How To Be Another Ibn Battuta in the 21st century

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by Anannya Deb on Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fringe, Geekery & Life Hacks

Session type
BoF Meet

Technical level


The plethora of social media apps have made traveling more than just a personal experience. The real time posting of updates, photos, videos, etc. allows people to engage with a wider audience (and may be annoyance for a few who don’t like a stream of pictures of kids frolicking in the sand).

In the past, travelers never had these tools. All they could do was jot down their experiences using their quills on papyrus and then put them up in some library. To this day, many of these works are still referred to in the understanding of cultures. Some did not even bother to do that and when sitting in a pub back home with friends, they would invent fantastic tales about their travels, many of which ended up as “official” descriptions and histories of places.

Today, as a number of online travelogues (The River Diaries, The Noble Mansion are some excellent examples) show us, tools like blogs, Twitter, Instagram, etc. can be used very imaginatively to build deeper knowledge and insights about places, cultures and how people live, besides creating records and documentation about things.

Combining two areas of passion - traveling and history - modern day tools allow anyone to become a traveling historian i.e. a modern day Ibn Battuta.

So how can one become such?


Two things are essential - a love for traveling and a keen interest in history / chronicling / narratives

My top of the mind vision for this session is to invite a couple of people who are doing such activities to share their practices, their experiences. Simultaneously, through an interactive house, we build a simple set of do’s and don’ts for people to follow.

(As I engage more on the subject, I will be able to provide more specifics on the session)

Speaker bio

Anannya Deb, traveler, business consultant, resident in Mumbai, TGPer Class of 2013.