first year of travelling

From corporate job to a traveller – First Anniversary

This post comes a little late. In September this year, I completed the first year of leaving the corporate job to travel. It has also become a fashion these days to switch from corporate job to full time travel. For me also, it was a fantasy. Whether a person eventually travels full time or not, I have come to really respect those who take this plunge and stick to it.

If you have it in mind right now, and if you are on the edge, read on. I am sharing with you the first hand experience – the good, the bad and the ugly.

1. The decision to quit was easy, and it wasn’t: I was on the edge of it. The ten hour desk job was getting onto my nerves. All I wanted was a bare minimum bank balance to sustain for a year and a tentative plan on how I will earn. I founded The Folk Tales in Nov 2013, but up until July 2014 we hadn’t done big business. It was in Aug 2014 that we did our first big group and it gave me confidence that the universe will take care of things. I came back from leading that group and resigned with two months of notice period and two hundred thousand rupees as bank balance (sounds big? But maybe not big enough).

“One gets what he wants, when he becomes worthy of it”

2. The reaction from family: They were already expecting something like this to happen. Still they were worried because I was already “30 and unmarried”. In typical Indian society or even western, a stable income is what people look for when it comes to marriage. It does take a lot of effort to find someone who thinks otherwise – but trust me, there are people who believe otherwise.

3. My first TBEX: I wanted to attend TBEX since 2013, but had to cancel it because of lack of money. Ironically, when I cancelled it, I was in a job with stable income. And when I attended the first one in Greece in 2014, I was surviving only on the savings with no set plan of constant income.

4. The lows: I was bankrupt around January 2015 with only Rs. 500 in bank with few installments and bills to pay. Some friends and family asked me to take the job again, but I didn’t listen to them. Eventually some writing assignments clicked and we got return customers in The Folk Tales. We always gave most emphasis on giving good experience and it was paying off now.

5. How do I earn now: I firmly believe that a “stable job” is a myth. You put all eggs in one basket and take on liabilities like car, house and vacations based on that. The more the salary increases, the more do your insecurities. I now put eggs in different baskets. I now do:

  • Freelance writing assignments that are on long term contract basis
  • Write for publications (article pitches)
  • Run my company – The Folk Tales which is now doing decently well
  • I am a social media and blog strategist for brands

6. Life in general after job: After the highs and lows, I am now able to travel within India and abroad on my own expenses (not without good planning on saving money while I travel). I eat good food and stay in decent places of my own choice. It’s enough to ask for as of now, with new desires to follow.

7. Am I satisfied?: Yes, absolutely! Leaving a job is not as scary as people around you make it to be. You just need to have a basic plan to cling to and allow things to unfold. I have grown as a person. I have learnt to speak to varied kinds of people from any part of the world which my traditional education system or day job in a multinational didn’t teach me. I have learnt to let go of things that don’t matter and hold onto those who do. I have come to believe that the universe is powerful enough to take care.

“Are you on the brink? Do you have questions? Ask me in comments below”

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Feature image: Chandrataal, Spiti

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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
One year has already gone by when I was sitting in an apartment in Mumbai writing about
I will not be telling you something that you do not already know. But reading
No! Writing this article does not mean that I am super successful in travel blogging...
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6 thoughts on “From corporate job to a traveller – First Anniversary

  1. Hi,

    This is quite daring and not many people like you would be able to take that extra step. That step may seem to others into a world of oblivion while for others like you it may be worth reaping many rewards. You need to do what is your passion and rest money will follow gradually.

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