‘ON EV­ERY TRIP TO GREECE, I DIS­COVER NEW THINGS AND HID­DEN GEMS’

San­deep Das be­lieves that travel can of­fer you learn­ings that are of­ten not pos­si­ble in the com­fort of a daily rou­tine. His love for all things mytho­log­i­cal has taken him on mul­ti­ple trips to Greece, where he rel­ished not only the de­li­cious cui­sine, but a

Impact - - CONTENTS - SAN­DEEP DAS, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, SCOOTSY

TRAVEL HAS IN­SPIRED MY WORK

There’s a lot of things that travel can of­fer you. It can widen your hori­zons, open up a world of ex­pe­ri­ences and op­por­tu­ni­ties; but most of all it is an ed­u­ca­tion. While trav­el­ling, you go through ex­pe­ri­ences that are not pos­si­ble in the com­fort zone of your daily life. These could even be the peo­ple you meet; peo­ple seated right next to you on a flight or at a bar. These chance en­coun­ters are per­haps the best thing about trav­el­ling. In sev­eral ways, my trav­els have been an in­spi­ra­tion for me at work and even in my per­sonal life. For ex­am­ple, the in­spi­ra­tion for Scootsy came from a com­pany called Tok Tok Tok, a French com­pany that runs a concierge ser­vice. I saw a com­mer­cial for the com­pany and even met a bunch of peo­ple that worked with them. We were al­ready plan­ning to start Scootsy around then, but this visit to Paris helped fast track our launch here in Mum­bai.

THE MAG­I­CAL LURE OF GREECE

Choos­ing one mem­o­rable travel ex­pe­ri­ence would be very dif­fi­cult be­cause there have been so many! How­ever, if I had to choose one, it would def­i­nitely be Greece. My first trip to the coun­try was in 2009, at a time when the ATMs in the coun­try were not dis­pens­ing any cash. What struck me was that ev­ery­one looked happy in the midst of such a huge cri­sis. Their re­silience and sense of con­tent­ment was un­be­liev­able! I have al­ways had a keen in­ter­est in ar­chi­tec­ture, his­tory, and art and mythol­ogy, and that is what prompted my first visit to Greece. Across the coun­try, you will find some­thing note­wor­thy in terms of cul­ture and ar­chi­tec­ture. For ex­am­ple, in Athens, you will find places that have in­cred­i­ble sto­ries be­hind them. I vis­ited the sta­dium where the first Olympics were held. It’s im­pos­si­ble to de­scribe the feel­ing when you’re stand­ing in the sta­dium - you feel like you’ve been trans­ported to the time of that his­tor­i­cal event. It’s al­most like you can hear the crowds cheer­ing around you. It’s sur­real! An­other place I will never for­get is Me­te­ora, a place in cen­tral Greece where there are monas­ter­ies on top of a cliff. There are com­mu­ni­ties of her­mit monks that live there. I have never seen any­thing like that be­fore; it was amaz­ing! I even vis­ited a place near Del­phi that was made fa­mous by the movie 300. Since my first visit in 2009, I have vis­ited the coun­try thrice, each time dis­cov­er­ing new things and hid­den gems, and I am cer­tain there is more to see. So, there will def­i­nitely be a fourth, fifth and sixth visit too! On my next vis­its, I would like to ex­plore and spend time in the old, tra­di­tional Greek vil­lages.

ON THE FOOD TRAIL

I have eaten some in­cred­i­ble food in Greece on ev­ery visit. There is a street close to the Cen­tre Square in Athens just off the li­brary that is lined with restau­rants, with most of the seat­ing out­doors. It’s great to just sit there, tuck into some fan­tas­tic gyro rolls and sal­ads, and take in the sights and sounds around you. My favourite din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in Greece how­ever was at a restau­rant called Kiki’s, on the is­land of Mykonos. It is a small, fam­ily-run restau­rant at the edge of a hill, so while you’re din­ing there, there’s noth­ing in front of you ex­cept the sea. De­spite the fact that it is a no-frills place with zero mar­ket­ing, it is very pop­u­lar among tourists and there is of­ten a queue out­side for ta­bles. Their food is di­vine; but what re­ally makes ev­ery­thing ex­tra spe­cial is the quaint­ness of the place and the breath­tak­ing view.

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