Nikita Gill’s poetry and her Instagram account are a match made in heaven. Through charming graphics and limited space, Nikita frames sublimely concise and aphoristic poems into a visually pleasing pause for your everyday scroll. Her words and tone, direct and powerful, are above all emotionally accessible; therefore, they harmonize perfectly with the social media medium, created with accessibility in mind. We’ve asked Nikita about her unique choice of medium, her influences, and what she draws on for inspiration.
When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was 12. It began as an assignment for a creative writing session during English class, and a very encouraging and kind English teacher told me never to stop. I never have.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Who are your favourite poets?
Wow, that is a big question because I have a lot of favourites. I really enjoy the work of Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson and Pablo Neruda. Amongst the contemporary poets, I would definitely say Lang Leav, Sierra DeMulder, Trista Mateer and Beau Taplin are amazing. I have a huge poetry collection that I adore getting lost in, and I cherish old second-hand books. The more the book has been read and loved, the better.
What is your favourite poem?
My all-time favourite poem by far is by Robert Frost. The poem is called ‘The Road Not Taken’ and ends with lines that still give me the chills.
‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.’
Who or what influences you?
My greatest influence is empathy and my greatest teacher is experience. And for a sensitive person who wears her heart on her sleeve, empathy for other people’s suffering has always made me want to help them in any way I can. And experience from my own suffering as well as theirs has taught me how to write about it.
What are the challenges of writing for Instagram, or do you find that it’s a medium that suits your poetry? Does it limit you at all?
Instagram is still pretty new to me, but that has been the only limitation I have really faced there, taking the time to get to know the interface. I have only been putting my work up there for the last six months or so, initially very sporadically – once every few days rather than daily as I have been doing now – that’s why I only have a little more than a hundred posts up there. I find it a medium that suits my poetry because I love creating visuals for my poems, and people on Instagram have been so very encouraging. It was a big surprise how many people liked my work there, honestly.
Has posting your poetry online presented you with any challenges?
The biggest challenge I have faced with posting my poetry online is that of my poetry being stolen, people removing my credits and presenting visual poetry as their own by cutting off my credits. Unfortunately, that is a risk of putting any kind of art or writing online. Putting yourself out there is hard, but you have to be brave with it.
Did the exposure from your recent press affect you and your writing?
Completely. I mean, I tend to keep to myself a lot. I am quite reclusive as a person and was really surprised with everything that has happened recently. I didn’t expect it at all. I’m just someone who likes to create poems and post them to my blog and Instagram so that someone, somewhere, might read them and realise they are not alone. When people liked them as much as they did, I was taken aback and so happy that I wasn’t alone in these feelings, that so many could relate. The best thing about the exposure is how many wonderful, warm, kind people reached out to me, and how many of them said that something I had written had helped them. I was so moved. It has encouraged me to write more, and to write better.
How did you feel when a Kardashian Instagrammed your poem without crediting you?
Not my favourite moment. The only reason I found out was because someone who follows my Tumblr got in touch with me and said, ‘Isn’t this yours?’ and I saw it on her Instagram. A few people had mentioned in the comments section that it belonged to me, but other than that there was no way to find out where it was from, which was very frustrating. It was, however, awesome to see how many people could relate to it, and I tried to focus on that, rather than the fact that it had been put up uncredited.
When did you realise that Instagram was a good idea for an outlet for your work?
Actually, it was right after the above experience. I thought Instagram is a great place to put up visual-based poetry, and if I actually had an Instagram account where I presented my poems with my own visual style and identity, then perhaps my style would become easy to recognise as my own. Instagram has definitely done that for me.
Was there a moment when you realised your poetry was very popular?
I didn’t realise that my work was popular at all until my friends began to spot it across social media. I would get messages like ‘Found this here’ or ‘This group shared your poem!’ Honestly, it still hasn’t really sunk in. I just like to write. People are exceptionally kind. A few people have had some of my poetry tattooed and I think it is a massive honour for any writer to have a spot on someone’s skin.
What is the main difference between your modern poetry and that of the classics?
Ooh. I can’t really compare anything I write to the calibre of classic literature. I mean, my objective when I write is just to be able to relate to people, to empathize with their pain, to let them know they are not alone in the world. Whereas the great classical poets had much deeper themes, with very intricately woven truths within them. My words are simplistic, my need to uncomplicate my feelings is obvious in my words, whereas classical poets worked in layers of complicated feelings still managing to tie it all together in the end.
What are some of your favourite poems you’ve have written? Which mean the most to you?
It’s always hard to choose a favourite poem. I never consider any of my poetry finished, there is always something more that I could say, or say it in a better way. But my most favourite prose poem that I have ever written, because it is a tribute to someone who meant a lot to me [is this]: http://thoughtcatalog.com/nikita-gill/2015/11/obsession/
My favourite short poem that I have ever written was written on a flight, on a napkin of all things, inspired by the strength and resilience of a fellow passenger and their story. It’s called ‘Old Souls.‘
You’re currently writing a book, which we are very excited about! What can we expect?
I am indeed writing a book at the moment! The book is called Your Soul is a River and is all about dealing with trauma and sadness, growing from loss and sad experiences, closure and the value of your soul and life’s most beautiful gifts – love, nature, the cosmos, and what they can teach you about yourself. I have poured my whole heart into it, and have been fortunate enough to get an incredible publisher. I will make an official announcement for the launch very soon!
Interview conducted by Remy Millar
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.