Reflections
Comments 108

One Year of Travelling Without a Home.

Romania photos

What’s life without a little adventure? I asked myself a little over a year ago. I had been living a semi-nomadic life since I quit my corporate job in 2011, with a base in Delhi and an insatiable wanderlust. On the twenty-fifth day of August 2013, as I sat on the roof of my shabby Delhi apartment, staring at the dark starless sky, my heart filled with an unknown melancholy and my spirit craved more adventure. And just like that, I let go off my apartment, sold most of my belongings, stored some for a winter’s day (thank god!), and set out with my backpack.

For one year, I have moved, uninhibitedly, as much within as with my feet, like a bird without a nest, flapping my wings in the vast skies, swooping down on parts of the world that beckoned me. A soul without a compass on some days, a spirit that couldn’t be contained on others. Much has been learnt, more has been loved – and the one thing that has remained constant is my desire to keep moving.

On acceptance

When people ask me about studying beyond a bachelor’s degree, I want to tell them that the road is my teacher. And what it teaches best is acceptance, life’s most underrated lesson. Like anyone who wants to see the world, I’ve dreamt of seeing all of it. But lingering on a little longer in places like South Australia, Northern Thailand, Auroville, Kumaon and the interiors of Goa has allowed me to observe the little whimsies of life beyond just a shallow peek. I have come to accept that I can’t experience everything in this lifetime, but what I can, I will experience deeply.

Aldona fort

Introspective in Goa.

On relationships

I have never been a fan of obligatory or legalized relationships. And this year on the road has taught me that there is no better remedy for a tired, worn-out, misunderstood soul than swapping your deepest, darkest secrets with someone who was a mere stranger days ago. Truth is, sometimes it’s easier to bare your heart to a stranger.

Romania culture, Romanian people

Unexpected friends.

On money 

The one that never gets old – how do I afford this life? I won’t give you a vague answer this time. I currently handle two regular blogging and social media projects for Indian and Singaporean companies, write for atleast two Indian or international publications in a month, run India Untravelled which is gradually sprouting its own wings, and work with travel companies on ad-hoc campaigns and contests. I love most of the work I do, and what I don’t pays for exorbitant flights and my student loan. And knowing the wealth of experiences money has bought me in this year of being nomadic, I rarely think twice about spending what I earn.

Adelaide cycling

Accumulating money or experiencing the world?

On work-life balance

This has been my biggest struggle on the road. Unwilling to delegate, let go or do a half-hearted job, I have spent long, grueling hours staring at my laptop screen while being location independent. I’ve promised myself that this is going to change. Slowly but surely, I’m learning to delegate, working with diligent and committed freelancers, prioritizing work that pays well, and dreaming of a four hour work week!

Novotel Goa

Work-life balance?

On happiness

Despite the wild, unforeseen, unforgettable adventures a year of being nomadic has placed on my lap, I have merely continued to drift along in the bigger picture, not tipping any closer on the happiness scale. Truth be told, I’ve come closer to knowing that I never will, for it’s a mere illusion, much like the higher powers we try to believe in, because life feels more meaningful with something to aspire towards. Mono no aware; a Japanese saying describes it as a longer, deeper, gentle sadness about the transience of things being the reality of life. Life isn’t always about doing something, finding something, being something. Sometimes you just have to drift along and see where it takes you.

New York parks, Sakura park NYC

Summer turning to autumn in New York – transience in nature.

The Next Chapter…

One year on, on a sunny summer afternoon, I find myself sitting above the Hudson River in New York as I write this. Over an unplanned 5-6 months, I am here to explore parts of North, Central and South America, continuing to trade the stability of a regular paycheck and the comfort zone of a familiar bed with watching the sun set halfway across the globe. Because, what’s life without a little adventure, right?

Hudson river sunset, New York sunset

Sunset over the Hudson River.

***

I’m figuring out my travels to Central and South America. If you have recommendations for offbeat experiences, or are a travel company interested in hosting me, please get in touch.

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Join The Shooting Star on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for more travel inspiration.

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108 Comments

  1. Which parts of South America are you particularly interested in? I have a friend in Argentina who can recommend good itineraries based on what you’re looking for!

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    • I’d like to go everywhere, but have narrowed it down to the countries that offer visa on arrival with a US visa. So it’ll mostly be Central America, and probably only Ecuador in South America.

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    • Likewise Amrita. I love your seasonal jobs model, and considering trying it out myself at some point. Glad you enjoyed reading this one!

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  2. Totally love the honesty with which you write your feelings.. I mean- lots of people can be carried away that leaving your job for travel and being on the road constantly leads to supreme happiness which may not be true. Of course there are many highs of having wanderlust – more power to you !!

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    • Thanks Mansee – one of those posts that I didn’t want to edit at all after the first draft🙂 Thanks for always reading along and coming virtually on my journeys!

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  3. I’ve been hooked to your blog ever since I started reading it, not very long ago.
    I long for my own adventures but I long to read yours too.
    All my love to you for your life on the Road!
    X

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  4. Coolpams says

    great post.. I too love traveling, now believe it mixes with my veins,I like to read your post.🙂

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  5. This is truly a travel inspiration! One of the most inspiring posts that I read recently. Makes me go out of my comfort zone that I am procrastinating ! Thank you for sharing and inspiring .

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    • It has its highs and lows, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Start small, and I’m sure you can find your adventures on the road too🙂

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  6. A very nice read🙂. Happiness is may be a balance between aspiration and satisfaction🙂. Getting philosophical after reading the post😀

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  7. I’ve always thought travel and adventure are the best education… how are you liking NYC – a bit different from those Himalayan forests I think!

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  8. I spent last year travelling in Latin America & am currently looking for work in Bogota, Colombia. So let me know if you have questions as you head further south!

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    • That’s awesome, Ann! I’m starting with Guatemala and will spend some time exploring Central America. I’m hoping to be in Ecuador in December. Good luck with your work hunt, I hear Colombia is stunning!

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      • I spent 3 months in Guate last year & highly recommend Santa Cruz on Lake Atitlan. Specifically Arco de Noe guesthouse, though La Iguana Perdida across the docks may have more travellers. Stunning volcano views from this village!

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  9. The beauty of “Mono no aware” is perhaps best perceived by a traveller, who sits transiently in the kaleidoscope of life, observing the hurriedness with which we, daily beings, rush through our routines, while staying deliciously away from all that binds us, stops us. May nothing bind you! Keep inspiring.

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  10. Pingback: World First Travel Insurance Blog » Blog Archive The World First Wander | Europe, General, Life in travel, Travel, Travel insurance, Travel Tips | World First Travel Insurance Blog

  11. Tejendra says

    I regularly read latest updates.it gives lot’s of inspiration to my life.I really like your adventurous life

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  12. I have been travelling without a base for over a year now too. It’s very encouraging to see other people in the same boat, and I really respect that you have been able to make it financially viable too. I was in New York while you were in Goa and now I am in Goa while you are in New York. Life is funny, would love to connect sometime!

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    • Good to meet you here Sheena! I’m sure our paths will cross soon enough🙂 I love the interiors of Goa. Will you be there for a while?

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  13. kudos to u girl !! it takes a lot to do wot u r doing . u simply deserve to enjoy ol d marvels of this world. good luck🙂

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  14. Pingback: One Year of Travelling Without a Home. | The Talking Sloth - Asia

  15. srishti says

    Beauty is the word.
    But i would also love to read/listen to what were your aesthetic experiences…

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  16. I your blog, your words are mesmerizing and the blog is so honest and heartfelt. Love it!! But what really prompted me to respond to this post was that you will be going to Central America soon! I’ve been to El Salvador only….and my understanding is that all four CA countries offer similar topography, climate and culture. That being said, I’m sure there are lots of little differences just waiting to be discovered and I’m sure your blog will keep me informed on what I missed out🙂 In terms of recommendations, El Sal has some fantastic hikes up to volcanoes. I recommend going up Santa Ana or Izalco. But definitely stay safe here as there have been several reports of mugging at the top of the volcano. You’ll probably not be allowed to go up without a police escort anyway as part of a big group.

    The Ruta del las Flores area is a group of 5 towns/villages close to each other that offer a good resting spot, a chance to mingle with locals, see some beautiful wall murals, swim under waterfalls, and ofcourse, buy delicious coffee beans. Part of the experience seems touristified….but again, I leave it up to you to unearth the untravelled spots.

    Food is yum…particularly the horchata and the mixed fruit juice that you get in little plastic bags at grocery stores. Being a vegetarian should also not be too challenging here – they have veggie versions of the pupusa (basically a corn parantha) in several locations.

    Much love and all the best!!!

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    • Can’t wait to leave now🙂 I’m off to Guatemala this week, and will hopefully make it to El Salvador at some point. Thanks for all your recommendations. Shall be writing / Facebooking / tweeting all about my adventures!

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  17. You’re a regular inspiration, Shivya! Wish you some more amazing and inspiring travels through the Americas. If you visit Mexico, don’t forget to spend a day swimming in underground cenotes, breathing in some of that ancient Inca magic.🙂

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  18. manishkmr says

    Life feels more meaningful with something to aspire towards. Mono no aware; a Japanese saying describes it as a longer, deeper, gentle sadness about the transience of things being the reality of life. Life isn’t always about doing something, finding something, being something. Sometimes you just have to drift along and see where it takes you.

    Well said Shivya..lovely post.

    Like

  19. nishanth says

    Beautiful post! No sense of hypocrisy, very honest. I have a question though. On your section regarding happiness, you say we need a goal to be joyful and then you bring something about transcience and conclude with that it’s okay to get lost. So what’s your stance ? A life with a goal ? Or a life of adventure ?

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  20. tharinid says

    Thanks for saying longer, deeper, gentle sadness with respect to life and its transience. I feel like I am always there, in that place.

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  21. Hi Shivya, I hope you take my comment positively. I find it extremely tacky that you ask ‘generous people’ to contribute to your travel fund. Asking people to buy via affiliate links is perfectly fine but directly asking to transfer to your account to fulfill your travel dreams? Isn’t that quite sad? Its almost akin to begging! You left your job on your own will to travel the world at your own will and you obviously knew that this costs money. Asking people who chose to stay back at their jobs to fund your travel is extremely distasteful. Could you tell me one good reason why would I like to spend my hard earned money on sponsoring your travel fund? One good idea I have is maybe you could change it to -” hey here is a link to donate 5$ (or 10$) and I will send you a travel postcard from wherever I am in the world” That way, your loyal readers feel that they are getting a special souvenir from you and it would be a way to connect to your readers but not directly ask for charity. Hope you publish my comment and take it positively. I have nothing but my best wishes for you

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Prarthana Thite says

    Waw! So beautiful sweet kind of Message u gav to all hu hav Travelling inspiration!
    Loved ur small sweet adventure:)
    Keep going…Hav a beautiful life ahead..

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  23. Pingback: Normal to Nomadic: How One Girl Built a Life of TravelThe Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

  24. Your pictures are incredible and your journey inspiring. If you don’t mind me asking, isn’t traveling extremely expensive, did you have money saved up? I am just curious as a fellow traveler if there are ways to get around the hefty price of travel:)

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  25. Jahnvi Jose says

    Hey! I just gave my 10th boards and currently am waiting for my results. Reading your blog is the best thing that I’m doing these days. What you are doing right now is something that I would love to do. Travelling, reading and writing are my major interests and it would be really helpful if you could advise me and help me make my dreams turn into realities. And I really really appreciate you for doing what you love.

    -Jahnvi

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  26. Pingback: Normal to Nomadic: How One Girl Built a Life of Travel | Room n House Blog

  27. C.P says

    I deeply admire your courage to quit the conventional corporate job and follow your dream, a lot of people think about it but don’t usually go for it, but when you stumble across stories like yours it does help in a big way as an inspiration. Travelling, Reading, Writing, and essentially leading a nomad’s life is what I also wish to do for a living, however unlike you I haven’t been able to do justice to my dream so far. Going through your blog did awaken my spirit, made me more determined and confident, and hopefully I will also be on the same path sooner, than later!

    Thanks for the inspiration!🙂

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  28. Your travel stories brings tons of inspiration…and yes, hope that one day, I get to see more of the world and it’s many fascinating adventures.

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  29. I’ve been a silent follower of your adventures and travels for a year or so. While my life isn’t nearly as awesome as yours, you still inspired me to start blogging.

    Thank You!

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  30. loved the post. “Mono no aware” is also the best way i can describe the most precious thing that my travelling/trekking has taught me.
    Nevertheless, have a great american odyssey..would love to read wat you discover.

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  31. Pingback: “Learn the rules of photography, then break them”- Shivya, blogger | Capturest

  32. Gunjan Sharma says

    Hi Shivya,

    I love your blogs and your soulful writing.
    After reading your blogs, I feel as though I am present in those journeys and experiencing it first-hand.

    Hats off to you.

    Keep up the great work !

    Like

  33. One sunny morning says

    lovely blog…. definitely gonna follow this regiously… wish i had the guts to travel like u …

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  34. That’s something I want to try too, travelling without a home for a long time, for it is in our travels that we’d be able to find our true selves and see the real meaning of our lives. I’m thinking of starting my life journey in Nepal or Japan, two of my favorite places to go to.

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  35. nakul soni says

    I love your story! is the first thing I’d want to tell you. I myself am a little traveler, just a beginner but someone who wants to touch the whole world, even the moon if possible! . you inspire me so much that I feel like travelling even more and also I would like to tell you that I am thinking of starting my own little travel blog as I like writing I would to love know your opinion on this.Just keep up the good work.

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  36. it’s great. The way you express life is something else..Something everyone just wishes to be true..Passion is the important thing that separates you from most of them. Keep going and Don’t forget to keep updated.

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  37. You are truly an inspiration and I am really luck to find you and your posts. Hopefully one day, I will also stand for my dreams and my passion.

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  38. sukhchint kaur says

    i want to pursue travelling as my career..m in 12 now…what should i do..cz most of the bloggers have chosen this career after quitting their jobs..can’t i start with it after my 12 class only?

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  39. Whenever I read about solo travels and look at the beautiful pictures, I always wonder who takes the photographs. I am always curious – Do you ask a stranger to take a lovely quick shot or do you have a travel companion who also happens to be good at photography. Or is it timed self shoots?

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