second year of travelling

From corporate job to a traveller – Second Anniversary

One year has already gone by when I was sitting in an apartment in Mumbai writing about my first anniversary of leaving the corporate job. The first year was a roller coaster when, I went bankrupt before I thrived.

I left the corporate job on 19th September 2014. During those years, I had a constant anxiety deep within that increased with every passing year. I used to often muse over thoughts like, ‘Nobody will hire me if this company asks me to leave’ and ‘I don’t want to be stuck in a corporate rut for life’. I used to make myself as obscure as possible in the office. If it were in my hands, I would make myself physically disappear. I didn’t want to be discovered by anyone, lest they would ask me about my future plans up the goddamn corporate ladder.

But I don’t want you to assume I hated that job. I have seen many travel bloggers write, ‘I kicked my corporate job to travel’. I differ to that and I will come to that later in this article. Last one year has been a dizzying joyride, I experienced being on the seventh heaven before being kicked in the butt in work and personal life. As the years go by, this cycle continues. But I don’t complain, as each year is turning out to be more exciting than before.

I am no longer running for fame: I started writing for the love of it. Eventually I started getting FAM trips and met many other travel bloggers. I too gradually slided into the race of having more followers on facebook, likes on a post and so on. I stopped reading and started attending more events most of which didn’t add any value to me as a writer. Now I would gladly show my middle finger to it. Travel bloggers are not on cloud nine all the time as they show on social media. Between the highs and lows, they too have a mundane daily life. I don’t post as much on social media as I used to do before. I don’t tweet about everything right from the chutney I had last night in dinner or the tea stall where I had chai while travelling.

I have started reading good books again, and all I care about is writing well. My work and attitude is good, and thus opportunities come my way.

I didn’t hate my corporate job: I have come to realize that I didn’t hate my job. But I didn’t love it either. Is it possible? Yes, absolutely. I hated the process designing I did every day, and sometimes, I even fell on my desk asleep. But, I loved the amazing people I met on this 8.5 year journey. And it sustained me financially for that many years. Most of the money went into travelling of-course. Some of these people helped me learn things that I now implement in life and work. I met quite a few nuts as well, but I will give them a pass for the sake of keeping this article in an uplifting tone.

Rohit Kothawade was my manager and flatmate in UK. Although he was younger to me, but he was one of the few people who, I have seen, are passionate about being in IT. My managers before him had been absolute nuts. Therefore, when I saw that the relationship of a manager and a friend can coexist, it was a new surprise.

Deepesh Vaya was my manager when I came back to India. Good luck seemed to be favouring me. He used to mentor me beyond office work. Since he was closely associated with Vipassana and Art of Living, he had a pleasant and calm aura. His tuition sessions come in handy now when I run my own company.

I briefly met Veena Yarranton in UK. One day before I was scheduled to catch the flight from Delhi to London, my travel plans were called off by the company. It came as quite a shock. Being the insecure person I was at that time, I started questioning my worthiness. I was sitting with the travel agent Rakesh, reluctantly asking him to cancel the tickets. He noticed the disappointment on my face. Surprisingly, he offered to delay cancelling the tickets and asked me to call London and see if something could still be done. He waited in office for an extra 3 hours. And then I got a call from Veena asking me to hold the tickets. She had taken up a brawl with other senior managers over this matter. I still owe my journey to her. That journey and life in UK actually kick started this wanderlust.

I have developed a habit of being grateful each day for the good things that happened. Every night before I sleep, I thank my stars for small good things that happened.

Ugly commercialisation of travel blogging: Few travel bloggers would relate to this. Travel blogging has become less about travelling and more about promotion. Few days back, I saw an ugly online brawl where the ‘travellers’ were mocking each other, their families, demeaning their life’s achievements and calling each other names. All because there was a misunderstanding. In their surge of insecurity, the bloggers were ready to step on each other to the extent of obliterating one another.

No wonder Indian travel bloggers are still scavenging for peanuts. Very few travel bloggers whom I can count on fingers are in a different ball game. They don’t give a fuck and pave their own path. They dance away to the tunes of their dreams taking with them others who care to join their fun bus. This brings me to the next point. [Read: Success or failure in travel blogging]

I have become very picky: That doesn’t mean I act like an asshole or a jerk to those people who don’t vibe with me. No, I am not insecure either. And no, I don’t look for my vested interest only. But I choose who is worthy of joining me on my fun bus. Be it the people I work with or the women I date. There is no space for negative people in my life. Neither there is space for those who are dragging on with their life that is ‘less than extraordinary’. If I meet people who are happy with their life, are givers, achievers, dreamers and down to earth, I know it pretty quickly. For others I only have two words – ‘Good Luck’.

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

Travel with me on Facebook and Twitter

Feature image: Darima village, Kumaon

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From Business Analyst to Travel Writer

Gaurav Bhatnagar

Software Engineer turned Travel Writer, Photographer, and Public Speaker on Responsible Travel. Entrepreneur in Responsible Rural Travel @ www.thefolktales.com
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...
This post comes a little late. In September this year, I completed the first year
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14 thoughts on “From corporate job to a traveller – Second Anniversary

  1. Two things I would like to mention here -:

    1 – I too don’t hate my job. I think I kind of like it, but sure I don’t love it. The only problem is to cu short travels because of a limited number of leaves. An initial disappointment later, it seems to be a wise thing to do. Managing a job and travels is often underestimated but I guess it’s the most difficult thing to do. Also, because I kind of like my job, and even though I love travelling, it’s not always that one can have either of the two. If having both of them makes me happy at one time or the other.

    2- Though the travel bug was always there, I too started taking travel so seriously after my official visit to the UK. It’s one place in the world I really love, apart from India.

    Glad to know your story and it kind of resonates with mine too. And anyway, don’t they say that the people you meet are in your life for a reason.

  2. This was an excellent read Gaurav, and I too can relate to so many aspects of it. Many wishes for the third year bro and I look forward to this as a series every year – it would give many of us an opportunity to get a close peek into the life of professional travelers, beyond the glitz of social media!

    1. Hey Siddhartha, good to see you around. Your stories are very unique too. I really don’t care who professional travellers are and who are not 😉 I am just a traveller who enjoys whatever I get to travel.

  3. Great anniversary post. 🙂 I’m just over a year old and I know of some who started at the same time and act like opinionated old-timers today. It’s even worse when they aren’t even great writers. But the way I operate is to ignore what I don’t like and focus on what I love – travelling and writing. The rest is immaterial. And I’ve met some great travel bloggers – some with attitude problems but who said one has to be on friendly terms with everyone? Life is too short to put up with things (and people) that don’t sit well with you. Wish you more success.

    1. Wish you too more success. 🙂 I am also opinionated but, being a human, I try to keep a check on myself from blowing off the handle. I am glad that you keep away from things & people that don’t matter. Let me know when you are in Delhi. Will see ya.

  4. I always say – create a good enough financial base for yourself before embarking on ‘I only live to travel’ else you will end up fighting for peanuts.

    Wish you all the best for your travelling life as well as besides travelling one.

  5. Congrats and all the best..I know what you mean when you say, you love and hate the corporate job. I did kick it to travel and I will do it all over again. But its not because I hated it, but because I hated myself in it, the stagnation that happenned to me because of it. Travel is a way of life..so enjoy and be yourself 🙂 My two bit too

  6. Very honest & true words about the Indian travel blogging scenario. Glad to know that some people are looking beyond FAM trips & promotions. The words always do a magic when someone writes with heart & not with mind. Keep the magic going…

  7. Hi Gaurav,
    I am Sangay from Bhutan. I run a small travel agent in Bhutan. It wasn’t going well and felt I need a blog on my site. Then I started blogging, I wrote and wrote but failed again. My company went really down, without even a single guest over a year.
    Finally reading through your blog, I came to know that what I was doing was totally wrong. I read less and what I have been writing was all filled with garbages… You made me realize that… It was worth reading and a very helpful tip from personal life for every travel bloggers. Thank you very much….
    Happy travelling….

    1. Hi Sangay, good to know that this article helped you. I will be writing more soon.
      Yes, rather than just writing for the sake of it, it is more important to write well. 🙂

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