#NICEStories – Breakaway: Crafting Journeys that Touch the Soul

The Genesis of Breakaway

In the vibrant heart of India, where crafts and textiles tell stories of tradition and culture, Shilpa found her calling. With a career woven through prestigious names like Fabindia and Jaypore, Shilpa’s journey was always intertwined with the threads of India’s rich heritage. Her passion for travel and deep-rooted connections in the fashion and retail industries became the foundation of Breakaway, a travel enterprise that offers more than just destinations—it offers a journey into the soul of India. Beyond her work in textiles, Shilpa’s love for food led her to create Mustard, a celebrated restaurant that combines her culinary passion with her dedication to authentic and innovative experiences. Mustard, located in Goa, is inspired by the intricate use of the condiment in French and Bengali cuisine thereby carefully combining the two and creating dishes which bring feelings of nostalgia and freshness at the same time.

Crafting Unique Travel Experiences

Imagine planning a trip where every detail reflects your personality, interests, and dreams. This is the essence of Breakaway. Shilpa and her team believe in understanding their guests on a personal level, delving into their motivations, preferences, and even the nuances of their personalities. Whether it’s an adventurous trek in the Himalayas, a serene retreat in a rural village, or a culinary tour through India’s spice-laden streets, Breakaway tailors each trip to perfection, ensuring no two journeys are ever the same.

Stories of Connection and Transformation

Breakaway’s journeys often lead to profound connections and lasting memories. Take, for instance, the story of an elderly solo traveler who ventured to Varanasi. Initially apprehensive due to the last-minute cancellation by his friends, he found himself hesitant to travel alone. However, he returned with a heart full of joy and a soul enriched by his experiences, expressing his newfound happiness in a poem. Such stories are not uncommon at Breakaway, where each trip is a chapter in a traveler’s life story, crafted with care and attention to detail.

Fostering Community and Sustainability

At Breakaway, travel is a means to support and uplift local communities. Shilpa’s team collaborates with artisans, promoting their crafts and ensuring that travelers experience the authentic flavors of India. From culinary schools abroad seeking to learn traditional Indian cooking to corporates looking to integrate cultural experiences into their retreats, Breakaway’s partnerships are as diverse as they are meaningful. Every journey supports sustainable tourism, encouraging travelers to choose local homestays over luxury hotels and to dine at family-run eateries instead of commercial establishments.

The Breakaway Team: A Symphony of Passion

Behind Breakaway’s success is a dynamic team of passionate travelers. Shilpa, the visionary founder, is complemented by Bindu, the operational backbone; Geetika, the storyteller who weaves enchanting narratives; Sonia, the business development maestro; Saptarshi, the operations and discovery expert; and Smarnita, the intern with a flair for film and communication. This collective of wanderers brings a wealth of expertise, ensuring every trip is meticulously planned and rich with unique experiences.

Lessons Learned on the Entrepreneurial Journey

Shilpa’s entrepreneurial journey has been marked by significant learnings. One of the most critical lessons is the importance of standing out in a crowded market. Breakaway thrives on its authenticity and exceptional service, never settling for being an ‘also ran.’ Shilpa believes in the power of boldness and clarity of vision, understanding that persistence, tenacity, and focus are essential to building something significant. These principles have guided Breakaway through challenges and successes alike, reinforcing their commitment to delivering unparalleled travel experiences.

Overcoming Challenges with Tenacity

Operating in a predominantly male-dominated industry has its challenges, but Shilpa’s determination and the team’s unwavering commitment to excellence set Breakaway apart. Their strategy moves beyond traditional word-of-mouth methods, exploring innovative and new-age ways to reach travelers. Breakaway’s focus remains on leveraging their robust network on the ground to offer experiences that uncover the unseen in the seen, providing travelers with authentic and immersive journeys.

Embracing Change with Give Change a Chance

One of Breakaway’s standout initiatives is “Give Change a Chance,” a journey designed to move minds and inspire change. This initiative invites travelers to step out of their comfort zones and engage with community-minded groups that drive social change. For instance, a journey through Himjoli, a collective in Uttarakhand, offers travelers insights into local issues, social inclusion, and the relentless efforts of NGOs working to improve livelihoods and education. Such experiences foster a deeper connection with the places visited and encourage travelers to contribute positively to the communities they encounter.

The Road Ahead: Continuing the Journey

Looking to the future, Breakaway aims to deepen its impact by fostering more collaborations and expanding its offerings for solo women travelers and senior citizens. Their vision remains clear: to create meaningful travel experiences that celebrate India’s cultural heritage and promote sustainable tourism. As they continue this journey, Shilpa and her team are excited to share their passion for India with like-minded travelers, crafting stories that resonate long after the journey ends.

Journey with NICEorg

Breakaway’s association with NICEorg has been a fulfilling journey, reflecting a shared vision of fostering cultural enterprises and empowering entrepreneurs. Shilpa appreciates the ecosystem NICEorg has created, which enables co-creation, collaboration, and meaningful connections. This support system is crucial in today’s landscape, and Breakaway is enthusiastic about the potential synergies and opportunities this collaboration brings. The partnership with NICEorg amplifies Breakaway’s mission, allowing them to reach and inspire a broader audience.

Breakaway is more than a travel company; it’s a curator of stories, a promoter of cultures, and a supporter of local communities. Through personalized travel experiences, Breakaway touches the hearts of its travelers, offering them a deeper understanding of India’s soul. With a commitment to sustainability and a passion for authentic travel, Breakaway continues to inspire and connect, one journey at a time.

Author: Shikhaa Munglani

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