Hi, I am Raj (my full name – Prithviraj Bhattacharya). I am the founder and editor of this website. I started my professional career having received an engineering degree in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur). I had subsequently received professional certification from ITSqc, a unit of Carnegie Mellon University (USA).
So you might be wondering what am I doing here on a travel website? All I can say that life can change along the way as it did for me, took a complete ‘U’ turn and I re-discovered myself, and this time as a travel blogger… don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Here is my story…
As I stepped into the corporate world, I found success at a relatively young age… great recognition and pay as I kept climbing the corporate ladder to eventually find myself in senior management roles in giant global companies like IBM where I worked for the last 10+ years of my corporate career. However, that success was accompanied by huge stressful conditions and it was silently eating into me… I realized that I was losing my work-life balance.
There came a time when some serious thoughts passed my mind and I wondered if this was the way I wanted to spend rest of my active life. My wife often questioned me… “Do you ever notice how’s our son growing up?”… that thought haunted me for long, and I often found myself in the cross-roads of an established corporate career and a rising passion to break out. Knowing well that the latter had an unknown future, eventually, the passion got the better of the two and I decided to quit my job in 2010. My last job role was Vice President heading Consulting Service Delivery for IBM India & South Asia.
But why travel blogging?
I have always been an avid traveller… at the age of 16, I managed to save from my school allowances and set off for a 15-day tour to the hills in Darjeeling all on my own… hitchhiking and backpacking all the way. Subsequently, I have travelled to many parts of the world. During my early corporate years I moved to Boston (USA), worked and lived there, drove to 17 states within the US as well as in Canada. And I loved travelling all my life.
Over the years I travelled to many countries in Europe including England, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and more, and a number of countries in Australasia and Asia including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. I have also vacationed in the North Atlantic island Bermuda. And I visited a number of these countries several times. All these travels have been mainly motivated by my passion to explore the land, people and culture.
It was a passion for travel and the memories that started driving me to re-think about life. I started writing travelogues in my spare time which I shared only with my personal friends. The feedback encouraged me to dig deeper into travel writing. In 2008 I created my first website. It all started like a hobby writing about places that I loved.
Gradually over time I kept adding content, interacted with viewers, tried my association with Google for possible monetization, and slowly it started to work! In 2010 I handed over my papers, quit my job and turned into a full-time travel blogger… and there was no looking back since then. In June 2018, I created this website MyEuropeDays.com and started writing articles to share my experiences in various European countries.
Right from the beginning, my mission has been to create top-quality content, provide insightful answers to questions and help travellers realize their travel dreams.
Do I do anything else?
Yes, of course! While most of the time I am either travelling or glued to my laptop writing or updating articles, I am a big-time fan of Cricket – a sport that I loved since my childhood. I seldom miss a chance to see a big game of cricket either live on TV or on the ground.
I love to start my day with a cup of coffee and the melodies of Lionel Richie, Eric Clapton, Julio Iglesias, John Mayer and the likes. On the weekends I love to enjoy a drink or two (usually whiskey) and get into jovial and often meaningless conversations with my family and friends.
I have been a driving fanatic and drove through 17 states in the US, but one of my favourite drives was from Boston to Canada via Buffalo and Niagra over to Toronto, then all the way to Kingston, Montreal, Quebec City and back via Vermont… a 1,500-mile drive over a long weekend. And another one in Tasmania (in Australia) for 750 miles exploring its counties.
Sometimes I switch to the technical world… that’s perhaps because of my technology background. For over 15 years I had been a Governing Body Member of the Technology Board (called TIETS and STEP) of Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur). The Board Members met several times in a year and decided on the future course of actions around incubating budding technology entrepreneurs, making better tech infrastructure, growing industry relationship, and such.
What are my rewards?
I have an association with Google and other leading platforms to display ads on my website. Since the time I started these publishing partnerships in 2009, the viewership and ad revenue from the websites have continued to grow and remained a major source of earning. And the affiliations with large online businesses such as Viator and Booking.com give me a great backup earning. Honestly, my websites have given me all the financial freedom I wanted, in fact, more. I can now travel to any place in the world at my own will and with no strings attached… this I think has been the greatest reward in my life.
But was it easy? By no means… it required unrelenting hard work and commitment day after day and for over 10 years to get to where it is today. And there were only two compelling forces behind me to make this happen… it’s my love for travel backed by a passion for travel blogging.