Welcome to Steps and Streets!

Hi, I’m Tanisha Guin. I see you are interested in the what, why, how of this blog.

Great! I’m glad you are. 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 an university student I did not even have a dime to my name. Still, thanks to my grit, I was determined to make the most of whatever pocket money I had 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

This is 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 city surprised me with some of its remarkable lesser-known places. These explorations intrigued my sense of backyard travel. 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 gave birth to 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 one of the last remaining Portuguese-speaking coastal towns close to Mumbai, India 2017

What happened next?

I’d started travelling solely to feed my curiosity to see more places. However, over time, this interest evolved as my way to seek diverse rustic/offbeat experiences, acquire hands-on learnings about the world and its people and have some slice of adventure all of which developed in the wake of being a sociology and humanities student. Which is why, after I graduated I was determined to do two things-

  1. Make a career in Education
  2. Experience mindful and responsible travel

Thereupon, I took a big move in 2018. It challenged me to leave behind the comforts of Mumbai and move to Tilonia, a village in Rajasthan to do a 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 our go-to sunset hideout, 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 first-ever solo travel experience was to the offbeat places 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. Over the years, the concept of backyard travel with a focus on lesser-known places has resonated with everyone who is curious.

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 locals and experience a place through and through. Mostly I prefer travelling solo or with a companion who shares a similar interest.

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

Do I travel full-time?

Under the hood of a full-time job, I work as an educator in Mumbai. On weekdays, I train underprivileged youth in language and life skills and on weekends I geek out at art galleries or go on heritage photo-walks. Of late I’ve developed a penchant for the art-deco architecture in Mumbai and that has very well taken care of my leisure time.

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.

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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