Lonely Planet has a new Senior Vice President of Content and Executive Editor, Nitya Chambers. Nitya is joining us from CNN, where she was Vice President of Content Experience—and where she won a Primetime Emmy Award for her work on Explore Parts Unknown. Nitya will now lead the reimagining of Lonely Planet’s content strategy and help us reach broad and diverse new audiences worldwide.
We asked some questions to find out a bit more about Nitya and how she travels.
Welcome to LP! Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Nitya Chambers, Senior Vice President of Content and Executive Editor. I am beyond thrilled to be joining Lonely Planet at such an exciting moment for this iconic brand, meeting the moment for modern travelers as only Lonely Planet can, with the content, utility, and expertise that turn trips into unforgettable experiences.
What destination holds a special place in your heart and why?
Berkeley, California, where my parents immigrated when they came to the United States in the late 70s. The Bay Area—its food, its beauty, its culture, its people—had such a formative influence on our American story. Plus, concrete slides. Why don’t more places have concrete slides?
What’s the most amazing secret spot you’ve discovered on your travels? (And are ready to share with the world!)
Swimming in the Juan Diego Falls in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. Not sure if they’re secret as much as they’re just magic.
What was your worst—or most hilarious—travel mishap?
I once traveled back from India with an uruli, a bronze cooking pot which was a family heirloom that belonged to my great grandmother. Fearful it would break in my checked luggage, my grandfather over-packaged it. And so when the stateside customs agents heaved my suitcase on to the x-ray belt and asked why my bag was so heavy, I said “Oh, it’s probably the pot.” Needless to say, using the word 'pot' to describe a conspicuous package wrapped in brown paper landed me, my 18th century cookware, and my suitcase in one of those dramatic customs searches you only see in the movies.
Describe a meal you had while traveling that was so good you’d return just to eat it.
Chettinad Jumbo Crab at Trishna in Mumbai. While you’re there do yourself a favor and get a fresh lime soda.
Who is your dream travel companion?
My kids. Seeing the world through their eyes—in all its beauty, grace, humanity and splendor—is a gift.
Where’s next on your travel list?
Hopefully, Amsterdam in April. I have been waiting my whole life to see those tulips.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned from traveling?
Never underestimate the power of a change in scenery to reset, recharge, and restore.
Rapid fire round (and yes, you do have to pick just one):
Window seat or aisle? Window.
Carry-on only or checked luggage? Carry-on only.
Strict itinerary or ‘go with the flow’? Go with the flow. (As long as I planned it.)
Just the clothes on your back or chronic overpacker? Clothes on my back.
One luxurious weekend or a budget two-week trip? Luxurious weekend.
Exploring nature or city break? Nature. But will always opt for a coastal city.