With a Master’s degree in software engineering, Raj Rishi has always been looking for ways to contribute to the most marginalized segments of his homeland, India. Based In Kolkata, since very young age he has been associated with the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa, assisting them as a volunteer. He had grown up in a very traditional Hindu family with a very strong inclination towards devotion and music. Being trained in Indian music since childhood, he had always felt that music can touch heart of people irrespective of any languages or geographical barriers. Over the last few years, after returning back to India from the UK, he has travelled the length and breadth of South Asian Countries, mesmerised by the varied traditions, culture, architectures, and particularly by spiritual aspect of every states. Raj is an integral part of the Conscious Journeys, managing bookings in Kolkata office and assisting all our guests. One of his major objectives in co-founding the Organisation has been to give a real taste of his culture and tradition to travellers and at the same time help the backward classes of his society through responsible tourism.
Leonardo is a development consultant and social entrepreneur. Before co-founding Conscious Journeys he has been a researcher of development Anthropology at the University of Sussex in the UK. He is passionate about all South Asian countries, where he worked for several years implementing development projects. The idea of creating the company came to him after completing the field work for his PhD with indigenous communities of South India. For him responsible tourism could be an interesting way to make a difference in people’s lives. His major interests in creating Conscious Journeys were linked to community based tourism, environment and cultural diversity. He has built up a with a good academic and practical knowledge about India’s culture, ecology and history, which enabled him to design innovative itineraries for our guest to experience the best and the most authentic taste and flavour of South Asian cultures. All the itineraries contains important aspects as to really enjoy genuine life experiences, and at the same time contributing to local communities. He is committed towards protection of biological and cultural diversity of indigenous people as to enable them to obtain fair and equitable sharing arising from the extraordinary beauty of natural and cultural resources available in their territories. While designing new itineraries he is always in search of the best trade-off between comfort and authentic experience for our guests and the maximum benefits for hosting communities.
Itineraries creator and cultural mediator
Daniela is a Yoga teacher and ayurvedic therapist, graduated at the ‘Yoga Vidya Gurukul’ in Nasik, India. Since 1994, she has travelled all over the Indian subcontinent, from the Gange lowland to Deccan. Between 2001 and 2005 she lived in Himalayan regions (Himachal, Ladakh and Nepal), where she studied and practiced Dharma doctrine with Tibetan masters, penetrating the real life of several ethnic groups and monastic communities and studying in deep the different cultures through the simplicity of everyday customs. From 2007 on, she has accompanied our groups in several areas of India and Nepal, showing her ability to join together all the aspects of the journey, meant as a real ‘pilgrimage’, where travelling itself is the real aim. She designed some itineraries for Conscious Journeys, based on her deep knowledge of India. In particular, Daniele contributes to enrich many itineraries with her precious advices aimed to show the real essence of Indian and Buddhist religions. Besides, she accompanies some groups from Italy, where is fundamental to have a team leader like her, with great experience in cultural mediation. She has the capacity to make each tour a real and authentic encounter with oriental wisdom, transforming each trip into a journey of personal growth through a mutual exchange between the travelers themselves and between them and the local communities. If you are looking for the most intimate essence of Indian spirituality, take off with her to discover our itineraries of ‘The Holy Gange’ and ‘Tamil Nadu: the land of Temples’.
Local guides coordinator and cultural mediator
Shiva is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic members of our team. He is working as professional tourist guide for the last several years. He has always a smile on his face and always ready to share with visitors the love of his homeland, India. He was born in Khajuraho which is known as the state of Incredible heart of India. He passionate about Italian culture and he is fluent in Italian language as he studied the language for several years in India and in Italy at University of Perugia. After guiding many groups for big Italian tour operators he “converted” to responsible tourism soon after escorting our first group to Rajasthan. He was happy to join Conscious Journeys as you could really act as a cultural mediator between Italian and Indian culture, which is his real passion. According to him monuments could be the reason to come in India, but what it matters to him are history, spiritually and local traditions. So if come in India to discover all these three aspect, Shiva will be you perfect guide. He is based in the capital of New Delhi and coordinates for Conscious Journeys the work of our local cultural mediators, but from times to time he also accompanies groups, particularly in Rajasthan and Kerala.