Travellers’ Tales – Meet Paroma from " Year Of The Monkey "

Meet Paroma from " Year Of The Monkey "

I created the “Travellers’ Tales” section to give other travellers an opportunity to talk about their travels. Today I would like to introduce you to Paroma, a travel blogger based in San Francisco. She blogs at Year Of The Monkey .

I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales, fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.

Read about Paroma’s travels here,

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Paroma Chakravarty, a San Francisco based travel, food, pets and lifestyle blogger at Year Of The Monkey . I have a day job as a scientist in the biotech industry and when not in the lab, you will find me either trying out new restaurants, traveling to new destinations, testing new photography gear or hiking away like crazy with my husband and pup.

2. What is your earliest travel memory?

My earliest travel memory is that of being unceremoniously dragged to Puri, Orissa, a seaside destination in eastern India by my parents. For some reason, I hated the idea of leaving my comfort zone and traveling with a bunch of bickering adults, who loved lugging a lot of stuff with them. Things sure have changed since I was little because not only can I not wait to go on my next vacation but I am also the lightest packer that you will ever meet.

Year of the Monkey Sara Essop


3. Where was your last holiday?

Maui and Big Island, Hawaii

4. What was the best thing you did there?

We drove from one part of Maui to another, along the Hana highway, which is commonly referred to as the “Road to Hana”. That drive was like no other with hairpin bends and over 90 one lane bridges but the scenes were breathtaking! I have never seen such lush greenery before.

5. What was your best holiday ever? Why?

I think my best holiday is yet to come, but if I have to choose one for now, it has to be our trip to Mexico last year, specifically to Oaxaca city. This underrated gem is a foodie paradise and we had so much fun exploring the old town and eating our weight in food during our stay. I can still feel the taste of those rich, delectable moles (sauces made of spices and chocolate) on my tongue!

6. What is your favourite travel destination?

Can it be some place I have not visited yet? I have been dreaming of the Greek Islands of Santorini and Corfu, ever since I laid eyes on the blue and white buildings in a magazine as a teenager and after reading the book “my family, friends and other animals” by the famous naturalist Gerald Durrell. Of all the places I have visited, Istanbul is one place that comes to mind. It is a city like no other and a must visit, once all this terrible unrest has subsided.

Year of the Monkey


7. What must one do there?

So many things, really. My favorite recommendation would be to spend some time at the banks of the strait of Bosphorus, connecting the Asia side to the European side. The other attractions are seeing the Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, The Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. The tiny Rustom Pasha mosque, voted as the most beautiful mosque in Istanbul, should not be missed either. A ferry ride across the Bosporus is also a great idea.

8. Who is your favourite travel companion/s?

My husband

9. Name one item you must have when traveling.

My Canon DSLR

10. Your best travel advice?

Don’t get caught up on the urge to have an Instagram worthy photo. Be in the present and enjoy every precious moment, since travel is still a luxury for many. Make memories, not mindless selfies.

Year of the Monkey Sara Essop


11. The one place you want to visit before you die?


12. Your favourite place in South Africa?

I would love to visit Cape Town.

13. Any embarrassing travel moments?

I was once traveling for business and was charged a kid’s breakfast (I look super young but this was a bit too much, especially because I was dining with a colleague).

14. Worst travel experience?

Ironically, it was in Istanbul, not because of any fault of the city or people per se. I got a stomach bug while returning from a day trip and had the most terrible time not being able to eat almost anything for three whole days.

15. How can people connect with you?

Blog URL: Year of the Monkey




Thank you, Paroma , for sharing your fascinating travels with us!

I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales, fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.

Who will I feature next? I’ve got an exciting line-up ahead. Make sure you subscribe to the free newsletter so you don’t miss out on some exciting travel tales.

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