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Immerse Yourself in the Day-to-Day Life of an Artist With VAWAA

Courtesy of VAWAA VAWAA pairs travelers with artisans in 27 countries—and counting. Everyone’s idea of a good vacation may be different, but one issue seems to be universal: finding the “real” side of a new place. The desire to find authenticity and meaning during travel has only increased during the pandemonium of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are asking: What’s the best way to intimately connect with a new destination? Digital startup…

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Thanks to VAWAA Travelers and craftsmen are matched by VAWAA in 27 countries so far.

While everyone has a distinct view of what makes a nice holiday, one problem seems to be shared by all travelers: discovering the “true” side of a new location. In the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to experience authenticity and significance has only grown. What’s the greatest technique to develop a close connection with a new place, many people wonder? Vacation With an Artist (VAWAA), a digital firm, might be the answer.

Geetika Agrawal, the company’s founder and CEO, established VAWAA in 2015. It offers personalized vacations that connect visitors with an artisan of their choosing. The 113 experiences offered by VAWAA, which have taken place in 27 different nations to far, range from learning Japanese calligraphy in Kyoto to experiencing the more than 200-year-old Black Appalachian quilting tradition in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The website regularly adds new trips; recent additions include a four-day stay with a couple of sculptors in Santa Fe and a trip to Guadalajara, Mexico, to visit a ceramics artist. Via its activities, VAWAA wants to help travelers develop deeper connections with the nations they visit through art.

It’s easy to make a reservation with VAWAA: Visitors can browse the many artist experiences, check for openings, and submit a request to schedule their trip straight on the website. Visitors will reside in artists’ houses while they are with VAWAA and will be totally involved in the daily activities of their new teacher. A VAWAA excursion costs between $215 to $4,470 and includes lodging, access to the artist’s studio, materials, and supplies in addition to payment for the artist’s time and lessons. There is probably a VAWAA excursion that will meet the needs of guests looking for a weekend getaway or an immersive, longer vacation because vacations last between one and seven days.

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Agrawal has a background in architecture and design. Before relocating to Pasadena, California, to pursue a graduate degree at the ArtCenter College of Design, she completed her undergraduate studies at CEPT University in Ahmedabad, India. Agrawal traveled all around India learning about the artisanal skills unique to each region while she was a summer student at CEPT University. She explains, “India is so rich in crafts. “I was highly exposed to everything, including ceramics, woodworking, metal crafts, and textiles. Every summer would bring something fresh.

Agrawal chose to take a year off after working for several years in the corporate world, including a brief period at the international marketing firm R/GA in New York City. She had a vague concept in the back of her mind to someday create the company that would become VAWAA—and her full-time calling—inspired by her summer excursions to India while in college. She made the decision to spend a month visiting 12 different nations to look for artisans who were dedicated to maintaining their own crafts. She met Erik Lawart, a shoemaker who has been creating footwear since he was 12 years old, in the Czech Republic. He joined VAWAA as the organization’s first artist ever.

In Agrawal’s experience, recruiting new artists to the startup’s roster wasn’t tough. In fact, the majority rejoiced at the chance to meet new people and share their passion. Selling them on [VAWAA] wasn’t difficult, she says. “Artists desire to instruct. They favor individuals who are really curious and eager to learn. It’s a mutual exchange that may be quite satisfying for all parties.

Agrawal believes that the lessons learned by those who take part in VAWAA will stay with them long after they return home. She claims that since the pandemic, there has been a significant change in how people plan their holidays. In a tumultuous social environment, more visitors are trying to make sense of things and find calm. People don’t want things to return to normal, according to Agrawal. “People are stepping back and pausing to rethink their life. Alone, it is quite difficult. We seek guides because of this, much like artists.

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Agrawal ultimately believes that VAWAA will be able to maintain the talents of artists who might not have an apprentice to pass their work onto, in addition to being able to infuse meaning into the lives of visitors. According to her, “it’s a means to prolong the life of a skill, of a tradition.” “Humanity’s crafts and our culture are preserved as more people learn about them, take them seriously as careers, and possibly adopt them as a new way of life. This is an enjoyable and useful technique to accomplish it.

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