Bridging time gaps, I caught up with her over a call, as she is abroad shooting for yet another movie.
Find out more about Taapsee’s favourite destinations, what travelling really means to her as she shares some anecdotes of her travels and some travel tips with me.
It is also something that helps her step away from the film industry and the people she is continuously surrounded by. “In some ways, it also helps me grow,” she says.
Call of the ocean
The moment she lays her eyes on water, she feels a wave of relaxation sweeping through her.
Though she enjoys travelling to Europe, her all-time favourite vacation destination is the Maldives, as she is a beach person. “I think it is heaven. I remember the few days I spent there after my first film released. I got my scuba diving license and discovered a whole new world underwater. I could see an infinite view of the ocean as I was living in an ocean villa. It was just amazing.”
Of course there is no comparison between holiday and work travel, and she is quick to point that out. “On a holiday, there are no alarms, nowhere to reach on time, no one to ask you questions or no goals to achieve. But work travel is totally different from taking a break or a vacation,” she says.
Taapsee reveals that she can’t take the cold climate, despite growing up in Delhi. “Winter freezes my brain,” she says. So the weather of a place is a crucial deciding factor for her when she chooses a vacation destination. Next on her bucket list is New Zealand. Her schedules permitting, she may make a beeline for it and escape the Indianwinter this year. “Our winters mean summer in New Zealand, and that’s the only time I can visit,” she says.
Of the relatively less popular destinations, the one that she recently visited is Seville, popular for its flamenco dancing, which is the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region.
In India, she is yet to visit the North East, but as much as she has seen of India, so far she enjoys Kerala and its backwaters, the ocean always beckoning her. “I am a huge fan of the backwaters, the beaches, the sea and its beauty,” she confesses.
Taapsee doesn’t mind travelling solo, but has a great travelling companion in her sister, Shagun Pannu. Shagun, Taapsee and their friend are co-founders of a wedding planning startup called the The Wedding Factory. Since Shagun is her own boss, it gives her the flexibility to travel with Taaspee.
It is my thumb rule that I don’t go to the same restaurant twice, even if I have to walk a kilometer or two. “I experiment with food and explore new places and even if I am staying in a hotel, I won’t eat there more than once,” she says.
According to Taapsee, the best way to explore a city is by going local. “Walk as much as you can. I rarely take a taxi. Until and unless I am dying or my feet are hurting, I don’t get into a taxi. I love the local transport and use the trains, the trams etc., because that is the only way I am going to see the city.” To make that easy and smooth, she advises that it's good to not just wear comfortable pair of shoes for all the walking, but also go by train, and use metro cards to make the travel smoother.
Whether it is an Airbnb, a boutique hotel or a luxury villa, she says, “The location is important. You need to be in the city centre to stay connected and ease of movement and connectivity.”
She mostly plans all her travels and uses travel-friendly apps that help her keep track of travel and plan her time better.
The one thing that she and her sister keep away from are museums. “We aren’t into museums, so we prefer monuments and places of interest to spending a day at the museum.”
When bringing back things and shopping, Taapsee’s advice...
And what does she bring back from her travels to remind her of the place, “A fridge magnet,” she says, “I buy a magnet from every city, or state, or country I visit.”