Having extensively traveled across 34 countries, I realized most travel operators or tour groups only focus on commerce over comfort and commissions over quality. You’d visit crowded places with commercial interests over an untouched beach or an unexplored fort, try food at expensive gourmet restaurants over the local eateries that the best travel portals may not tell you about. This is what led to some serious brainstorming, conceptualizing a vision and finally the model Buffyfish believes in – Experiential travel.
In 2015, I was part of a journey across India’s coastline from Mumbai to Kolkata with eight other women travelers. The event titled – Buffyfish Coastal Diaries – was a month-long road trip, traversing India’s pristine, sometimes rocky coastline, with the aim of meeting different women personalities from different walks of life to promote women empowerment. The aim was to spread the message of experiential travel to women, not very common in India, because of the perception that women can’t travel alone. We intended to change that and the initiative was backed by automobile giant Mahindra & Mahindra.
In Goa, we met fisher women, in Kerala, we met women taxi drivers, those who handle crocodile banks were generous with their time in Tamil Nadu. A number of women joined us along the route, and it was as much an exercise in rediscovering our own inner self as much as it was about the travel. This is when the idea of developing Buffyfish further took concrete shape