Poonam is from the Indian Himalayas but has never lived in one place for longer than 3 years. She loves travelling: exploring cultures, discovering food, listening to music and dancing.
She is married and has 2 young boys which makes it difficult to travel as much as she would like to but she manages to take her family along and the four of them love exploring together.
For Poonam, travelling is life and it is something that gives her an immense and deep satisfaction. She also sees it as a spiritual journey to selfdiscovery.
Poonam set up Fernweh Travel, she offer fair travel and by doing so she empowers underprivileged women and untouchable tribes. By connecting travellers with locals, social projects can be introduced and supported.
Why do you travel and what do you search for when traveling?
When I travel I want to get to know the locals, experience local culture, live like locals, eat local cuisine, go to off the beaten path, connect with locals (which I must say, I am mostly successful in).
I search for the unknown, undiscovered, non touristic part of a country to really ‘feel’ what the country is about. It’s a mix of culture, adventure and landscapes that gives me peace of mind and relaxes me. I try to flow with the place when I travel - local style.
Interviews with globetrotting and adventurous women with wanderlust
Have you ever experienced something extraordinary while traveling that you would like to share?
I could write a book about all my travel experiences! During my travels I have met locals who found me in the wilderness and offered me their house and kindness; I have opened my eyes to be surprised to be surrounded by hundreds of fireflies; I have camped in extraordinary places like forests with carpets of flowers. And the list goes on!
I am mostly inspired by the people that I meet. Beautiful people who offered me everything they have. These people encourage me to continue organising trips off the beaten path where I can bring the people of two worlds together: the locals and the travellers.
Which country is according to you a ‘must go’ destination for women?
North of Nepal to a tribal village where a woman can have multiple husbands! Hahaha just kidding! I think each and every country has its own charm and we should just go with the flow. Every person (and equally every woman) has different interests and it is much better to organise your travels according to what makes you tick than to follow others.
What is your favourite destination?
There are too many to list here. I wish I had the opportunity to live with the locals of each and every country on earth and discover and feel each place in depth but alas I don’t have so many years.
Do you have a bucket list and if you do what is on there?
No, I just know that I would like to visit every corner of the world! I would love to be able to experience the food, traditions and cuisines of the different cultures around the globe.
Do you have any tips you would like to share with other women who travel?
Yes please! :) When in a new and different country please take some time to look around, observe and find out what the local dress is like and how people interact. It is important to follow the ‘rules’ of the place you are visiting so that culture and traditions aren’t disrespected unknowingly.
Then there are some basic rules to follow to stay safe: learn as much about the country you are visiting before you travel! Don’t go out alone late at night, be confident and dress in a respectful way.
I offer advise to anyone who is looking for specific travel tips for any country! I started travelling in India when I was 14 and till today I have been lucky and have never had to face an unpleasant situation.
Would you like travel advise from Poonam? Please feel free to contact her. She is happy to share any tips she has for any specific country you would like travel information about.
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Photos by Poonam