I am here to share my experience of attending a wonderful event- Kunzum Women Travel Mixer.
No idea, I should call myself a traveller or not? Going back to my childhood days, holidays exclusively meant a month-long summer vacations at Nani’s home in Delhi. Being born and brought up in Agra, Delhi was always a fancy place which I waited the entire year to visit during the summer vacation with my mom and brother. After getting married, honeymoon to Goa was actually the first formal holiday of my life and there I came to know what actually a travelling or a holiday means. My husband loves travelling and he leaves no stone unturned when it comes to stealing few days from the hectic schedule to have a short sweet trip ( Though I have been fortunate to have few long ones as well ).
Though my travelling list may not be as exciting as others, but with lots of Indian destinations and half dozen of a foreign land, I am quite satisfied with my progress report. For a person to whom travelling and holidays only meant going to Nani’s place, adrenaline rush at Rishikesh rafting, luxury of Taj & Leela Goa, castles of London, beauty of Edinburgh, fun of Hong Kong Disneyland, overnight trip to Sri Lanka, helicopter ride over Mauritius and yes Walking Streets of Pattaya is definitely a decent move. Isn’t it?
Kunzum Women Travel Mixer – Got to know about the event through Facebook. Besides the long list of forwarded unwanted posts, these social media sites at times also bring you across some useful information as well as events, and Kunzum Travel Mixer was one of them for me.
Have heard the name of Kunzum Travel Café several times before as well, thanks to my husband as he keeps himself updated with such interesting places and events, but never had a chance to visit the place or can actually say, never attempted to land up there. Going through the details of Women Travel Mixer event on their FB page, 2 things that attracted me the most were – it was an all women travelling event and yes, of course, it was organised at Sheraton Saket ( I am always fascinated with big hotels ).
Going through the event details, I found the description and accomplishments of some speakers really interesting and I called up the number given for further inquiries. Rishabh attended to my call and he was just perfect to explain the event in the manner that my interest got converted into confirmation. The easy and multiple modes of payment further made the registration process easy.
And yes, I have to mention here that I missed the lunch inclusion part initially and when I got to know the lunch and its menu, I was doubly excited to be at the event ( The lunch menu included selected flavors from Dakshin restaurant and this place was there on my list since long).
So all set and without expecting or imagining anything I landed up at the event venue around 9:30. Being warmly greeted by Kunzum staff at the registration counter, I was handed over a T-shirt (early bird gift from Eagle Riders) and a badge. Being a freelancer, I have always been working from home so had not experienced wearing badges and tags as yet. Believe me, a well-made badge having my name, made me felt nothing less than a CEO of some MNC.
A well-spread tea coffee counter with cookies looked tempting at the entrance but I forgo my temptation and entered the beautiful ballroom of the hotel where the event was taking place. A big beautiful hall with the lovely chandelier and neat stage looked interesting. The hall was packed with a decent number of pretty faces and I found a cosy corner and sat down. A perfect setup of the table- glasses with coasters, water bottles, few writing pads, pencils and yes an interesting thing- whistles of vibrant colors. I had no clue why where these whistles were lying down there, I thought there was some game or something.
Finally, a bold, stable and attractive voice from the Mic appeared and it was Ajay Jain (founder of Kunzum which I later came to know about). Since few speakers were yet to come, the session was made interesting by asking the audiences to share their special travelling experiences.
The first hands up as always were a little hesitant one but the story was definitely interesting. I have been quite vocal and outgoing with events at my school and college days and I guess that prompted me to put my hands up to be the next one in the queue. I shared my experience of exploring Sri-Lanka from 12 in the night to 6 in the morning which I consider to be the shortest as well as the most interesting trip till date.
Here I would need to mention that just a day before the event, I was talking to my husband that I am going to this travelling event where women will be sharing some of their best and rare experiences of travels across the globe. I asked him, what if I am told to something special as I have always been on a family holiday and not something great as mentioned on profiles of speakers. My husband only reminded me of my Sri-Lanka night exploring trip which has totally faded out of my mind. He said that that night was definitely something different and special. After sharing my experience with the audience at the travel mixer I realised that talking to spouses at times can be actually great.
After having few stories of personal experiences, the event was all set to start with the speakers to take on the stage. And yes, whistles were like rating systems. Louder the whistles from the audiences, louder the applause.
The first on the podium to address the audience was Air Asia commercial operations head Kiran Mangat Jain . Sponsors always have this opportunity to be the first ones. Before Ms. Kiran started speaking, I thought it to be some promotional stuff from Air Asia, but as she started speaking about her experiences of life and travel, it became an interesting talk. To me, till date, she was the most exciting and interesting talk.
And yes, Ajay knew that we as women get bored with things very quickly, so each speaker was supposed to be on the podium not for more than 10 minutes. There was a loud bell to give an alarm after 10 minutes. I loved this, though wanted to hear few of them for some more time. But as it is said, rules are rules.
One after the other, speakers kept coming to share their experience and we kept whistling after they finished. Though all of the selected speakers were amazing, some inspired and took me by interest a little more. Latika Nath was definitely an interesting one to listen as we hardly get to see women in jungles and befriending the wild cats. Shoba Mohan from RARE was wonderful to listen with her amazing concept. To me she was the most charming lady of the evening. And yes the star of the day was definitely Neha Arora from PlatetAbled. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I watched her videos and listened to her experiences of organizing events for these special people. A standing ovation to this courageous lady is well deserved. Kudos to you Neha Arora !!!! Chandni Agarwal, Dinsa Sachan, and Mandeep Kohli were among the others who kept me tied to my seat.
I have to mention here that last night before the event, I had slept late and when I got up in the morning I was dam tired. On my way to the event, I thought if I did not feel well, I would come early. But to my surprise, I was energetic throughout the day and had forgotten that I was tired or anything like that. Though while coming back, I had a power nap in the cab.
Ajay Jain surely knows how to keep things lively and entertaining. He made sure that after every few talks and break, we are made to move tables and were not suppose to sit with acquaintances and friends. The idea was simple and clear, making new friends and knowing new people and their stories. And yes, it did work for me as well, at different tables I got to meet different beautiful ladies and got to know about their work and stories. Gurgaon Mom organizer was definitely doing some great job by having a platform where moms can share their experiences and problems. The owner of VIVA fit (fitness center) was great to talk to. Sheetal Gurung in addition to her 9 to 5 corporate job was trying to rope in something different and working with WOW (Women on Wealth) who helps women managing their finances and wealth.
So Kunzum Travel Mixer for me was not only sharing my experiences with others, listening to some amazing travel stories, and getting to know new people but to know that we as women have potential to do some amazing things for ourselves as well as the society. Traveling not only helps to explore places but also people, food, clothes and an entire culture.
Oh yes, did I forgot to mention the lunch part. The much awaited Dakshin on my list was finally covered with the well laid spread of sumptuous dishes.
Loved every part of the event and would surely join the other ones too. Later that evening, while attending a family get together, I boasted about the event like a pro and mentioned to all my cousins.
Thanks, Ajay Jain for all your efforts and roping in all the beautiful ladies for the wonder talk.