I didn’t know dreams come true until…

I experienced, lived, loved and outgrew; not one but many of them.

Hi, I’m Tanisha Guin and this blog, Steps and Streets is my brainchild; which will virtually take you to lesser-known places, tell you about my (mis)adventures and along the way inspire you to chase your travel dreams.

Now, without further ado, let’s get started…

First things first

Ever since I was 15, I’d dreamt of travelling. As I grew older the dream became lucid and I developed an urge to do more than just dream!

Had I had the opportunity to set out for a nomadic life then and there, I would’ve, but as a university student I did not even have a dime to spend leisurely. Still, thanks to my grit, I was determined to make the most of whatever pocket money I earned and learned to be content with which ever place it took me; near or far.

The 15 y/o me posing against a ghastly wall in the Kohima War Cemetery, Nagaland, India 2013
The 15 y/o me posing against a ghastly wall in the Kohima War Cemetery, Nagaland, India 2013

How it started

To materialize the kooky dream of my 15 y/o self, I took a small step. At 17, I started exploring my backyard, Mumbai-the city I was born and raised in. As the explorations frequented, the Maximum City surprised me with some of its remarkable lesser-known places. These explorations intrigued my sense of backyard travel. In no time, Mumbai’s alter ego gave birth to an amateur writer and a shutterbug in me who was motivated to share unsung stories of the city. Certainly, that motivational spin is what led to parenting Steps and Streets in 2016.

Going completely off the beaten track in one of the last remaining Portuguese-speaking coastal town close to Mumbai, India 2017
Going completely off the beaten track in the last remaining Portuguese-speaking coastal town in Maharashtra, India 2017

What happened next?

Initially, travelling to me, solely meant visiting new places and being close to nature. However, over time, my definition of ‘travel‘ stretched beyond. It evolved as my way to seek diverse rustic, offbeat experiences, acquire hands-on learnings about the world and have some slice of adventure along the way. Gradually, all these stepping stones inspired me to pursue Humanities and enlightened me to have a career that is meaningful and ignites a spark of positive change in the world, its people and addresses their problems. Therefore, post my graduation in Sociology, I was determined to do two things-

  1. Make a career in the social impact sector
  2. Experience mindful and responsible travel

Waiting for the right time to come never stood a chance in my mantra of life, so to chase both my dreams, I took a big move in 2018. I challenged myself and left the comforts of Mumbai and moved to Tilonia, a village in Rajasthan to do a Education fellowship in a rural school at my dream organization- The Barefoot College!

Thinking of all the heartwarming life-lessons Tilonia has taught me at our go-to sunset hideout, Rajasthan, India 2018
Thinking of all the heartwarming life-lessons Tilonia has taught me at my go-to sunset spot in Tilonia, Rajasthan, India 2018

Moving to Rajasthan allowed me to continue this passionate pursuit of both my dreams. During my time as a fellow, I had ample opportunities to go on solo trips across Rajasthan, hitchhike, stay with the desert tribes, explore crumbling havelis and ghost villages, and set out on rustic adventures off the beaten path. The Rajasthan chapter was the one that opened doors to many more adventures. Consequently, I had the chance to travel to some of the most unusually beautiful corners of India. Starting from the far-fetched frontier towns of North Bengal and Nepal, the unmapped mountain villages in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, to the picturesque coastal towns in the Konkan region of Maharashtra to name a few.

Experiencing the frontier life at the Indo-Nepal land-border crossing, 2019
Experiencing the frontier life at the Indo-Nepal land-border crossing, 2019

What’s with the name?

My solo adventures started in and around Mumbai. The original idea behind choosing the name, “Steps and Streets” was to inspire the young and penniless to experience ‘backyard travel’. Literally meaning, to take the first ‘step‘ in the ‘streets‘ of your hometown.

For aspiring explorers, I would urge you to kickstart your travel journey with the same mantra, even today.

In the land of mountains, Warlis, and mysteries of a colonial past, Maharashtra 2016
One of my first travel adventures in the land of mountains, Warlis, and mysteries of a colonial past, Maharashtra 2016

So now that you know the merry history of this blog, let’s move on…

How do I like to travel?

I prefer offbeat places over the touristy ones. I have a special liking for places that are either rich in history or are nestled in the lap of nature. I like my travels to be immersive and mindful in a way where I get to learn about the local communities and experience a place through their lens. Mostly I prefer travelling solo or with a companion or two who shares a similar interest.

Living the local life with my village folks in Uttarakhand, 2019
Living the local Himalayan life with the village folks in Uttarakhand, India 2019

Do I travel full-time?

Umm.., no. I work as a Social Impact Consultant with one of the leading INGOs in Mumbai. On weekdays, my team and I work closely with the slum communities specifically in the domain of education and livelihood. Whereas, on weekends I geek out at art galleries, conduct heritage walks or dwell deep into the intricacies of the textile craft of Bengal through my newly found passion project, Aashra and learn about social entrepreneurship.

Learning about life and sustainable co-existence from my young teachers in Dharavi, Mumbai, 2017
Learning about life and sustainable co-existence from my young teachers in Dharavi, Mumbai, 2017

What am I up to now?

Steps and Streets was started with an intent to share candid stories of my solo (mis) adventures and offbeat journeys and will continue to do so. Additionally, you will get to read memoirs of the people I’ve met, tips on solo travel and resources about homegrown sustainable tourism operators, homestays and hostels that align with my idea of travel. Gradually, I also intent to share my two cents on working in the development/social sector for aspiring changemakers.

Experiencing the rustic Konkan life with Swadesee, 2020
Immersing in the rustic Konkan life with Swadesee, Maharashtra, India 2020

For collaborations, visit this page- Collaborate

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