Blogging has made me believe that if you follow your passion and keep working hard without worrying about the results, good things are sure to happen. When I had started blogging I had never thought it would turn out to be a beautiful journey of amazing experiences. Now, blogging has become priceless for me. While the year 2013 was about events and celebrities (remember I got a chance to interact with Shahrukh Khan and many bigwigs), 2014 was about International traveling. If you have been reading my blog, you would know I went on fully paid trips to Malaysia and Oman through my blogging wins. And thats not all, I also won an international ticket to Singapore for my post that I wrote for Skyscanner Blogging meet that happened in New Delhi via Indiblogger.
Through this post I will share my experience of being hosted at the Skyscanner office in Singapore. If I look back I would say my Singapore story kicked off on the day itself when the Blogging Meet happened on 1st March 2014 in New Delhi, India. Being bitten with the travel bug, it was natural for me to fall in love with everything that had the slightest mention of ‘Travel’. In those five hours, Skyscanner people and bloggers talked nothing but travel and thus I was smitten by the brand. Honestly I love their name too since sky has always fascinated me since childhood.
Back home when I went ga- ga over it and told my family about my new discovery that how this site could help plan travels and compare the best flights, hotels, car hire rates etc, hubby was quick to add to its credibility. He said ‘Its a known name in Europe and I have used it there’. But one thing I did not tell them was that I could win a big prize with Skyscanner if I wrote a blogpost about the meet. I schemed it silently and submitted my post in time.
On 4th June 2014, what landed in my inbox will always remain one of my #Wowmoment. My best friend had been living in Singapore since 2010 and her picture uploads on FB had made me absolutely curious about this sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. Now, I had the tickets to my travel too.
You may read the winning post at the below link.
In the following week, I decided my dates for travel and Skyscanner people acted super quick on it. By 18th June, I had the e-tickets in my inbox. Not just this, they were accommodating too. Initially I was asked to avail the tickets till October end but on my request they let me plan my travel from 1st to 7th November. Thankfully they did because on 30th October I returned from Muscat and 31st night I was again boarding a plane to Singapore. (Two blogging trips one after the other)
I had planned to explore Singapore with hubby and celebrate our third anniversary in this tiny but beautiful country which was once a British colony and now basks in the glory of beautiful blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western cultures. While my tickets were already intact, hubby got his done on the same flight, we booked a hotel on the Lavender street and were all set for our visit that one day I got a DM from Skscanner on twitter. By this time Skyscanner India and I were mutually following each other. I had recommended it to everyone who had mentioned travel to me and Skyscanner ensured that they retweeted all my travel posts.
I felt so happy about the below message. And obviously I accepted the invitation.
And on our 5th day in Singapore, I visited their office. All this while I dint know that I was interacting with Mr. Ravish Doctor, (Marketing Manager, Skyscanner) on twitter until he shared his number. Reaching the office was hassle free just that I got late because it began to drizzle and then rain on that day. We had planned the fifth day such that we walked down from the colorful Chinatown to magnificent Buddha Tooth and Relic Temple to Singapore Gallery to and then finally to Skyscanner office at 8th floor, Robinson Point, 39 Robinson Road, Singapore 068911.
Skyscanner, Singapore Office from Inside
It was a pleasure to meet Ravish and Kavita again. They had come for the blogging meet in Delhi. Ravish took me around the office. I must say Skyscanner has a cool ambiance. The walls and flooring in blue, pink and white came so soothing to the eyes. The xbox, pingpong table, meeting rooms named after travel destinations and quite less number of human heads made it look such a happy, uncluttered and creatively done place. I spotted ‘Taj Mahal’ too.
TAJ MAHAL, meeting room
Andy Sleigh, General Manager at work
Later Ravish introduced me to Andy Sleigh, General Manager of Skyscanner, APAC as well. He congratulated me for my win and said I must continue to blog. I felt proud when Ravish told me that they often invite bloggers from Singapore and other countries but I was the first Indian blogger to visit this office. Later we sat in one of the meeting room which read as Forbidden City, a city in Beijing. (Honestly, I had never heard about this city and thought this was some forbidden place.) In the room, Ravish, Manik (hubby) and I chatted about India, Singapore and our favorite thing- traveling. We learnt quite much from him about Singapore living, day to day life, commuting, norms, policies, jobs etc and it helped us to see Singapore from an NRI’s point of view. After books, I guess talking about places, travels and experiences bonds people perfectly.
After the chatty conversation, I walked around the office and clicked pictures. Before leaving, I also met Antoinette tan, (content manager, apac). She was a sweet young lady. When Kavita (Senior Marketing Manager, Skyscanner) returned from her meeting, we got a chance to talk about travel blogging in India and how it was growing big. Also we agreed on the fact that the young generation was traveling and there was a rising craze for exploring the unknown places against the touristy attractions. Overall, I returned happy and inspired with a dream that some day I wanna work in a workplace where it would all be about creativity, passion and not just pay-package. I had a great time in their office and I will always remember this sweet gesture.
Skyscanning Journey that started in 2004
Tea, Coffee, Juices, Fruits, Anyone?
Eat the inspiring thought at the coffee break.
The Marketing Mangers- Ravish and Kavita
L to R : Manik, I and Ravish Doctor.
M stooped down so that the screen could be read properly ‘Welcome to Skyscanner’
I returned with two beautiful diaries.
There couldn’t be a better gift than this because I love collecting diaries.
There is so much to write about the Singapore trip but I wanted to start with this one first.
Thank you both Indiblogger and Skyscanner.
I will begin adding blogposts in ‘Singapore Series’ soon.