It was such a great year for us and we’d like to share it with you. At the start of this year, Awestrich was an evolving idea which included Rihen, Founder & CEO and 2 natives, Rutu and Siddhartha, each of them with an experience around the place where they grew up and has been noticing since childhood.

Later on, our team grew and we started looking for more natives and helped them curate local experiences which showcase their passion. And by April, we had a number of experiences in Mumbai and we kept finding amazing natives. We hosted Compass – Mumbai Largest Clue Hunt on the Heritage Weekend along with Parivartak – Social Reform Walk. There were more than 50 participants looking for clues hidden from them even after being right in front of their eyes.

In May, we had found natives in Delhi and helped them curate experiences. Another milestone for us as we started curating unique local experiences such as A Tibetan Hamlet, From Begum With Love, The Mughal Dastarkhwan and more in the capital of India, a city which was destroyed 7 times and its heart still beats strong.

As the monsoon came, we kept growing with more natives and more experiences. By August, we started curating experiences with natives in Varanasi as well. A city where once you go, you might but your heart never returns. Our first walks in Varanasi and Delhi were faced with the challenge of rains right before the experience. Yet, the guests joined us and enjoyed the experience and became a part of the Travel Talkies community, which we started as a Facebook group to introduce local experiences to local travellers and make the most out of the cities they are in.

In September, as the community kept growing, Travel Talkies became more than a Facebook group and we had our first meetup in Varanasi discussing Experiential Travel in India. This helped us to get different perspectives about travel as we met people from different parts of India as well as different countries.

As the festival of Diwali came near, we started preparing for our first meetup in Delhi discussing Solo Female Travel in India. Bunch of young travellers and experienced females shared the myths and realities of solo travelling and how the norm is changing giving females more opportunities to travel solo and safe and explore the world just as any man would.

By November, we had unique experiences curated by natives in Mumbai, Delhi and Varanasi. Now was the time for Travel Talkies to come to Mumbai, and we discussed Backpacking 101 at the meetup. More than 100 people joined this discussion which changed the way we look at travel completely. And helped us find adventure in travel again.

At the meetup, we launched our first Astronomy experience, Astrophile, which then turned into a series of amazing experiences in itself. Our year ends with meteor showers, as we lie down on the ground looking up just as we did while sleeping on terraces years ago. What’s different this time is that we are not making wishes, we are making them come true.

And each of you, the natives who curate unique local experiences, guests who participated in these, everyone who attended Compass, Travel Talkies meetups, all editors and writers who wrote feature articles in various print and digital media, authors who have shared their amazing stories with us, the ones who show us their love on Social Media every day from all over the world, the interns, the employees, the complete Awestrich team, now and then, each of you have helped us learn and grow.

We’d love to hear from you. Keep sending us messages, comments, reviews, suggestions. These help us grow and provide you with better experiences.

Thank you for being with us and for all the support. Here’s to making them wishes come true. Happy New Year.