Aanarav Sareen has achieved a lot. He is the co-founder of PaLaCart and Pollen, two of the world’s leading e-commerce platforms. Prior to this Aanarav was the lead creative technologist at Wunderman, a WPP company and the world’s largest digital agency. He’s authored two best-selling books, is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and has been featured on ABC News, NBC News, Al Jazeera English and the Wall Street Journal as a leading expert in interactive media.
In between all this he’s visited over 30 countries across 5 continents, pursuing landscape photography as he goes (all photos featured here are his!).
Aanarav truly is a living example that career and adventure are not mutually exclusive. We caught up to pick his brain on how he makes this work.
Places been: Florida, Alaska, New York, New Zealand, Maldives, Arizona, Hawaii, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, Turks & Caicos Islands, Sochi, Bali, Mexico + too many to list…
Travel tip: Be flexible and understanding – everything changes the minute you’re outside your comfort zone.
You’ve obviously achieved a lot in your career, but you’ve also been to 30+ countries across 5 continents. How do you reconcile career development with travel and adventure?
For me, travel is very inter-related with career development. Travel allows you to look at things from multiple sides, understand culture and experience environments. In an increasingly digital and global community, travel plays a huge role in understanding human nature.
That’s a great point about understanding culture. Has there been any particular destination which was especially beneficial for you to visit?
It would be hard to pin down any specific culture and environment. If I had to pick one, I’d say the people and culture of Alaska have left a lasting memory.
Do you think that this aspect of travel has helped you in your career?
Absolutely yes! I’ve met some of the smartest people while traveling – starting from some of my closest friends, colleagues, investors and even our corporate counsel.
And how do you approach travel? Is it something that you like to plan in advance, or as you go?
A little bit of a both. On one hand, I can’t resist a great airfare deal. On the other hand, I like to enjoy 2 long vacations a year that are thoroughly planned.
When you are planning, how do you find places and things to do that interest you?
Almost all the destinations in recent memory have been because of personal recommendations or amazing photographs.
You’re a photographer yourself, do you think this influences the way you travel?
Photography definitely influences my travel. As someone who has been traveling for as long as I can remember, certain experiences – when visually captured – are a huge motivator for travel.
You can check out more of Aanarav’s amazing work here.