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Getting to Know Chaitanya Shah & Lunchex, his Travel Brainchild

Recently I had the chance of befriending a fellow human of wanderlust in a Facebook travel group. Chaitanya Shah of Mumbai, India is the founder of a unique travel-related start-up called Lunchex. Its purpose is to promote greater intercultural awareness through the cultural exchange of sharing a local meal together. Interestingly, I would have loved to experience this concept during my lengthy [flight] layover in Mumbai last month en route to my hometown. But I hadn’t yet crossed virtual paths with Chaitanya. Who knows what the future entails, nonetheless?! This is my guest interview with him.

Who or what inspired you to start traveling?

It was something that I did right from my childhood. My parents took me around India quite often and so I always was travelling. So my parents have been instrumental in getting me into the habit of travelling.

How was your travel start-up birthed? was born by pure luck. I had to decline a Couchsurfing invite and I offered to take the traveller out for a local meal instead. That sparked the idea of having a platform where people can just connect over a meal. I shared this idea with a couple of friends, pitched it to my boss & team in office and when I did get a resounding yes, I went ahead with building it!

What do you most enjoy about traveling?

Travel is liberating in so many ways. For me travel is about letting go of your routine, exposing yourself to different stimuli and mostly moving around in unfamiliar places and listening to different sounds in terms of language and surroundings.

Will you ever become a foreign expat? And if so… where?

I’d love to live abroad. I’d like to be greedy and say everywhere, but I think I’d love [to] work in Germany. I like their culture and attitude toward work, beer and cake.

Why is India such an attractive place to visit? Mumbai, in particular?

I think the chaos and vibrant colours impress a lot of westerners. Of course when you come from different histories, perceptions are different and so are opinions. I think it’s all this that makes a lot of westerners want to visit India.



Profile photo of Charles McKinney

Travel is not just what I do but it is who I am. When I first traveled abroad in high school as a foreign exchange student, little did I know that it would serve as the threshold of a lifetime interest in globetrotting. Now nearly 10 years later, I have lived in four countries and plan to do much more traveling in years to come. The world of teaching English has given me incredible opportunity to engage in cultural anthropology and I certainly can't get enough of the language learning process as a polyglot in the making.My personal website is currently under construction but I also maintain a micro-blog on facebook that enables me to share my insights and experiences with my ever-growing following. All in all, I am most proud to be known as a global citizen, a reference I accept with humility and honor. Blogging is rad! Many thanks (muchas gracias, feichang ganxie, grazie un millon, fala menogu) to KFTW for allowing me this platform to connect with the world and vice versa. St. Augustine said it best: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page."

4 thoughts on “Getting to Know Chaitanya Shah & Lunchex, his Travel Brainchild

  1. Profile photo of Charles McKinneyCharles McKinney Post author

    Did you check out the website Rajiv (I included the link to it above)? I don't think there's one in Delhi yet, but I will ask Chaitanya to respond to your query. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Profile photo of iluv2globetrot globetrotter

    Love this idea! One of the coolest things about travel is getting to know the locals. We were once invited for lunch at a local shopkeepers house in Jaipur after buying up their saris, etc while in India. Fun times :-).


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