Gazal Garg - Travel Is Where I Find Human Connection, In Spite of a World That Tells Us to Be Afraid (Content Creator)

Gazal Garg



As I embarked on my journey, I also found a love for film making and responsible fashion. During the past year, my fashion series on Instagram called #BrownGirlWardrobe blew up in a sense with each of the videos garnering between 1-5 Lakh views. It showcases how an everyday urban girl can proudly embrace ethnic fashion and feel confident in her beautiful, brown skin!



Gazal Garg


1. Tell us about your background and journey.

 

Hi! I’m Gazal. If I were to describe my background in one line, I’d say I am a strategy consultant turned content creator.

 

You see, about a year back, I quit my well-cushioned job as a Strategy Consultant in Dubai, at one of the largest conglomerates in the Middle East, at age 23, to chase my dream of traveling the world, creating meaningful content, and making the most of what life has to offer!

 

Being a college topper in B.Sc. Economics from NMIMS, Mumbai, a national level debater, and a competitive swimmer, I was expected to do an MBA and join the corporate world. However, I wanted to pave my own path instead of following the one that was simply laid out for me.

 

Through my content, I hope to encourage people to travel solo, find out their true selves and not be afraid to follow their dreams. I’m also extremely passionate about empowering Indian girls to embrace their brown skin and not chase “fair complexion” – an insecurity that a lot of brown girls grow up with like I did.

 

As I embarked on my journey, I also found a love for film making and responsible fashion. During the past year, my fashion series on Instagram called #BrownGirlWardrobe blew up in a sense with each of the videos garnering between 1-5 Lakh views. It showcases how an everyday urban girl can proudly embrace ethnic fashion and feel confident in her beautiful, brown skin!

 

It’s Season 2 is going strong, having some great collaborations like Okhai, Rina Dhaka, and Doodlage. I plan to expand on this theme by creating more meaningful videos in fashion and beauty, along with my travel vlogs!




2. When and how did you decide to pursue water diving? 

 

I’ve always been a water baby and I did my first dive on a family vacation in Bali when I was 13. I think, naturally, people tend to like things that they are good at and I remember the instructor praising me for how comfortable I was with breathing through a regulator underwater, on my first time diving. So my brain instantly went like, “Wow, I love this sport. I should just get my license now!”.

 

But as cheesy as it may sound, I didn’t give it a serious thought until I watched ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and realized that ‘Laila’ is actually, my spirit animal and that’s exactly who I wanted to be when I grew up. Cut to a few years later, my brother went for a trip to this tiny island in the Philippines called Malapascua.

 

When he came back, he couldn’t stop gushing about the pristine waters, the exotic marine life, and the dives he did there – along with an astoundingly friendly community on the island. I also found out that it’s the only place in the world where one can spot wild Thresher sharks every single day, in the open ocean!

 

This is when I had already started vlogging. The next thing you know, I packed my bags and left for a month-long solo trip to the Philippines to get my open water as well as, advanced scuba diving certificate! 

 


3. How do maintain a healthy body and mind?

 

To be honest, I’m a work in progress in this regard, as most of us. I mean, for me, I try to master the ‘boring fundamentals’ like – journaling, meditating, maintaining a healthy sleep cycle, working out 3-4 times a week, eating clean, desi, home food, practicing gratitude, even talking to my therapist once in three months.

 

We all know these! And I try to practice them as much as I can but I fall off the wagon from time to time. I’m only human. What’s important to remember is that one bad day doesn’t dictate the rest of your days, weeks, or months. You can always pick yourself back up and start again. Oh, and don’t wait till tomorrow to make a fresh start. A fresh start is whenever you want it to be! So, start now.

 

Although, one tip that really helps me in staying active is to pursue physical activities that I truly enjoy, like yoga, swimming (pre-pandemic), and running. If you don’t like gymming like me – I hate it! then don’t do it. The point is to stay active – pick a sport, if you wish. Go for walks. Dance. Just do things that you truly enjoy if you wanna be consistent.

 


4. What is your favorite camouflage look?


Depends on the environment, I suppose.



5. What fascinates you about traveling?

 

I used to think that traveling is fascinating because “it helps you find yourself” as most Instagram quotes will tell you. Now, I completely disagree with that. I think you can search for a lifetime and still not get what you seek; but you can simply have a good, hard look at yourself, face your inner demons, your biggest fears, your insecurities, your pain that you might otherwise be running from on your travels, deal with them and you might just find yourself complete!

 

So, now, what fascinates me about traveling - is the ultimate freedom that it gives me in a world that is constantly telling us to settle down. How it empowers me, as a woman, to make my own decisions in a society that doesn’t allow girls to do that. Travel is where I find human connection, in spite of a world that tells us to be afraid. Travel is where I feel the most ‘alive’.



6. What is your favorite travel destination and why?

Okay, that is an extremely hard question. I truly think that each place has its own charm. There’s no one favorite place for me, but favorite things about different places like the people in Pakistan or the architecture in Belgium, the general attitude in Amsterdam, the coffee in Turkey, the food in Italy, the ‘bearish' in Bombay. I can go on and on.


But one thing I can say for sure is that I definitely love ‘beaches’ more than anything else. I feel like the ocean is my calling. I read somewhere - ‘once the sea casts its spell, it holds you in its net of wonder forever, and that’s definitely the case with me.



7. How do you face hardships or criticism?

 

I’ve been told that I’m not very good at taking criticism. So I’m learning to be better at it. But I think no one responds to criticism well, at least initially. It’s natural to get defensive.

 

What is smart and what I’m trying to apply more, is to hear the person out, take your time to let the criticism soak in, process the information, see what you want to keep, what you personally think is true keeping your ego aside, how you can change that and leave the rest.

 

That’s the only decent way to tackle it, in my opinion. As for hardships in work, I think if you know your purpose, you enjoy what you do and you have faith in yourself, you can overcome any hurdle. That’s what has worked for me so far.



8. Which is your favorite book and why?


Again, it’s so tough to pick one! I think in the past 5 years, it’s been ‘Zero to One by Peter Thiel. He is a billionaire entrepreneur, venture capitalist, co-founder of PayPal, a first outside investor in Facebook, and author.


He talks about the importance of creating value over creating money. According to him, the only real value has the potential to create immense cash in any field – whether it’s a solution to an existing problem, a new way of doing things, filling a gap in the market!


It’s quite inspiring. And maybe, subconsciously, this one thought has influenced most of my career decisions.



Gazal Garg


interviewed By - Anshika Maurya


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