How Piya Created GOTG Club & Travels the World

by | Sep 27, 2015 | Travel Inspiration

Piya Bose of GOTG Club

Piya Bose of GOTG Club

Meet Piya Bose, founder of GOTG (Girls On The Go) Club who has been traveling non stop since September 2008. Back in 2010, GOTG club caught my interest instantly when I saw a Facebook event for an all girls trip to Laddakh. More than the club, my curiosity about the founder grew as the club flourished. Recently, I was lucky enough to interview Piya, who patiently answered all my questions in the middle of her village exploration in North India. Curious about her and GOTG Club? Scroll down to read how Piya created GOTG club & travels the world. Her story is IMPRESSIVE!

 

Please tell us a little about yourself. 

I used to be a lawyer by profession. Back in 2007, I quit working in a high paying corporate law firm and decided to pursue my passion for travel.

So what is and GOTG Club all about?

GOTG (Girls On The Go) is a travel club for women that takes women travelling to exotic and off beat places in India and around the world, with an aim of inspiring women through travel.

Piya Bose's GOTG Club in Mongolia

Piya Bose’s GOTG Club in Mongolia

When was the inception of GOTG?

September 2008.

What inspired you to create this club?

I first traveled solo to Brazil at 16 years of age and barely saw any women from India travelling on their own. This trip gave me a lot of confidence to later live by myself in Kuala Lumpur when I was in college. It also inspired me to quit my corporate legal career in a high paying law firm to take off on an overland trip from Lucknow – Nepal – Tibet. This trip was my inspiration to finally start a travel club for women.

How much did you save to start this venture?

I used a zero cash startup model to kick start my venture.  I had very little savings and I wanted to bust the myth that one needs money necessarily to start a business. I achieved this by using various innovative techniques to spread word about my venture.

How long did it take you to turn this into a profitable organization?

Since monetary investments were negligible, I started earning profits after the very first trip.

Piya Bose's GOTG Club

Piya Bose’s GOTG Club

What challenges did you face in the first few years / months?

The fact that I was a young entrepreneur of 24 years was a major challenge while convincing ladies to travel with me. Also, convincing family and friends of the seemingly strange decision I made required a lot of persuasive skills. Startup cash was a challenge and I overcame that by adopting innovative methods and experimentation.

What is it like traveling with a group of women that you have never met? Tell us about an interesting event or situation?

Travelling together with a group of women you have not met is possibly the best part of the trip. Women really bond and share stories of their lives and inspire others in the group. During a drive past the Red Sea in Egypt, a group of women started discussing their lives on their own and it turned out that at least 9 of them were divorced. It was amazing how they started sharing their stories and later became great friends.

GOT's Culinary Trip to Morocco

Piya Bose’s GOTG Club’s Culinary Trip to Morocco

Did you ever feel overwhelmed at all while planning travel for an entire group? If so, how did you get over it?

I don’t feel overwhelmed, but yes it is challenging for sure. Even when you think you have taken care of all logistics, something unpredictable may happen. I need to always think on the spot and use common sense to come up with the best solution to suit a situation.

How many employees do you have? Is it just you working alone? How many trips do you do in a year / month?

It is a sole proprietorship model as of now and I work with others on an assignment basis. I do around 40 trips a year.

How much longer are you going to do this? What’s next?

I hope to introduce new genres in women only trips and hopefully start some other exciting ventures as well.

What is your travel style? (backpacker / flashpacker / luxury)

A mix of all, depending on the destination and the experience I am seeking. Most importantly the accommodation has to enhance the experience and add a different dimension.

How many countries have you been to? What was your first international trip?

My first international trip was to Brazil. I have visited around 25 countries since.

What has been the most memorable travel moment for you?

Crossing the infamous Drake’s passage where the waves rise up as high as 40 feet to get to Antarctica is one of the most memorable trips amongst many others.

GOTG says hello from the World's Last Frontier - The Great White Continent, Antarctica.

Piya Bose’s GOTG Club says hello from the World’s Last Frontier – The Great White Continent, Antarctica.

Do you have any favorite travel themed book / movie?

Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul

GOTG's Everest Base Camp Trek

GOTG’s Everest Base Camp Trek

What is your advice to the new travelers / solo female travelers / group of girls all over the world? 

  • Avoid unnecessary attention, wear sun glasses when you step out or want to block the world out. No eye contact means less people walking up to you and giving you unwanted attention.
  • If you use your common sense while travelling, no place is unsafe unless of course there are political disturbances going on there. Research well, connect with locals before you go and keep your friends and family updated about your movements through social media.
  • Dress like locals as far as possible so you can blend in and also show that you respect their culture.

If you want to read more about Piya’s club, check it out on Facebook. Visit her website to know more about the upcoming trips.

(Pin To Save For Later)

Read How Piya travels the world with her GOTG Club. Oh and she gets PAID to do so.

Read How Piya travels the world with her GOTG Club. Oh and she gets PAID to do so.

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

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