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”
Feature image: Darima village, Kumaon
Software Engineer turned Travel Writer, Photographer, and Public Speaker on Responsible Travel. Entrepreneur in Responsible Rural Travel @ www.thefolktales.com