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Hiral Somani, Holiday Exotica #RiseLikeAPhoenix

Dear Society,
Just because we want our own version of ‘Happily Ever After’ doesn’t mean you have the right to criticise, shame or judge us.

From losing her parents to cancer and experiencing anxiety attacks at work, Hiral Somani, Director, Holiday Exotica has faced loads of struggles in life and had to break free of traditional social norms to live a life she always dreamt about.

Started with a non-IATA travel agency in 1999, Hiral joined British Airways in 2000 but had to quit her job to attend to her ailing mother. In 12 years (till 2013), both Hiral & Jigar (husband) lost their parents to cancer and diabetes.

“It was a punishment to see our parents suffering from cancer and the pain they want through during their treatments. Despite putting all our efforts, attention and money, we lost them. Due to this, I lost faith in God and started getting panic attacks at work,” recollects Hiral.

She started her travel agency in 2009 and Jigar joined her soon after. But it was only after 2013 that they both started living life for themselves. “Sunsets, long conversations, ice cream nights, cooking adventures, random outbursts of ‘Let’s take a break from work and dance’, writing notes to each other and hot coffee mornings with him – these are just a few things that make us, us. That’s my idea of forever– growing old with him, with more of just… this and no kids,” asserts Hiral.

She concludes saying, “It’s tough to make people understand that we are childfree and not childless. We hate being judged for our decision,” says Hiral.

Today, she runs a successful travel company, practices yoga and is soon going to start something new to follow her passion for food too.

People may hate you for being different and not living up to the social standards, but deep down, they wish they had the courage to do the same. So, don’t be scared and #RiseLikeAPhoenix by breaking those so-called social norms to achieve your version of ‘Happily Ever After.’

Hiral Somani, Director, Holiday Exotica