Verushka Ramasami is one of those people who has let her love and passion for travelling pave her career path. Despite feet now firmly rooted in sunny Durban, Verushka has travelled to over 25 countries but believes in not keeping count but rather creating memories and experiences to last a lifetime.
She has worked with several tourism boards around the world and runs her a popular local blog called the Spicegoddess. Using her experience and passion Verushka remains hard at work creating a community of South Africans who want to explore both locally and abroad.
How did you fall in love with travelling?
To say I was born with gypsy blood would be fairly accurate as both my parents (even before getting married) had severe cases of wanderlust which trickled down to my brother and I. My first travel experience that kick-started my love of travelling was when I was 6 years old and we all ventured off to Swaziland (grandparents included). As a kid, the idea of going on a road trip, staying in a hotel and trying out new food was such an adventure. My love for travel fully bloomed when I ventured off to London in 2001 to teach in the East End.
What kind of traveller are you?
I am the type of traveller that wants the local experience. I want to eat local street food, visit corner stores and places of worship. My travel plans never include buying designer products but rather locally produced items that I can bring back home, such as various spices, teas, and coffees. I am also a planner of note so before I travel, I spend a lot of time researching my destination.
What’s your travel philosophy?
“Spend money on experiences and not things” is one of my favourite quotes and one that I truly feel changes the way one lives and spends. Over time I have learnt that there is very little I need to buy and instead I save that money for my travels. Material objects take up space, get broken, or lost, but experiences last a lifetime!
What are your top travel essentials?
A powerbank is a must-have to keep my phone and camera charged, but a good pair of walking shoes is always an important investment. I also like to keep a cotton shawl on hand, for if you need to cover your head or shoulders when visiting places of worship. A foldable backpack is also great once you reach your destination and you need a bit more space than a handbag.
Where was your most memorable trip?
It would have to be a month-long road trip from Durban to Cape Town along the Garden Route with my parents and brother. We stopped off along the way to spend a few nights in different places to explore and eat locally. We arrived in the Mother City on Christmas Eve and that was the start of an amazing festive season!
How has travelling changed your life?
Travelling has made me realise that occupy a very small place in the world and that there is still so much to explore, eat, see and do. My travel adventures have taught the importance of friends, travelling like a local and most importantly, supporting locals.
When borders open again and the world starts to return to ‘a new normal’ what’s your first travel destination on your list?
It would definitely be a local trip exploring my province of KwaZulu Natal with a trip to the Midlands Meander. As for internationally, I’d love to explore Asia, especially India but in all fairness, my heart longs for an Indian Ocean Island getaway.
Best travel advice you can share?
Explore local, plan ‘staycations’ in your own city, but no matter where you go, always be kind to the locals. Be mindful and respect their culture and religion.