Couple travel bloggers, Bruised Passports aka Savi and Vid, share their tale of love for each other and traveling as they bruise their passports by traveling the world together, with Social Ketchup Ed Mrinil Mathur Rajwani.
Travel blogger couple, founders of Bruised Passports, have been traveling together for over 12 years and together they have seen 95+ countries in the world. It was after 7 years of traveling together they started the blog and built a community of travel enthusiasts with www.bruisedpassports.com. Vid, a professional engineer, and photographer by passion click the magical and dreamy travel pictures, and Savi, a Ph.D. in visual arts and literature, romanticizes and paints beautiful travel stories on the blog and social media.
When I spoke to both of them, they already had their next trip or I should say next trips planned. Gracious enough they lend their oh-so-beautiful pictures with Social Ketchup for the story and cover.
Not that whenever I saw their pictures on Social Media or read about their experience, I didn’t add the location to the bucket list, but the conversation with the two made me realize that I should actually start planning trips to these places on the list. I am not a traveler, I like destinations but hate traveling to that places. Love having new experiences and meeting people but hate planning for it. But honestly, the duo convinced me that traveling your way is also possible and all you need is the intent.
Travel FOMO Alert!
The conversation with Savi and Vid is going to give you major travel FOMO as they share travel anecdotes. From places in India to places across the globe the couple spilled coffee (pun influenced by pun-king Vid) on their good and bad travel experiences.
Mrinil – Starting with the most cliched question, What does travel mean for you two?
Vid – Travel means love and life for us.
Savi – Travel gives us that chance to look at new places. But travel is so much more than that for us. I think what we enjoy is meeting new people, trying new kinds of cuisines because travel has helped us meet so many people and we have realized that human emotions are the same world over. It’s the world beyond boundaries that travel introduced us to, we’ve been in various kinds of new situations that travel has introduced us to and that’s something we cherish the most. I think travel means envisioning the world beyond boundaries for us.
Mrinil – When and how did you guys decide to make travel content creation a full-time career?
Vid – We used to travel everywhere even before Facebook & Instagram were a thing and in the first few years of our marriage we used to travel, we had made a pact that we would travel to a new place every month. We had decided that we would be continuing our full-time jobs but will be blogging on the side. When we were comfortable with the fact that the blog was established we took the plunge, we decided to start with a year-long break and travel non-stop and see where it goes from there.
Savi – I think it was our mutual love for travel. People usually fall in love with social media first and then with travel but for us, it was the other way round. We fell in love with travel, traveling with each other, and then started creating content around that.
Mrinil – Why did you choose to name yourselves and your IG page ‘bruised passports’? What’s in the name?
Savi – When we started thinking of this, of course, being travel lovers the word passports had to be featured somewhere but also because as Indian passport holders we need visas and stamps from each and every country that we visit. Not only that, my passport especially looked so torn and tattered. I remember looking at it and thought that it had to be something about passports and how bad they looked.
Vid – We actually shortlisted tattered passports, dog-headed passports, and bruised passports, and out of all the three, bruised passports had the best feel to it, it sounded kind of casual than the others. That’s how the name came up.
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Mrinil – The tourism industry saw a hit in pandemic; what was your mantra to stay afloat without succumbing to the crisis?
Savi – For me, my sanity came from the fact that I was living with Vid, because he is really an optimistic person. In such circumstances, he is always smiling. I easily cry since I am emotionally volatile but he is very grounded. So, when the pandemic hit and traveling took such a big hit for the first couple of months we were quite confused because before this work was going well, everything was good and suddenly everything stopped. For us traveling is not just work but it’s our life as well, so everything kind of faltered. After the first couple of months, I remember feeling very confused and also very anxious for the future. But, during this Vid was with us and he said “this is the first time we were together and we don’t have time to worry about flights. Let’s just make the most of it.” We were in London and had this tiny apartment to ourselves. We chose to work on projects that we can’t really talk about but we’ll be launching it soon.
Vid – In my mind, I was clear that as long our families and close ones are safe that’s most important. For the first 6 months, everyone was like it’ll pass! So, everyone was making these sarcastic content pieces for covid. But, after this when we realized that this was way more serious then we started making lifestyle content as well because we do have a responsibility with our audience who have given so much time, so we don’t want them to feel guilty about us not traveling. We started sharing snippets of our life.
Mrinil – When and what made you travel again after the bans were lifted? Have things changed for you while planning a trip after the pandemic?
Vid – Our first trip was to Italy because like I said we have a responsibility so we didn’t want to let people feel that it’s all over and that they can go out and spread the virus some more so we waited for a few months. When we went to Italy we made sure where we went was safe and took all the precautions, we went to Tuscany & Dolomites which are very secluded. Then we came back to India to meet our parents after the first lockdown. We traveled to Gujarat, Ladakh after the first wave but soon after that, the second wave hit.
Savi – I just want to say one thing to all the other travelers who are reading this “take all necessary precautions because we still have the fear of the third wave hitting us. More so now that you should travel safely and responsibly.”
Mrinil – What has changed for you in terms of traveling now?
Vid – Nothing like the chopper on my terrace!
Savi – Already there was so much, like papers and documents, now there’s RT PCR test and the other COVID-19 protocols that we need to adhere to. But, right now it’s a lot more challenging than it used to be, especially international travel. Both of us love traveling. Things have changed a lot. Hopefully, in the coming years, things will be a lot more streamlined, right now there’s a lot of confusion in terms of what tests are needed in what country and which one accepts what vaccine.
Mrinil – So what goes behind planning a trip? Do you have a checklist?
Vid – In terms of destinations that happen randomly, we see where we haven’t been earlier, is the travel safe and easy, the process to get there. The hotels and all are decided very randomly but we also keep the itinerary very flexible because we reach the destination and are okay to tailor our itinerary a little bit depending on what the locals say. That’s the best way to find the hidden gems and all the beautiful picturesque spots.
Savi – It’s also very segregated because we’ve been traveling for so long and have distinct roles so that we don’t annoy each other. So, Vid does all the visas and the rest of the paperwork and I research the hotels and all the picturesque spots. We have very clear and different responsibilities so our roles are kind of clear.
Mrinil – Do you guys have roles divided at Bruised Passport in terms of content planning, editing, etc.?
Savi – Absolutely, I have seen that if you work together and don’t have roles divided then there’s a lot of chance for conflict. We have all the work divided. For example – Vid does all the photography since he loves doing that and I love writing so I write content for our website. Apart from that, Vid is an engineer by profession and does all the content creation. So, our jobs are segregated and we know what we want to do.
Mrinil – How do you plan your content for the trip?
Vid – I think for us especially Instagram really comes in because when we narrow down on a place then we look for it on Instagram and the places we need to visit in that destination. Usually, on the first day of our travel, we don’t carry our camera, we go for a stroll or take our car and look at places and see what is suitable for a static post or a sunset. We don’t want to keep our content rigid so we usually look at places and see what is suitable there.
Savi – Usually when we travel we think about what we can keep flexible so I think instinctive flow is very important for both of us who have been in jobs before. So, we want to maintain that fluidity and distinctness when it comes to creating content.
Mrinil – How do you plan your content for the days when you are not traveling?
Savi – We used to have these travel banks. Since we’ve been traveling for 15 yrs, we have so many videos and tales from so many countries. For eg: places to visit in November and December we have these listicles but we also do a lot of home-based for friends and family. We feel that they are a part of our life.
Mrinil – What, according to you, is the key differentiating factor in your content from others? How has your content evolved from the time you started?
Vid – We have seen a trend and I think the reason why our content is different from day one is that we have maintained that we want nice quality aesthetic photos and information. Savi writes beautifully with all our information so most of the captions are for people who are traveling to certain places and most of the visuals we try to make it in such a way that when people read our content they get an interpretation of what they can get to see there to do there.
Savi – We feel our content should provide value to the reader like recently we published a post on ‘20 things to do in Dubai’ and we’ve done so many things that we had to sit and choose what to put down. But, this I think is missing from Social Media today.
Mrinil – What are some of the must-have gadgets or accessories for travel content creation? How do you prefer to shoot content?
Vid – I would say whatever you are comfortable with. A lot of people these days are obsessed with getting good gadgets. But, if you buy all the heavy cameras and lenses you’ll be cursing whoever is going to buy that. That’s why I personally think that one should use whatever they are comfortable with. Even phone cameras are so good that they capture decent content. A nice DSLR camera with good lenses is very important for a good picture. Also, what is even more important is that good writing puts some life in that picture.
Mrinil – What are some of the factors that are important in planning travel content but are ignored?
Savi – Clothes that are too comfortable are very important so I think proper clothes and some good accessories and as Vid says, intent to travel.
Mrinil – How do you plan your brand associations and the content for them? What’s the process for branded content?
Vid – The simplest answer to it is that it is not different. We always wanted to be in the creative zone which we use for our normal work as well which is why we turn away a lot of work. We usually have a word with creative before we are going in for a particular brand.
Savi – Readers are very important to us and also our friends and family know how selective we are about brands and they take our word. We try to make sure that whatever brands we’re endorsing is that people can also buy and that it is helpful for people.
Mrinil – Can you share a piece of advice on travel content creation for newbies?
Savi – Don’t give up your way of seeing the world! Make sure that you connect with your audience, and write about your own experiences.
Vid – Keep travel as the priority and create content as you travel and don’t travel to create content.
Mrinil – What do you think is the future of Travel Blogging after the pandemic? Do you think revenge travel is legit? Or are people still skeptical?
Vid – The industry has withstood what has hit it in the last year it only stands as testament to the fact that better things are in store. If you have good ideas, travel content creation can make a mark. And yes, revenge traveling is a thing but, please travel responsibly and stay safe.
Read the entire interview here!
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