Lufthansa and Nat Geo Come Together To Define Travel in 2019.

By Avilasha Sarmah in Events 29/07/2019

Is travel truly life changing?

On the 18th of July, Lufthansa in association with the National Geographic Traveler India, assembled an exclusive travel meetup to find an answer to this. Travelers masquerading as bloggers, photographers, writers, media-persons, and those in their respective jobs turned up to attend this “invite only” event in the lines of Lufthansa’s interesting new campaign – “Life Changing Places”.

 

As the Lufthansa Global VP Marketing Alexander Schlaubitz explained, with this campaign, Lufthansa set out to dig deeper into what really motivates one to travel. He said how travel has become meaningful, especially in the digital age, because things end up becoming superficial, less empathetic and devoid of meaning. There is a new encouragement for experiences which are more immersing and sustainable. In his own experience of working with Facebook, Alexander said that he noticed almost a third of all posts were travel-related, as often most people seemed to be seeking an easy escape from their fast-paced lives. This however became the inspiration for Alexander to search for ways to make travel more meaningful with Lufthansa. With the purpose of engaging more people into a conversation, they decided to bring out the stories of real people who went on real journeys that actually changed them.

 

 

Lufthansa Global VP Marketing Alexander Schlaubitz says people are wired to travel

 

 

One such individual whose story received the center-stage was Somnath Halder. The former IT Consultant turned Jazz Musician who was now a music teacher, found his true calling after traveling to New York. Somnath talked about how New York despite being a fast-paced city was very inclusive, it made everyone feel right at home. His own life changing experience happened when he enrolled himself in the Jazz Legend Dr. Barry Harris’ workshops in Midtown Manhattan.

 

“It was only after I traveled to New York and experienced it first hand, attending workshops, chatting with the people there, I felt compelled to dig deeper into the history of Jazz.”

 

Somnath said how from the moment he stepped into Barry’s class, and eventually got a chance to perform in front of an audience for the first time, it was a revolution. New York, he says, not only steered him in the direction of his passion, but also gave him the courage and the toolset to pursue it. He identifies himself as a seeker over a dreamer, because a seeker chooses one thing among the plenty the world has to offer and then dives right into it. It is something which can only be experienced and very hard to explain.

 

 

“Going to a place, experiencing things first-hand makes all the difference,” says Somnath.

 

 

Celebrity Chef Kunal Kapur also shared the same temperament. He went on to describe his first trip to Paris which his then Chef called an “investment”! He was immensely surprised by his reaction when the latter exclaimed that there was no need of a further course and that Kunal should rather travel. Today this world class chef lives by this very philosophy.

 

As a seeker it is the love for a subject which changes as we traverse the globe and that makes traveling worthwhile, agreed Somnath. Whether it is music for him, or food for Kunal Kapur, the idea is to experience the difference in different places and be beautifully influenced by it.

 

 

Chef Kunal Kapur says the purpose of travel is to motivate us to redefine ourselves.

 

 

Michael Knapp, Director B2C Marketing, Asia Pacific, Lufthansa, joined in saying how diving in locally allows the best part of an experience. This is especially true of the wild parts of the earth which is immensely unpredictable, shares another panelist, Krithi Karanth, the Conservation Biologist. She says that true joy comes from blending in and being in nature more than just seeking to sight one specific animal in a wildlife tour.  Finally, Shivani Wazir Pasrich, the host of the evening concluded, travel can always be tailored to our needs.

 

Staying true to the dictate of “Life Changing Places”, Lufthansa encouraged its exclusive crowd of travelers to write about the place that changed them and stick it to the large world map on the wall. The randomly chosen lucky winner won a sponsored trip to Europe! As people jotted down their moments on colorful stationary, the Nat Geo and Lufthansa team went around conducting a vox pop encouraging people to talk about – how travel did influence them. Not a single person disagreed, everyone clung to the momentous stories that made them take a trip down nostalgia and made them feel alive all over again. No wonder Alexander’s remark rang true; People are wired to travel.

 

 

The World Map filled with travel moments!

 

Currently curating a creative team for Feministaa! Apart from that I am a wanderer who loves to write. Places call out to me and I enjoy making poetry out of moments. Do check out my book – “When the Cuckoo Called”.


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