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Piya Bose who went on to complete a five-year legal degree and was hired by India’s premier law firm left a lucrative profession as a lawyer where she worked roughly for a year, to pursue her passion for travel, and in 2008, she founded the women-only Girls on the Go Travel Club, which began with a zero-cash business plan. Though her parents anticipated this adventurous traveller to be working in an engineering firm today, she has chased her calling while working at a legal business without having prepared her options. Bidisha Barik talks to Piya Bose, the founder of Girls on the Go about how women in travel have evolved in the past few decades.

As the most profound insights occur in the air, Piya’s desk job had her questioning her way of life while she worked graveyard hours. This travel consultant’s adventure began when she had to overland from Lucknow to Nepal and then Tibet on an unexpected vacation. During her tour, she encountered a number of difficulties relating to oppression and other fundamental issues. Standing on the highest Everest mountain near a hamlet in Tibet, unsure of where her life was heading, she realised she wished to “not only make a living but also genuinely live.”

Piya worked for travel firms for a short time at the age of 24 and acquired a connection with the clients as well as learned about the lack of originality in travel companies. Through the hoops, the route of discovery outshined her notion of creating a Women Travel Agency as a midnight fuel. Being a solo wanderer since she was 16 years old, when she took her first solo trip to Brazil, Piya has seen few Indian women travel around the world, which has fueled her desire to bring the thrilling and life-changing experiences she has witnessed through her trips to the Girls on the Go travel club.

In 2008, she rolled the dice by organising her first planned trip to Ladakh, promising more trips if the initial trip was successful. Since then, she has led women on Antarctic expeditions, photographed the Northern Lights in the Arctic, stayed with Nagaland’s headhunters, camped in Mongolia, trekked up a volcano and to the Everest Base Camp, and much more. The fundamental emphasis of the GOTG club has always been to encourage women to travel, but Piya has recently seen a lot of preconceptions women face when it comes to travel. Her work on growing and reforming women for the better when travelling has led her to explore the history of women travelling.

“It’s intriguing to realise that the account of women in travel dates back to the 1880s-90s, yet we’re encountering identical challenges now in the modern world,” she says.

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