Your search keywords:

Divya Dhakal: Traveling and making content is two sides of a coin

Divya Dhakal: Traveling and making content is two sides of a coin

Divya Dhakal, 27, is a travel content creator from Pokhara, Nepal. She’s known for trekking to lesser-known trails and mountains. She has been creating travel videos since 2015. She has been to the Everest and Annapurna regions, Bardia, Mugu, Jumla, Dhorpatan, Chisapani, Bajang, Sukla Phata National Park, Ilam, and Kanyam among many other places. Passion for traveling led her to create content based on it and she now has over  27.4K followers on Instagram. She also works at a travel company called Altitude Himalaya. In a conversation with Babita Shrestha from ApEx, Divya spoke about her trips and the challenges of making travel content.

How do you plan and make travel vlogs?

When it comes to planning travel vlogs, first I think about whether it’s possible and affordable. In the beginning, I also had to convince my parents. But now, I go wherever I want. I’m always on the lookout for new places where I can soak up the culture, nature, and lifestyle. For me, traveling isn’t just about pretty scenery. It’s about immersing myself in different cultures and ways of life. I like to chat with the locals and get all the information I need. If there are any cool festivals happening in certain areas, I make sure to plan my trip around them.

I don’t like to use travel packages. I do my research before heading out to make sure I’m getting the best experience possible. Nowadays, with all the digital content available, finding information is easy. I search for keywords and hashtags related to my destination and gather information from hotels and other sources. I don’t rely only on one source. I like to double-check everything to ensure safety.

Could you run us through your vlogging process?

I mainly use my phone for making videos as it’s convenient while on the move. Sometimes, I take along a camera but it’s not my go-to. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with drone photography, which is pretty exciting. As for editing, I use free apps. My vlogs aren’t super professional at the moment but I’m aiming to amp things up and grow my page. I think informative videos that I’ve been posting are helping me gain followers. For now, I’m posting reels with music and I’m thinking of switching to voice overs. From what I’ve learned, creating personalized and relatable content that shows off your personality can help you build a community online. 

What does it take to be a good travel vlogger?

You don’t need any special skills but you need to be creative. Research about the place. Figure out the budget. Be careful and organized, especially when it comes to flights and transportation. It’s essential to stay aware of your surroundings and the people you meet while traveling. You must just be yourself and keep it real. Start small and learn as you go. Try to learn new techniques. If you’re planning to do travel vlogs, it’s smart to make videos about budget trips to show that traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. You can talk about unique cultural stories too. Also, sharing information about how easy or tough the trip was and talking about mistakes and experiences can help boost your profile. I also believe creating informative and cinematic content goes a long way in expanding your follower base.

What are some of your travel essentials?

When I’m trekking, I make sure to pack some essentials to keep me covered. They are my survival gear. I always have a medical kit with basic first aid supplies and medicines for common issues like diarrhea, cold, and fever. Sunscreen is a must, along with some personal care items. I pack clothing for all types of weather, along with camping gear like a tent and sleeping bag. I always carry a compass and some tools for navigation. To stay connected and safe, I take along a radio phone.

How do you deal with challenging situations during your trips?

During a trek to Mera Peak in the Solukhumbu region, which is one of the highest trekking peaks, I faced a tough situation. I got my period in the middle of the trek and felt mentally drained. At almost 5000 meters, I also got a fever but I didn’t want to give up easily. But my health worsened and I had to turn back before reaching the summit. From this experience, I learned that not every travel plan goes as expected. I try to deal with situations by controlling my emotions. It can make a big difference in handling unexpected issues.

How do you make sure you’re respectful when you’re in a new place?

When I visit a new place, I do my research to understand the local customs and beliefs. If I’m unsure about something, I ask the locals for advice. Once I had my period on the way to Rara. I was staying at a local’s house. Since Nepalis have certain beliefs about periods, I let them know and followed their guidance on what to do. I think it’s important for travelers to be mindful of the local customs and show respect. Also, dressing appropriately is important in order not to make anyone uncomfortable. I put a lot of value on having good ethics while traveling.

I also try to make sure my travels are as eco-friendly as possible. I’ve been making some conscious choices like avoiding wet wipes and using metal bottles instead of single-use plastic ones. When I’m camping, I always clean up the site before leaving and take all the trash with me. I’ve also minimized the use of packaged food.