21 Travel Secrets From Journalist Sumita Chakraborty

This well-travelled lady is the Editor-in-Chief of Stardust Magazine

A journalist by profession, dreamer by nature, and incredibly fun to talk to! Team TS was let in on some of her secrets :

1. Most stunning view of natural beauty you’ve ever seen:

In Ireland. The Giant’s Causeway. I loved the story behind this natural formation and I loved the view.  

2. You’ve got a free ticket to anywhere in the world. Where would you go and why?

Paris. I’m a romantic – I would love to visit the city of love.

3. Aisle or window? Why?

Aisle…easier to go to the washroom.

4. One memorable meal you experienced on a journey:

Serbian food is yummy. I loved the ajvar, sarma, and gibanica.

sumita chakraborty travel secrets

5. A hair-raising moment from your travels

So, it was my first visit to Belgium and on the first day itself, though I didn’t even bother to remember the unpronounceable name of my hotel, I just wandered off through the beautiful streets that told so many myriad tales. At one corner, I found a beautiful Chapel and went inside to check out the architecture and history. The priest sat me down and we chatted till 8 in the evening. I got out of the chapel and realised I didn’t have a clue where my hotel was or for that matter, its name.

Added to that, I saw a bunch of suspicious guys giving me the glad eye. To my horror, they started following me but before they turned into the proverbial Hindi film baddies, they walked away to the nearest pub – it wasn’t me that was getting the glad eye, it was the golden bubbly pitchers of beer. Anyway, it did unsettle me a bit and a little perturbed, I started walking faster through the many veins of lanes but it was like a maze. Darkness was setting in. I was lost and tired. But thankfully, the climax of my adventure was happy – the people there were very helpful – one fine gentleman lent me his phone and I called up my tour guide and thankfully, with her directions, I reached my hotel safe and sound.  

6. One place you’ll probably never go back to, and why?

A little café near the Church of Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel. Like always, I wandered off again and sat down at this little café waiting for my fellow travellers. The owner sat down opposite me and made small talk. I was eager to know about Jerusalem so I spoke to him rather animatedly. Suddenly, he ran his hands on my arm and told me, “I love your brown skin.” There was this vendor who was selling jewellery close by, he too closed into me and told me the owner likes you. With wild thoughts of me being sold off as a slave to the Arabs, I rushed off from that place like there were bees chasing me. During our second visit to the Church, I refused to even go in that direction.   

7. A smart trick or tip you’ve learned as an avid traveler

I always pick up some basic words of the country I visit so that I can more or less converse with the locals.

8. One travel mistake you’ll never make again

Wandering off without knowing the name of my hotel.

9. One country that surprised you in the most amazing way—and why?

Mauritius. It was serene, and soothing yet had wonderful nightlife.  Loved the place and the people…

sumita chakraborty travel secrets
Mauritius. Courtesy : Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority

10. What’s the first thing you look for in a hotel room?

The view.

11. Besides Maps, one travel app you find essential:

Travel Weather

12. The longest—or most wonderful— road trip you’ve ever taken

Ireland. From Dublin to Belfast.

13. Your favourite airport

Thailand– Suvarnabhumi Airport – each time I’ve been to Thailand, the flight has been delayed for hours and I sit down chatting with fellow travellers.  I know every nook and cranny of Suvarnabhumi Airport because of this. 

14. One coffee shop or restaurant, anywhere in the world, which you loved and why?

One Coffee House at Quranic Park in Dubai.

15. The passport stamp you’re the most proud of, and why?

Ireland… Gone there thrice and hoping to visit it again and again.

16. The roughest terrain you’ve ever trodden

sumita chakraborty travel secrets

Cameron Heights in Malaysia.

17. The most interesting thing you’ve brought back from your travels

Souvenirs from every country I visited.

18. One gift from India you like taking for your friends abroad


19. One book or movie that made you want to travel:

Under The Tuscan Sun (film) and The Caliph’s House: A Year In Casablanca by Tahir Shah

sumita chakraborty

20. Fill in the blank: I always carry a ….in my bag

A dictionary. I love to read the dictionary… a quirk I have.  

21. Use three words to describe yourself as a traveler

Adventurous (in my head I am), Confused ( I get lost always) and Curious (about the history and culture of the place).

If you want in on more such travel secrets, here’s what we have for you!

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