Hi, I'm Bejal
I am the founder of BE-LAVIE, a blog focusing on multiple loves of my life – travel, lifestyle, adventure, responsible wildlife experiences, sustainability and supporting local small/independent businesses. You may be thinking why the unusual name choice? Well, simply because my friends call me ‘Be’ and because in my opinion, French is the most romantic language in the world. The blog encompasses my life so the English alternative was ‘The life of Be’ but it sounds so much better in French, right?
If you fancy getting to know me a bit better, read on, otherwise feel free to explore my life’s musings on my little stamp of the internet!
'Travel the World, Experience the Culture, Feed your Curiosity, Enrich your Soul, Tell the Story'.
Bejal Gosai. Founder & Content Creator at Be-lavie
Travel, Lifestyle & Sustainability with Sprinkles of Luxury
BE-LAVIE / proun (bee la vee): trans ‘The Life of Be’ (French)
My name is Bejal, (aka Be) and I was born to first generation Ugandan Indian parents. I spent 5 long years studying in Sheffield but being Leicester born and bred it was time to return. Currently I live and work in this diverse and multicultural city. For well over a decade now, I have been pursuing a full-time career in clinical research. However, my daydreams transport me far from the city on a kaleidoscope of adventures to experience the world and its splendour, be it through the diverse culture, the people, local cuisine, hand – picked abodes or the countless once in a lifetime experiences that I cannot quite believe have transitioned into reality for me.
As a child, I spent the majority of the summer holidays in Devon with my maternal grandparents, who have a wooden statue of a Masai. Combined with this, the tales I heard about the lives of my family in East Africa and my slight obsession with National Geographic, sparked my curiosity of the world. I always imagined if my family’s homeland sounded so magnificent, what hidden trinkets of exploration would the rest of the globe have on offer?
The First Thought
Family and friends often ask me for holiday advice and have on a number of occasions suggested I should start charging for planning itineraries and offering my worldly destination experience and knowledge! I remember back in 2015, thinking I could start a blog but I never really thought anyone would be that interested in reading it and my family and friends were just being nice as I was helping them out! In actual fact, I found myself following a number of blogs and taking on the real life recommendations that I was reading about, but with a full time job and other commitments, I never really got around to taking the writing seriously. It seemed I had excuses galore back then!
The Turning Point
Finally, in March 2017, after returning from Costa Rica, I knew I had to make my long-term dream a reality. It was time to stop dreaming and start doing! I had way too many experiences from around the world that needed sharing and decided to start by buying a domain name, designing a logo, looking into self-hosting and downloaded that all-important word press theme! This all took a lot of time to look pretty!
The Birth of Be-lavie
Ta-dah, the birth of BE-LAVIE. It was totally new territory for me, like nothing I knew before. I mean I’m a scientist not a writer. I learnt to write scientific papers not travel and lifestyle blogs. But I believe if you have a real passion for something, you can do anything! My mission, should I wish to accept it: To write about and share authentic experiences from every corner of the globe with that tiny touch of luxury. Guess what? I accepted the challenge! Game on! It’s totally different from my day job and provides me with great escapism. I enjoy coming home from work, relaxing with a coffee and tapping away at my laptop. I feel as though I am being transported back to the global sights, smells, and sounds allowing me to relive these in my blog posts as I share them with you.
Lets talk a bit about my travel style…. I have a real mixed theme going on. I am just as content staying in modish low key hotels as I am in boutique establishments or in more recent years, some of the world’s finest luxury hotels and trains. Personally, my utmost priority and the reason why I travel is to encounter authentic experiences via personal interactions. I enjoy delving into unfamiliar cultures. In more recent years I have found that opting for luxury hotels can mean you are not compromising on location, giving you endless entry into some of the world’s most exquisite scenes. It is for this reason that I am totally open to many styles and always have in mind what my goals are for that particular trip. But fundamentally, experiences will always overrule luxury.
I have to confess that I actually enjoy the process of planning and list-making with friends often calling me a perpetual planner! But over time, I have learnt to embrace travel a bit more spontaneously and dare I say it the list-making is not so strict….actually who am I trying to kid?!! My aim has always been to explore and travel as many corners of the globe as possible. I am pretty open-minded and therefore try not to form misconceptions of a destination. My philosophy: travel time is so precious, so make sure you please yourself and if you have a long list of bucket-list experiences, then start checking them off!
Partner in Crime
Sharing my passion to travel with a like-minded individual was really the icing on the cake for me. This amazing being is helping me check-off my never-ending bucket list but also is my best friend, my tolerant partner in every adventure (over 10 years’ worth!) and my husband, aka Dr. C! And yes, that is actually what we all call him! I would be in serious trouble if I didn’t include him! Together we enjoy science, wildlife conservation, indulging in worldwide cuisine and are huge supporters of sustainable travel. We both have restless personalities and of course we love doing crazy adrenalin pumping activities (however, that could be more me!)
As well as travelling, eating and collecting experiences, global cultures, I have a strong interest in wildlife and sustainability.
Animals to me have an equal standing in society as humans and I strongly support the ideals of Ahimsa by my inspiration, Mahatma Gandhi.
'Ahimsa, non-violence, comes from strength, and the strength is from God, not man. Ahimsa always comes from within'
Responsible Animal Tourism
Therefore only responsible animal experiences will be featured on be-lavie and will be personal encounters. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been obsessed with elephants and to this day I champion the plight of the Asian elephant.
My other passion, is to travel the globe and partake in as many sustainable acts as possible. I research all my hotels to ensure they have a active sustainability policy as well as partaking in local activities and supporting local the local economy and being involved in community and social projects.
Support Leicester Local
My hometown of Leicester is an incredible city. The people, the love and the businesses make this place somewhere I choose to come back to time after time from my global travels. I aim to feature and support as many local businesses (small and independent) as possible on be-lavie. Coffee and cake is my downfall so watch out for lots of recommendations on the foodie and local experience front from Leicester.
I'd Love to Hear From You
Feel free to leave comments, suggestions, questions and any travel advice or inspiration you desire. After all recommendations are one of the best tools when planning travel. I really would love to hear from you so don’t be shy!
Huge thanks for stopping by and joining me on my never-ending journey to live life to the fullest whilst I devour my way through exploration, adventure, travel, abodes (humble and lux) gastronomy and life enriching experiences with sprinkles of luxury but sustainability at the forefront of my considerations.
Disclosure: All photos, opinions and experiences featured here are my own, therefore remain a copyright of Be-lavie.