In the quaint French quarters of Pondicherry, I reflect on the first quarter of my life, reading what I penned almost two years ago: 25 things I’d tell the 25-year-old me. While I still have many layers to climb on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I’d like to think that I’ve already braced and beaten my quarter life crisis. It has been one and a half years since I took the plunge to quit my corporate job in Singapore in pursuit of all things travel; I’ve been on a roller coaster ride since, and looking back on how the dots in my life have slowly connected, I feel both grateful and humbled for where I am now – closer to that illusive feeling of happiness than I’ve ever been before.
My freedom to pick up my bags at any moment and board a flight, bus or train, might make me seem like the luckiest person. Or as a comment on a recent feature Rediff carried on me put it, someone with access to a pot of gold. But truth is, I’ve never worked harder in my life than in the last one year; from serious travel blogging, to growing my social networks, to pitching and writing for some of the most respected travel publications, to running my startup India Untravelled, to freelance social media work, I haven’t taken more than four entire days off in the year! No Sundays for me. I’ve worked out of a cave in Turkey, on the shores of turquoise waters in Rodrigues, from a mountain village in Spain, and in numerous cafes across India, Europe, Southeast Asia, and most recently Bahrain, and what makes it all worthwhile (even all the credit my “luck” gets), is that I love everything I do, and I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s.
As with anything else, my freedom as a digital nomad and my itchy feet come with their own price. I feel such emotional turmoil sometimes, such heartbreaks, knowing that I might never be able to live in a place I love, because there are so many more places waiting for me, and there always will be. Almost like a dual life, my mind is always wandering to far away lands. And yet, as the great dervish Shams of Tabriz said, having roots nowhere, I have everywhere to go.
They say that you find your true friends in the best of times and in the worst of times; while on a personal front, I’ve lost a handful of what were once precious friendships to a futile happiness competition, my digitally nomadic life has allowed me to build special connections with people I’ve met on my travels. And for those relationships, and the friendships I continue to treasure, I consider myself truly lucky.
On this introspective 25th birthday, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of my life, even virtually or anonymously. The journey shall continue…