Note to readers: While we accept the reality of the coronavirus, it is important to be optimistic. We must believe that there will be a day when the disease will no longer be the all-destroying scourge it is today. And when that day comes, we will be able to enjoy life, maybe with a few adjustments, the way we did before COVID-19. To that end, we are starting ‘If Covid Vanished ...’, a series of interviews with corporate heads and achievers, where we ask them where they’d like to travel or eat, who’d they like to meet, and so on, if the world became Corona-mukt. Follow the series here.
The once ubiquitous backpacker has almost disappeared from sight due to the pandemic. Few would know this better than Dharamveer Singh Chouhan. He is the co-founder and CEO of Zostel, a network of homes and hostels in India and Nepal targeted towards backpackers.
If and when COVID vanishes or we are adequately vaccinated, Chouhan will hope for the hospitality business to pick up again. Besides, he would like to gain some travel and mentoring experiences of his own, such as talking to IG (Indiranagar ka Gunda) Rahul Dravid, about the art of staying calm.
A quick chat with Chouhan:
If COVID went away or became easily manageable, which city would you like to travel to first and why?
Bir, Himachal Pradesh. It's quiet and beautiful and known to be a great place to do paragliding.
Which restaurant/ bar would you go to first and why?
The bar doesn't matter as long as I can socialise with my circle of friends again.
Which famous stranger would you like to invite home and talk to and why?
Rahul Dravid. I would like to exchange some points on being calm.
What public performance/ occasion would you like to attend?
If Coldplay does a tour in India, I'd be game.
What group activity would you like to participate in?
What new skill would you like to learn?
The first song that comes to mind when you think of a COVID-free world.
What bad habit will you work on eliminating in a world that is open again?
Littering on your travels.
What will you do with your masks?
Store them and keep them accessible.
What would your motto be for life after the pandemic?
Follow your heart.