Leap of faith

From Business Analyst to Travel Writer

This is the first time that I am sharing on the blog about my journey from an engineer to a business analyst to a Travel Writer. My journey may not have been as dramatic as someone who sells off all his stuff one day and embarks on a world tour. It has taken me three years and meticulous planning from the time I wrote the first blog entry.

 

Back in 2008, when I travelled to UK for an assignment with British Telecom, I saw many people travelling for the sake of discovering themselves. They would live off a backpack, stay in youth hostels and meet many locals. On the contrary, the concept of travelling in India is quite different. For most of the people in India, travelling still means visiting relatives during festival or taking a week off from job to visit hometown. Experiencing another form of travel in Europe triggered an inner calling to discover myself [Read: How travelling changed my outlook].

 

My first solo backpacking trip to Switzerland was out of impulse because none of my fellow colleagues were ready to come. They were hesitant because of the expenses involved. I am thankful that they did not come because it made me spend time with myself in a country that does not speak English. Communicating in sign language with a bus driver who spoke only German when I had to find my way to the hostel in a small town was a thrilling experience.
Solo trip in Montreaux Switzerland
Montreaux, a small French speaking town in south of Switzerland (Year: 2009)
For people around me, it was strange to see someone go on a solo trip. Many Indian families whom I met in Switzerland looked at me with skepticism. They had many questions and wondered that what can I possibly do travelling alone. I overheard one comment – “He is crazy”. And I must confess – I loved it.

 

My dormant desire to explore countries that I once use to look at in my pocket atlas was resurfacing. Soon I found myself exploring France where I found art and music on every street. It was like being transported to another world that took over my senses. Having mulled wine on the banks of Seine [Read: Mulled wine in Paris] was a cherry on the top of cake. It was during the economic slum of 2009 that I came back to India.

 

Life again took over and a person with insatiable desire to travel followed a 9-5 schedule for three years. Years passed trying to prove myself at work; work that I did not enjoy doing. The whole atmosphere of cut throat competition of proving oneself and of excelling in anything that you are asked to do took a toll on me. In spite of the many opportunities I was getting to manage a team and get promotion, my performance was declining.

 

It was during November 2012, when I decided to ditch everything for a month and do a solo backpacking trip to Thailand [Read: Discovering untouched Northern Thailand]. That journey where I lived like a local, cooked myself, explored untouched places and even got lost on a highway at night [Read: Getting lost in Thai countryside at night] set me on a path of no return. It was clear that I wanted to make a living by travelling this world. I just had to find a means to do it [Read: Ways to earn money by travelling].
Northern Thailand
Northern Thailand (Year: 2012)

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Gaurav Bhatnagar

Software Engineer turned Travel Writer, Photographer, and Public Speaker on Responsible Travel. Entrepreneur in Responsible Rural Travel @ www.thefolktales.com
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