Staff Spotlight: Gourav Jaiswal



Gourav belongs from one of the tribal villages in central India called Kurai. He studied his electronics and telecommunication engineering and chose to work in rural India for a sustainable development of communities over a luxurious corporate career.

How does your organization differ from other ones in the industry?

We are offering gap year and experiential trips in forest areas of central India, and our team is working on community development programs in these areas for last 6 Years. Most of us come from the same communities and understand the details at a deeper level. So we are not just a gap year travel agency, but we are a community organization that works on hosting people in our own community and work together for the change.

We also prefer interacting with travelers before the visit and exploring their skills and interests, and then designing trips which makes the program much useful for both the stakeholders.

Also, we try to add on practices like Yoga, meditations, self-exploration techniques, which facilitates a parallel "journey within" which helps travelers in self-development.

What is one thing you would tell any future gapper?

A gap year is a great opportunity to explore options for your future studies, career etc. But it's a much bigger opportunity to explore yourself, to explore what drives you? what excites you the most? what touches your soul?

So don't just think of it as another thing you can add on to your CV, but you are putting your time, resources and more than everything you are putting yourselves into a journey, and it's a great opportunity to come out with something for yourself, which can make you a better person and your life more worthwhile. So while choosing a time, destination, project whatever for your gap year, think about these questions to yourself.

What is the level of cultural immersion your gappers receive?

As we look for making experiences more insightful for the travelers, by giving enough opportunities to interact and work with the local community, taste local food, experience local art, cultural immersion is one of the biggest emphasis of our trips. We also try to keep the reverse process on where the community can get a glimpse of cultures travelers are coming from so that it becomes a two-way experience.

How does going on a gap year with Experientia prepare young people for college?

Our community projects on rural education, sustainable livelihood, and other development issues help students understand ground realities. So for any student who is looking to opt education, sustainability, development studies, etc. as an option for further studies, our trips can provide him a great field experience of the same, which can help in making an important decision on her/his career choices.

Also, our trip on tiger conservation can be of great help for someone looking to opt environment, conservation, biodiversity etc. as a career option.

How far in advance should students start preparing for a gap year? And how should they prepare?

Every student must take at least 6 months time to plan what exactly they want to do during the gap year. To plan, the first thing they must think of is to come up with a clear purpose of their gap year.

A few questions that a traveler must ask herself/himself are-

1. What are those questions they are looking to answer for themselves?

2. How can the gap time help them improve themselves as a person?

Travellers must write down the questions first and it will help them make their choices of travel, destinations, experiences, agencies etc. during the gap year.