50 People #8: How to be a tech-savvy traveller with Shiv

Technology is rapidly simplifying and enhancing the way we travel. No longer do you need a city map to get around – you can just pull out your smart phone. You don’t just have to rely on restaurant recommendations from a friend, you can ask the whole internet community what they think…

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>> PROFILE

Name: Shiv | Currently in: Austin, Texas

 

Imagine you’re in Madrid one day in summer. It feels about a million degrees, so you doubt it’ll rain but you check just to be sure. You pull out your phone, and sure enough, there’s a high chance of storms for the afternoon. You decide to cancel the segway tour that you booked online, and instead google ‘what to do in Madrid on a rainy day’.

The best suggestion seems to be to head to the Prado Museum, so you call an Uber and you’re on your way. When you get to the museum, you decide to download the official museum app so that you can do a self-guided tour around the huge museum (it has an audio description of every single portrait hanging!)…

This is just one instance in which technology had made travelling simpler for tech-enthusiast Shivansh. If you asked, he wouldn’t be able to count all the other times.

Undoubtedly, technology is making travel more accessible to the world. Where would we be without google maps, airbnb, and a trusty translator app? But of course, there is always the potential for tech to do more harm than good. At what point does technology become so domineering, that we are so engrossed by our smart phones and taking selfies that we forget to look up and take in our surroundings.

I caught up with Shiv, who sees the potential for an excellent story in any scenario, to see what his outlook on the intertwining worlds of technology and travel is.

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>> INTERVIEW

Tell me a bit about yourself

I was born in Calcutta, India and since then I have lived in 14 cities! So far in life, I haven’t lived in one city for more than 2.5 years, mostly because when I was younger my father served in the armed forces and so we lived a nomadic life! Back then it wasn’t my choice, but now it is… 

What are you passionate about?

I love creating things – from advanced wireless technology products at work to content for my blog. I have been a tech enthusiast for as long as I can remember. My dad is an engineer and my mother is the most technically adept member in the family. I guess I’ve inherited that from them.

I think of myself as a problem solver, and technology has indeed solved some of the biggest challenges – from finding cures for epidemic diseases to finding navigation paths in the most remote locations with GPS! I feel like technology is my magic wand! In the final year of my graduation I developed a low-cost digital multimedia radio to be used for broadcasting information by the rural population of India.

How has technology changed the way we travel?

From planning to execution, to reminiscing about a trip, technology has simplified travel immensely. High-speed Internet connectivity enables us to search for our next travel destination within seconds. Then you have the cost optimization algorithms that find you the cheapest hotels and flight options online. The modes of traveling ranging from airplanes to bullet trains to the electric cars, clearly tell the story of our technological advancements. You’ve also got the Go Pros, DSLRs and iPhones to capture traveling events live!

What’s the next big thing for “technology in travel”?

There are two technologies in particular that I am confident will revolutionize travel – Elon Musk’s HyperLoop and  Virtual Reality. Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation system concept proposed by Elon Musk and if it works, it will shorten the distance from LA to SFO to merely 20 minutes! I am super excited about what lied ahead of us and I hope to make meaningful contributions to our future!

Virtual reality will bring together entertainment and travel to enhance the experience through breakthrough innovations like virtual travel, 3D videos of adventure travel and travel planning. Imaging browsing through 3-D videos of your favorite travel destinations on your VR gear, sitting on your couch, and deciding on where to go next!

Do you ever worry about becoming too engrossed in tech that you forget about the travel?

That’s a question I get asked a lot. Excess of anything can be bad. I often say that if you are watching the grandeur of the grand canon through the lens of your DSLR than with your own eyes, then that’s a problem and you need to fix it.

Tell us about your blog Hyper Trypsy?

I am a technological enthusiast and I travel pretty frequently. I wanted to share this with the world. Hyper Trypsy is not just a travel website, it’s your companion through the whole travel experience. It’s a place where you’ll find some heart-moving stories of travelers I meet on my journey and some eyebrow raising technical advancements that are travel related.

Where does the name come from?

The name of the blog has a long story. I changed the name of my blog last month from Hyper Gypsy to Hyper Trypsy. I was accused by one of my followers on twitter, who said that using the word Gypsy on my blog is offensive to the Roma race. To me the word gypsy has a positive connotation, meaning to be a free spirited person. However, I studied more on the topic and realized that it’s an ethnic slur. I gave up on the name because in my eyes traveling is all about embracing cultural differences. Thus came the new name, Hyper Trypsy! I’ve even registered the new word, Trypsy (inspired from the word Trip!), on urban dictionary with the following meaning:

Trypsy:  Embracing cultural differences through traveling. 
Do you have a travel philosophy?

Yes I do! I believe that “traveling is the answer… the question doesn’t matter.”

People and places can teach you things about life that no textbook can and traveling is all about meeting new people and visiting new places. If you don’t know which book to read next or you’re finding the lyrics for your next song or re-igniting the spark in your relationship – go travel, you’ll find your answers!

What would be your ideal holiday?

An ideal holiday for me is not about the location, but more about the people I travel with. I want to travel with my mom, dad and brother around the world. I remember when I was a child I made a promise to my mom that I’ would show her around the big world just like she showed me around my small world. I’d start with Budapest because this place is very close to my heart.

Tell us about your upcoming trip to China. What are your plans whilst you’re there?

This is an extremely adventurous solo-backpacking trip to China. I have 4 days of work and the other 6 days will be pure traveling. I am covering 2 cities – XI’an and Beijing. In XI’an I will visit the terracotta army, meet with a couple of friends and try cooking some authentic Chinese food!

In Beijing I will be climbing up the Great Wall of China, and I really want to try all (well, not all, but, most) of the street food! I’m nervous because there is going to be the language barrier but I am super excited because I will get to learn so much about the Chinese culture. It’s the year of the monkey, you know!

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>> Get your tech & travel fix on Shiv’s blog HyperTrypsy here! <<

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Want more like this?

Loved this story? Read more interesting accounts about how and why people travel around the world in the #50people50places series here

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