Ghoomo Phirro – Encompassing the Spirit of a free soul
Ghoomo Phirro, a tourism venture, is owned by Zaira and Zeeshan. Zaira has always been an outdoorsy person, who enjoys walks and physical activities (basketball, cycling, hiking, to name a few). Her family has been supportive as far as her outdoor antics are concerned, although the support was earned through persistence and a lot of convincing as they felt it wasn’t safe for a woman to venture out alone in the public space.
She has been on several trips in school and university, but the actual opportunity came when she went for her masters in the UK. Living independently, she got to experience true freedom. She had the opportunity to travel within UK and Europe a lot in her one year there. When she came back to Pakistan, she made it a point to continue travelling as much as she could, so she started cycling (for exploration within Lahore), and taking frequent trips out of city/ country as well. In the following years, she explored both Pakistan (Kashmir, Upper Punjab, Lower Punjab, Sindh) and Europe (Italy, Spain, Netherlands etc.)
The co-owner, Zeeshan belongs to an adventure loving family. His interest in outdoors and treks was sparked when he used to go on college treks at Aitchison, which were quite challenging and interesting. Since childhood, he used to go on long road trips alone, and used to cycle to other cities when he was 11. He has seen almost all of Pakistan, from Snow Lake to Gwadar, Chitral to Tharparkar. He has also been on some of the most iconic treks, such as K2 base camp, Deosai, Daddar Ali Pass, Snow Lake, Kamri Top, etc. Apart from that, he has travelled to far East Europe, England and Middle East.
Zeeshan and Zaira shared their love for tourism. They wanted to promote tourism and make everyone aware of the beautiful places in Pakistan that are still unexplored. Their aim was to bring those places to light, and earn their livelihood through the same. Now they spend their days doing what they love – Ghoomo Phirro. They chose the name ‘Ghoomo Phirro’ because it encompasses the spirit of a free soul. Freedom entails going anywhere and doing anything you like/enjoy. Hence the term ‘Ghoomo Phirro’. Roam around. Live. They believe everyone can relate to it.
Ghoomo Phirro is different from other similar ventures in a way that it plans excursions while keeping the needs of the client in mind, by giving them a comfortable and fun travelling experience, not a rushed itinerary that takes one from point A to point B. They believe that there is no fun if you don’t stop to appreciate the beauty of the place! They also take weather/ season into account when planning tours, because they believe the beauty of a place is best experienced in the right season. Zeeshan and Zaira try to put themselves in the customers shoes, and provide them with the facilities they’d ideally want in a trip.
Apart from that, they have launched a full-scale adventure shop in Model Town, called the Ghoomo Phirro Adventure Shop, which is the first of its kind in Lahore. The aim of the shop is to cater to the need of all kinds of travelers and adventurers. Currently, there is no other shop in Lahore that provides all kinds of outdoor equipment under one roof. They have survival gear, trekking gear, bag packs, hydration packs, camping and hiking gear, trekking shoes, bicycle equipment, hunting gear, picnic & bbq material etc. The idea was to make travelling for people easier and more accessible, so that they can be better prepared for their future adventures.
Instead of giving rock bottom price with minimum facilities, they tend to give better facilities with slightly higher rates, so that people can cherish their experiences, rather than burdening themselves through the journey. It is a challenge educating people about the differences in the services that Ghoomo Phirro offers but people are now gradually acknowledging that good service is just as important as a good price. Moreover, Ghoomo Phirro has ventured into more creative aspects that have not yet been explored, and people are responding well. Recently they introduced bicycle scavenger hunts, that aim to fuse tourism with a fun activity, so that people can experience the same place in an entirely new light and the response has been great so far. They have a lot more ideas lined up, so things will hopefully keep pace. The dynamic duo believes that in order to capture the audience, they need to introduce more creative and fun ways of experiencing a destination.
They plan to encourage more people to get into these healthy activities like hiking, cycling and exploring the world beyond the cities. Moreover, they are focusing their efforts on children, so that they start at an early age, and can focus more on outdoor activities. It is good for their health and the environment as well. The ultimate goals of Ghoomo Phirro include generating positive impact on the environment through its tours (cleanup projects, encouraging environment friendly modes of transport), generating healthy and fun activities for both children and adults; and generating income for locals in less developed areas by planning tours there.
They also believe that the future is female. There are more and more women coming into fields that were previously only dominated by men. Tourism is one of them. Ghoomo Phirro has a female lead, who is equally involved in the organization of the tours and other activities as the male counterpart, despite many cultural hindrances. Ghoomo Phirro wants to contribute towards creating a more tolerant society where people take women just as seriously as they do men. The duo fully encourages and supports other females who are in this business, and they hope to normalize the presence of a woman in the public space through our work. For that, they aim to collaborate and give equal opportunities to women, even if the work demands a traditionally male presence.
Through their organized trips, they are also working to encourage people to explore various cultures and develop a sense of community by mingling with different cultures and encouraging people to interact with one another. They recognize that in the increasing globalized world, it is very important to celebrate differences and support each other.
In an effort to introduce various cultures of the world to the people of Pakistan, Ghoomo Phirro has also ventured into International Tourism. They have started with Azerbaijan and Turkey, and they plan to expand their portfolio to a lot of other places as well.
Interview by Mohammad Farooq | Written by Salman Bokhari