Renaissance Woman wanderlust
I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. Nothing brings me more joy than traveling and writing.
Aswani Kurra has a career as a hardware engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she loves it. But it doesn’t define her. Moreover, she knows there are many other people who need a break from the usual. Aswani’s travels sparked a dream, and she created A Charming Escape to share her unique destinations.
We get that not everyone has the time to plan months ahead. So we offer customized travel and wine itineraries for busy travelers. We also collaborate with brands, and offer services like photography and content creation.
Work hard, play harder, look for the unusual
As an engineer, Aswani is driven and disciplined, with a passion for traveling and creating. Wait. What? How do those qualities mesh? They’re polar opposites. Yes, that’s just the point.
There is a certain amount of creativity in being a hardware engineer, it’s true. But there’s not much release. Each project must be developed step by step, and it’s predictable. It has to be. And deadlines add pressure to perform. So being driven and disciplined in that sense is good. Too much attention to that part of life, though, will rob you of joy. For balance, experience something completely different. Let’s take just one example from Aswani’s travels.
Discover and Enjoy the Unexpected
In Barcelona, there are many architectural marvels created by Antoni Gaudí, a Catalan born in the mid 1800s. His philosophy was twofold.
There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature.
Originality consists of going back to the origins.
Gaudí’s works are certainly original, even quirky, and they borrow heavily from nature. These sculptures were the inspiration for the Star Wars masks. There’s a cathedral begun in 1882, that’s still under construction. Look at the buildings he designed, and notice that hardly anything is straight – they’re all curves, like elfin houses from Lord of The Rings. Gaudí himself directed the placement of each stone in each mosaic, sometimes from street level. It’s a fantastic departure from the ordinary!
Seek out the unique and make it your own brand
We see a lot of travel agencies but not many companies provide personalized travel itineraries based on your needs. That is what we do and what makes us unique.
I’ve created blogs to journal my travels before. But this time I decided to go the professional route and build a great platform to satisfy my creative itch, and share luxurious travel and wine itineraries.
The most important step was finding my niche. Once I figured that out, the design process and how I wanted my website and logo to look were the hardest decisions to make. And this is where the professional designers helped, and their experience came into play. I am very happy with how my logo turned out to be.
Put it all together
The creative part of anything is really only the beginning. Own the dream, then figure out how to make it reality. The little things can block you temporarily, and remember the legal stuff that can trip you up if you don’t have it organized. However (as I’m still finding out), using online searches and how-to videos, you can learn almost anything.
Aswani says that her greatest success so far has been creating her website and dedicating herself to her passion on her off hours. She still works 10 hour days as an engineer, and that makes her adventures all the more precious. The ultimate goal is to transition to full time as a travel consultant, but she’s in no particular hurry.
I still have a lot of work to do in terms of marketing, etc. but I am very excited to see where this takes me!
Keep some things in mind
If you are not ready to start yet, build an audience on social media. And if you are ready, go the professional route. And also, outsource if you do not have the time.
Aswani maintains pages on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for marketing purposes. You can do the same. Yes, it’s a lot to keep up with, but it doesn’t all have to be done at once. And, as she notes, you can outsource if time is in a crunch for you. Who knows? You might find the perfect collaborator, and you both can build your businesses at the same time.
Get in touch via A Charming Escape’s Facebook page to plan your own break from reality. Make it special. Make it soon!