Within a relatively short period of time, actress Rashmika Mandanna has become a box office favourite. While the golden girl of the moment prepares to make her Bollywood debut this October with ‘Goodbye’, Travel+Leisure India & South Asia took her for a quick getaway in Abu Dhabi for our 16th Anniversary cover shoot earlier this year. By Aindrila Mitra
Excerpts from the interview with Rashmika Mandanna:
T+L India: What was your experience like in Abu Dhabi?
View this post on Instagram
Rashmika Mandanna: It was my first trip to Abu Dhabi. I had a lot of fun and I loved the place we stayed at (St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi). And I hope I can come back to Abu Dhabi again, it’s a chill place. This trip was too short to explore the city fully, but I have to thank T+L India for getting me here. It was a fun getaway and I worked with the best team!
T+L India: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Middle East?
Rashmika Mandanna: It has to be the food… the hummus. Also, the shopping, and of course the beaches!
T+L India: What does travel mean to you?
Rashmika Mandanna: Travel is about being open-minded, exploring, meeting new people, getting to know new cultures. Travel lets you find your true self. The more you travel, the more knowledge you gain, and realise how small you actually are and how big the world is!
T+L India: What is your earliest memory of a holiday?
Rashmika Mandanna: All my travels are special. In school, I never had a passport or money to go abroad. But now when I solo travel or go [with a group], every trip becomes special because of all the memories I end up making.
T+L India: What kind of traveller are you—the laid-back or the explorer?
Rashmika Mandanna: I am a mix of both. There are days when I don’t want to do anything and just chill by the pool. I also like exploring. I love paintings, and I explore quite a bit when I am abroad. And I like tasting the same food in every country—I love tasting the strawberry tart in every city!
T+L India: What is the one destination that has left an impression on you personally?
Rashmika Mandanna: That would be Paris. The art there makes me want to go back every time. Parisian bakeries are the best!
T+L India: When it comes to choosing a holiday destination, what are the things you look for?
Rashmika Mandanna: What to do, what to eat, and the weather. If I am travelling alone, then safety is important, and when travelling with people, then what are the things we can do together.
T+L India: Do you think travel has changed post pandemic—or the way you travel has changed?
Rashmika Mandanna: Travel has definitely changed, and one thing I hated to do were the Covid-19 tests. But I feel it’s important to be cautious still [as the virus is still around]. It’s a given that you have to take care of yourself. People are more conscious of their health and hygiene.
T+L India: In terms of work, what are the projects you’re looking forward to this year?
Rashmika Mandanna: Goodbye has just been released, which is exciting especially since it’s my first Hindi film. Then there’s Mission Majnu, and in January next year will be Varsu. Also, Animal will possibly release in summer [of ‘23], and Pushpa 2.
T+L India: Any exciting location you’re looking forward to travelling to next?
Rashmika Mandanna: I am heading to the Maldives for a personal holiday, so I am looking forward to the three-day break.
T+L India: Which destinations are on your bucket-list?
Rashmika Mandanna: I really want to go to Bali, Vietnam, and Seoul.
T+L India: Your comfort holiday destination?
Rashmika Mandanna: Coorg. Comfort is home and Coorg is a holiday destination!
Rapid Fire with Rashmika
Romantic destination: Europe when it gets cold
Shopping destination: Europe, and I recently discovered that Delhi is a great place to shop
Cultural destination: India
Adventure destination: South Africa