EmptyShack is a first-of-its-kind travel search engine and social network that matches and connects ‘verified’ global travelers with like-minded travel companions from around the world. The platform also allows global travelers to chat with each other in ‘real time’, discuss & plan a trip together, seek travel suggestions from the community, and make travel bookings – all under one roof.
Vinay Mishra is a passionate traveler and a coding enthusiast and one of the co-founders of EmptyShack. His project won the first prize in our Hub contest and as a result he came to Romania and spent one month working in our hub and staying in our hostel.
Tell us a little bit about your background
I am from New Delhi, India and I did my undergrad in law. I worked for 5 years as a corporate lawyer with the largest law firm of the country and one of the biggest technology company in India. During my stint as a corporate lawyer, I was working closely with a number of startups and investors in India and decided to integrate my passion for backpacking with my experience of the technology startup scene in India in the form of EmptyShack. The idea was to use technology to help backpackers and young travelers connect in a better way.
Describe yourself as a digital nomad
As a digital nomad, i pretty much work from everywhere. I just need my laptop and good internet connectivity. However, we have an office in New Delhi and when i am not travelling, i generally prefer to work from there. I have only worked from 1 hub which is New Delhi prior to working in Pura Vida. I have of course worked from a number of other hostels across Europe.
Pura Vida Hub&Hostel Experience
I would definitely say that i had a positive and an amazing experience here. The hostel hosted some amazing travelers from around the world and it was easy to connect and meet with everyone. The management and staff were really helpful and always took out time to understand my requirements. The best part was a 24 hour work station and the hostel just above it. This gave me extreme flexibity to manage time to meet other backpackers and work for my startup. Also, most of the travelers there are the potential customers for EmptyShack and from that perspective, it was just a great place to be at. I would have loved to spend more time at the hub. There were so many things that every day, there was a dilemma whether to attend events, meet people or just work from the hub. Sometimes, too many choices are not bad! Overall, working and staying at hub was a different experience and one that definitely gave me a different perspective to both work and fun. Its a new concept globally and it was really great to see the passion with which Pura Vida was trying to project itself and working on being one of the best co-working and co-living space globally.
I have till date visited 21 countries and my idea of travel is backpacking and getting to understand the local culture and meet locals while in any place. I am a spontaneous traveler and hence plan out things a few days before traveling.
Travel Experience in Romania
This was one first visit to Romania. Romania as destination is really picking up in India as some of the popular Bollywood movies are being shot here. Romania as a country really fascinated me. It had the mountains, beaches, art & history and an amazing nightlife. In addition to Bucharest, i traveled to Sinaia, Brasov, Timisoara and also did an amazing scenic road trip from Timisoara to Bucharest. It will be a shame to point out any specific place as favourite considering i loved everything the country offered. However, i really liked the mountains and the castles in Sinaia; the scenery and countryside of Transylvania and the nightlife in Bucharest. My best part about traveling would definitely be the locals of Romania who would generally go out of their way to help me as a tourist. The warm and friendly behavior was something that i never really expected before arriving there. The worst part would be in some of the less touristy cities or smaller cities, people generally could not speak English and sometimes i faced a communication barrier while traveling.
To summarize, i had an amazing experience. I met some amazing people at the hub and in the hostel and made some great friends. For EmptyShack, it was really great as i got lot of feedback from backpackers who were staying at the hostel about EmptyShack and we are actually working on incorporating their feedback. Having stayed for a month in Romania, i experienced the country like a local and learnt to appreciate the finer aspects of the culture and thought process of the people there.