In this episode, I chat about how Founder of Hands On Journey, Simla Sooboodoo. Simla shares how she found her purpose after having two major brain surgeries back in 2007. She shares how her whole perspective change and she walked away feeling born again and that she was had a purpose. Simla also shares how she always had a passion for travel but she wanted to create a bridge between the travelers and the communities they traveled, she wanted to have an impact that was both sustainable and long term. From here empowerment tourism was born.
Simla Sooboodoo may have started life as a girl in Mauritius watching the planes fly overhead and doubting she’d ever fly in one, but life has turned out very differently. Simla now runs her own company, Hands On Journeys, and strives to promote the concept of Empowerment Tourism.
After migrating to Australia, Simla studied accounting and worked her way up to a position as a regional finance manager for a large tour operator, but wanted to make more of a difference. She survived a health crisis and nearly died and decided there was no better time to invest in her own company, creating tours that helped give back to local communities and empower them to create their own better futures.
Starting Hands on Journeys was always more than a job or business to Simla, it was about turning everything she is passionate about into part of her daily life. She spends a lot of time on the road now as she likes to be as involved in the communities and tours as possible. From training new tour guides to researching the projects and communities Hands On Journeys will work with, these are all parts of the business that are so important to her she cannot imagine delegating them to her team. Helping to empower women in countries as diverse as Fiji, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Mexico, and Australia has created an entirely new and immensely satisfying career.