Nadine Sykora, 30, has travelled to 50 countries in the last eight years. A travel-vlogger and YouTuber from Canada, this explorer recently made her way to India.
After college, she set out to see the world before settling down with a serious career. She fell in love with travelling, and well, travel has become her career now. She started creating videos as an experiment during her time at university. She now vlogs about all the places she travels to and Hey Nadine, her YouTube channel has more than four lakh subscribers.
What made you choose India as a travel destination?
India had always been very high on my bucket list. I didn’t want to come for just a few days, I wanted to be here for a few weeks. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I said yes!
What was the favourite part about your trip?
I never knew there was so much variety between each state and city. Delhi is very different from Mumbai or Puducherry. It was exciting to learn about it. The food really is the best in the world.
Did you find any aspect of travelling here problematic?
I wouldn’t say problematic. The traffic, noise, and chaos of the big cities is something I am not used to. But over time I learned how to deal with it.
What are your top three travel tips?
Start small: Fear and money are the two biggest factors that hold us back from travelling. To conquer fear, it helps to practise, and we do that by starting small.
Budget: Travel costs money. Maintain a budget and maybe start with exploring more of your country. We call this ‘staycation’, where you take a vacation in your own city, or state, or country. India is remarkable, honestly. Travellers come from far and wide to visit and see what it has to offer.
Have patience: Travel isn’t always perfect. Things can go wrong, but it’s best not to worry about the ‘what-if’s. Stressing is only going to make things worse, and sometimes the mishaps turn into the best adventures and make the best stories.
You collaborate with travel, beauty and fashion organisations/channels. Has it changed the way you travel?
This is the business side of what I do. It’s how I’m able to afford my travels as well as earn an income. Dealing with clients means that you are giving up a part of your creative freedom for financial support.
It takes practice to learn how to best collaborate with organisations while maintaining your integrity and still create good content that people will watch.
What would your advice be to anyone planning to become a travel blogger/vlogger?
Find a niche. Find an area that makes you an expert. This might take some time to figure out, but it’s essential to separate yourself from the rest in the field. Create your own voice. That is how you stand out.
How has the travel industry evolved since you started out?
It has seen an astonishing growth over the last five to 10 years. A huge part of it is due to social media and the ease of booking one’s own travel online. There is an abundance of knowledge available to people. The cost of travel has come down. This excites me because it gives more people the opportunity to see more of the world for themselves.
Would you say commercialisation has increased in the travel industry?
Wherever there is an industry growing rapidly and a demand for infrastructure, there will be commercialisation. Unfortunately, not all of this is good. Mass tourism is not a sustainable model, as you’ve probably experienced in the form of enormous crowds at some of the most famous spots in India. But this will change as people search for more untapped, unknown, and less touristy spots. Growth means more money and jobs for people that need them.
What kind of a traveller are you?
A bucket-list adventurer. I like a bit of the bucket-list hotspots and a little bit of mystery.