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The Road Less Travelled

The World At Her Feet is a women’s travel group in the UAE expanding the horizons of its female clientele and forging life-long friendships.

For Paulomi Bhatt, travel is a way of life, a passion she has had since childhood when she remembers many hours spent dreaming of far away places and imagining exploring them all. When the female entrepreneur recognised a gap in the market that would indulge her wanderlust, it was a dream come true. During her conversations with other women, Paulomi saw that the majority of them would love to travel more but felt restricted for a number of reasons, such as having an overworked spouse who couldn’t get the time off work, not knowing how to go about organising their trip, or feeling nervous about traveling alone. Likewise, the traditional ‘package’ holiday wasn’t something they were inspired by either. And so, The World At Her Feet was born, a unique travel group based in the UAE for women between the ages of 25 and 70 and limited to only 10 to 20 participants on each vacation.

The company provides safe trips for women to a number of stunning locations and includes sightseeing tours, wellness tours and culinary tours, as well as family trips during the holiday periods. What underpins them all is the desire to travel together and have fun. According to Paulomi it is a formula that has proved very successful:

‘‘the response has been tremendous. Many women are looking for opportunities to travel and this gives them an option to join others with a common goal. It’s great to see so many female travellers here in the UAE looking to join travel groups.’’

Over the years, the destinations have expanded and now include Hong Kong, Russia, South America, Iceland, Galapagos, the Amazon Basin, South Africa and Georgia. Paulomi selects several countries first and then gives clients the opportunity to vote and make the final decision on where to go: ‘’This allows them to interact and get involved from the very beginning. The group is about them so they have to be part of the selection process,’’ she explains.

Paulomi is assisted by local tour guides on each of the trips, as well as a coach who frequently joins the groups. One of the main priorities is safety and Paulomi believes that this is what gives the women the confidence to travel to places they may otherwise not have felt comfortable going alone.

‘’We travel as a group of women but we partner up with experienced tour operators who are equipped for all sorts of emergencies, so it’s not simply us packing off and trekking the world on our own. We offer different experiences and well-trained guides who can handle any situation so there’s no question of not being safe. Because each trip is varied, the logistics differ tremendously but safety is the focus throughout.’’

For Nancy Shaikh who recently experienced her first trip with The World At Her Feet to Iceland, it was a truly liberating adventure.

‘’I love to travel but everyone in the family likes different things so it can be hard to find a common destination. Travelling with the group there were no moans and groans or anyone dragging their heels because everyone wanted to be there. It gave me a real sense of independence and freedom. The trip was made all the more memorable because we all got on so well.’’

Paulomi agrees that this sense of sharing in the experience and the excitement is what makes the concept so special.

‘’These days more and more women are travelling alone whether married or single and joining a women’s travel group is ideal as you are in an environment of like-minded travellers.’’

And with plans for more destinations, as well as broadening the scope of the holidays, there is no doubt that Paulomi is in her element watching others expand their horizons and see the world.

‘’As an individual, travel allows you to grow. For me the journey is not the final destination but the process and the learning along the way.’’ she adds.

For more information, visit: www.theworldatherfeet.com