumps onto the bike and keeps blabbering throughout the journey. Haha! A chatterbox in short.

Vasu- See it works like this, I believe that one should be talkative and other should be silent. So, I belong to the former one while chettan (Midhun) belongs to the latter one.
He keeps listening to me throughout our travels. I think that’s what makes him a good companion. Haha! Thanks for bearing me.

MidhunOurs was a love marriage but even then we never talked or imagined that we will turn into vloggers. All we wished is to buy a house and get settled in a peaceful place and lead a good family life. I would say Vasu is the backbone for me. She became really familiar with vlogging and she is the one who insisted me to buy Canon G7X when I said I will go with something that is cheaper and would do the job now. Her attentiveness makes her a good companion.

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‘Vloggers On Rise’. Young generation looks to you on YouTube. How can you impact the society being an influencer? 

Midhun- Let me not narrow down into vloggers alone. I believe the social media itself has influenced the young generation a lot. In the forms of trolls, vlogs, blogs, memes, live streams and more people are being aware of the happenings without spending time reading newspapers. Each persons opinion matters. So imagine each person voice their stance through online platforms and then the overall voices play a very important role in the end, it could be an issue that is political or social. Moreover, Sharing of information has improved rapidly. Networking takes place in a blink of an eye. You are able to connect people of similar likes and beliefs. Be a part of initiatives, connect to eminent personalities and this itself is a great example being a part of GV’s Talk by you Gokul. I believe India is going to witness a massive change by 2019 elections and social media influencers will be a great part of it.

Vasu- I would say just like the young generation, people in their old age too are viewers of Youtube. Living all their lives and being in the retirement age and when young people bring out something different to watch they seemed to be curious. I wanted to influence them in a way that saving money, building a house or buying a car is all a necessity but above all, we have to travel, see things that are new to us, learn about other customs and tradition.

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Tips for upcoming young vloggers? 

Midhun- My suggestion would be I think almost all of you should have a youtube channel. Earlier days advertisement was done through local media and newspaper but now most ads are through google and facebook and its reach is on a global level. Money circulates through the global market so if we can cluster it in our market it would be a huge revenue. Create a channel and start promoting your business or whatever. Bring positive contents.

How do you manage to travel frequently? Do you take a day off for vlogging

MidhunIt’s not possible to travel around for 365 days a year while working but certainly you can have a balance between both. Keep aside a day in a week for travelling and that is enough for vlogging. It need not be a trip to a foreign country it could be a walk to an open market down the streets.

Most of your followers are from Kerala. What do you guys have to tell them at this moment? 

Midhun Let me thank everyone for supporting us so far. Please keep supporting.

Vasu- Live your life, keep your worries aside and create some memorable moments so that once you reach your old age you will have something to cherish about always. Keep supporting us.

Thank you so much for having your time. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Blogwithgokul©

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You can subscribe to Midhun V Sankar & Vasu’s Youtube channel.

Youtube channel: Midhun V Sankar


Hola! So keep reading as I bring new guests to the hot seat of GV’s Talk. You can also write to me on gokulvijay484@gmail.com for business inquiries and suggestions.

Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.