Kash Bhattacharya, 33, was born in England, grew up in Calcutta, and has spent the last 14 years in Scotland. He’s the king of budget travel in Europe and has an awesome series on luxury hostels. He’s also a born ringleader and made a fine job of herding bloggers to parties at TBU and TBEX this summer. Find him at The Budget Traveller.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Time travel because I’d like the power to re-live the best moments of my life. Happiness can’t be stored. It’s a fleeting moment. If I could do TBU and TBEX again, I’d get in my time machine and go straight back. It sounds a bit like Groundhog Day, which is after all my favourite film.
When was your happiest moment?
What’s the love of you life?
Me. No, that sounds so vain. But seriously, I think we should all value ourselves. I think it’s an important part of character. No one can love you if you don’t love yourself first.
What’s your greatest achievement?
This is getting very philosophical! I think doing what I’m doing is my greatest achievement – following my heart. I find what I’m doing now to be the most exciting and amazing thing. I did a couple of things before blogging and this is what I like best.
How did you get into blogging?
I think my route into blogging was mainly through publishing. I was student president about 9 years ago, and I noticed the student’s didn’t have their own magazine so I created my own. I wanted it to be professional, so although I was working with student writers, I hired a professional editor and graphic designer. Ultimately that led to my downfall. I didn’t know how to do the business side of things and I lost a lot of money. I failed at 22 and that was pretty crushing, but what doesn’t break you makes you stronger and I learned from that mistake.
I also learned that to sell something, you have to package it really well. I learned about branding and pitching, and later when I worked on a magazine, I learned the importance of storytelling. Everyone wants to hear a good story. That’s important to me as I wanted to be a writer ever since I was a child. My childhood was pretty rough. I was born in England and went to a pretty tough school in Calcutta. Reading and writing was always a way of escaping reality for me. Now blogging is a way of escaping into a whole new world. I love looking back and remembering the things I’ve done. That’s a long and roundabout answer, but that’s how I got into blogging.
Where’s your favourite place you’ve travelled?
I lived in Edinburgh for many years. I know it intimately and I never tire of it. It’s the joy of a place you know well, like the joy of being in love. It’s comfortable – a warm, fuzzy blanket. It still inspires my curiosity like when I see a little plaque – Robert Browning lived here –that sort of thing.
It sounds like the perfect relationship
Exactly. I once met a French girl who I had a massive crush on. She was talking about all these amazing men she’d been with. She was being so open about it. I asked her what it was like for her being in a long-term relationship, and she said evey day she discovered a new layer in that person – every day was a new adventure. That’s how it should be with a city you love.
What’s your greatest fear?
I was in a four-year marriage that broke up. I was scared of the idea of being alone, and especially travelling alone. I was never very good at being by myself. Through travelling, I overcame that fear. I’ve relaised that even when I’m by myself, I’m not alone. I have amazing thoughts and great conversations in my head.
What’s your worst habit?
I snore – apparently just for the first 15 minutes. I’d also like to be a better listener. I get so enthusiastic that I suffer from verbal diarrhea. You can learn so much if you’re a good listener.