Ami Sata – Conscious Adventure Seeker
Ami is a young and ambitions lady born in Gujarat and raised in Mumbai. We crossed paths few years ago in Thailand and we kept in touch in the last few years. With a great mind and the will to make things happen she has been surprising me with her achievements and motivation to follow her dreams against all the odds. Currently working on her own organic bedding brand she is one of those few that keeps surprising me throughout the years.
1) Who inspired you to travel?
I’ve always wanted to in order to become self-reliant and learn on my own. Travel teaches you what nothing else can. It gives you the freedom to enjoy conversations and cultures yet the street smartness to decipher a situation and the people around.
2) What is your biggest fear?
Not being able to live up to my potential and loss of dear ones.
3) What is the most memorable moment you’ve had while traveling?
It was in Cambodia. I was attending the UN tourism conference in Siem Reap.
Here’s what happened.
“I want to go to Angkor. I really want to.”
“You should have been here by 9 when the bus left. You’re late. It is 9:25”, he remarked.
“I understand and I’m sorry. Is there anything you can do to help me?”
“Let me see. Wait here.” And he brisked inside.
A short while later, a slightly-stout, immensely spirited, 35ish, Japanese guy came out with a volunteer and asked, “We left this beautiful girl here. Any more buses that we have?”
I felt extremely touched, mostly by his gesture than by the adjective. “Well yes, beautiful if you say so and if that remotely works in my favour”, I murmured.
At the behest of the conference seeing tourism ministers and tourism – inclined individuals from across the world, there were special security buses plying to various tourist destinations in and around Siem Reap. Assuming families would get bored when the ‘delegate’ was lending his ears to the immensely intellectual discussions at the conference, UNWTO had organised fixed departure buses to show them around. However, with no UN employed boyfriend or family member to brag about, I had gone there in my personal capacity as a travel-esque individual hoping to learn or gain some insight into this immensely captivating world of places and people.
On account of simultaneous tours, buses had a pamphlet mentioning the spot to where they would ply, on the outside. Much to my amazement, the kind man went to one of the other buses with a good 10 enthusiastic, young bunch of nicely clad men and women and said, “This bus is not going to where you want to go”, thereby tearing the pamphlet immediately. “Get in!”, he commanded, looking at me. Woahhh! I was amazed. I could barely understand what had happened. I tried putting up a poker face as the ones inside got down, treating me with much abhorrence. I stood there, pretending that I wasn’t the cause of it all.
A mere mortal, I suddenly felt like a demi-goddess.
I had an entire bus to myself with a security car before and a bike behind, taking me to Angkor Wat and Ta-Prohm. It even meant that I could venture into parts of the temples where tourists were otherwise not allowed. I felt ecstatic and guilty at the same time. More the former.’’
4) Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
A man with a good sense of humor, the ability to strike intellectually stimulating conversations and someone who is just fun. Okay, wait, may be that’s too much to ask for. I am completely okay being stranded with my pet dog.
5) Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without on travels?
Maybe wifi. Not that I’m a social media freak but it would be good to keep near ones informed about my whereabouts.
6) What does your family and friends say about you travelling so often?
9/10 times I have travelled solo. Family has been supportive though my mom occasionally throws in a comment saying I’ve got tipsy feet. They wobble too much and I need to sit still for a while. Haha.
7) If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Sarcasm served all day. Enter only if you can laugh at yourself as much as I can laugh at you. :p
8) What’s on the top of your bucket list right now?
Croatia, Morocco and Ecuador. I also want to go sky diving soon and learn horse riding fully.
9) What is the worst misadventure you’ve had during your travels?
On my trip to the east Indian state of Sikkim in march, the weather was extremely harsh. It was my only group trip till date. We had gone to the valley of Yumthang, also called the rhodendron valley. The car was stationed on a slope. However, suddenly it started moving and I jumped out of it bruising my knee badly. It is a scar for life now, not that I regret it but that is definitely not my idea of a trip or being tripped. Losing my phone thereafter was an add-on.
10) What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Being a vegetarian, I’ve never had an urge to try out animals. However, on a trip to Paris, I unknowingly had a very salty pizza with scales. I’m guessing that was some fish. Haha.
Food is one thing I’ve had issues with on my travels because of very limited options. Crazy or not, I make it a point to have one Indian meal wherever I go. ?
11) How do you make money and control your expenses to be on the road so often?
So here’s the thing. I don’t think I want to be on the road all the time. I appreciate people who can do that but I also feel my life’s purpose is many fold. This year in January I started an organic bedding brand called Amouve, the first-of-its-kind in India. A trip to Scandinavia inspired me to start Amouve. I’d also like to start out with a niche travel oriented company with textile/art and craft tours to begin with. Travel has always been an integral part of getting inspired.
Talking about the past, I used to work as a marketing consultant. To me it is necessary to have enough money to ensure I can at least have a near comfortable experience. I don’t see myself worrying each day about my next meal while traveling and counting the pennies as to whether I should have a 2-dollar smoothie or a 10 dollar one.
12) Have you ever traveled alone, why or why not? If yes, where did you go the first time you did?
My first solo trip was for 8 days to the northern part of India – Kashmir and Ladakh. I’ve always travelled solo except for 1-2 times thereafter.
13) Tell me about the craziest or most unforgettable night out during your travels.
I chanced upon the happy pizza on the recommendation of a fellow dorm mate in Cambodia. Man! I lost it completely. I was solo and didn’t think it was wise on my part. However it was an experience like never before and I remember rushing back to the hostel and pinching myself all night just to ensure I was alive. ?
14) Where did you go on your most recent road trip?
The southern part of India and Sikkim, the eastern part. I’d like to go for one in Europe. From the west to the east.
15) What is one travel advice you’d like to give?
Travel often. Learn. Imbibe. Implement.
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