Learning to Walk Away.

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be flying over the Indian Ocean to the exotic Seychelles islands. I haven’t stopped dreaming about the pristine beaches and turquoise waters since my trip to Mauritius last year (Read: What a Fisherman Taught Me About Paradise). I didn’t think the seagulls would call me back so soon. In fact, I didn’t think I’d be travelling internationally for a while. And there’s only one reason. I’m learning to walk away.

Walking away in Mauritius!
Walking away in Mauritius!

At TBEX Toronto earlier this year, I sat nodding vigorously as Amy of Everything Everywhere (@EverywhereAmy) said, if you don’t value your blog, no one else will. I’ve taken her words to heart, etched them in my mind, and weighed them against the offers that came my way during the past four months.

An invite to Europe wanted me to “do” three entire countries in 5 days. An invite to a major country in the Pacific wanted me to “see everything” from 9 am to 9 pm on each day of the trip, then write more stories than there were days. You can argue that’s how FAM trips for journalists have always been run and that’s also how many Indians like to travel, but can you really say you’ve experienced a country if you haven’t mingled with the locals, sampled a local bar, strolled around its back lanes, tried the public transport, and found adventure by losing your way?

I was frustrated. But for the first time, I felt confident walking away from partnerships that neither offered me the freedom to travel on my own terms, nor compensated me for my time and efforts. The temptation to accept an international trip on poor terms is far too great, and I’ve battled it with all my might. I know there are many bloggers and freelance writers out there who are still working on such terms, and I want to reach out to them and tell them what Amy told me. You need to learn to walk away.

I’m breaking my international travel hiatus with Seychelles this week, and Germany in early December. It’s last call for my flight and I’m thinking, two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.


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the shooting star academy, get paid to travel course

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  1. Wow Shivya, this one teaches so much more thanTravel, this can be applied to everything in our lives…opting for the road less travelled, opting for hardwork rather than shortcuts, opting for what you feel is right rather than losing our beliefs and values for all the opportunies that comes in our way.

    Btw I have a couple of questions for you from sometime in my mind:

    1. Don’t you watch any films/tv shows?
    2. How do you manage your cloths/luggage with constant travelling? I am assuming you buy stuff according to the weather of place you are visiting and discard old cloths on a regular basis.
    3. How good you are with languages? Are you multilingual? How do you manage when you are visiting a place without knowing the local language.

    Anyway, I am turning into a big fan, really like the way you write and your love and dedication for your passion.

  2. You are a STAR by all means. The path you opted for in your life and destinations is making all the differences. You travels and ways kindled my dreams and aspirations to a great extent and i experienced the amazing beauty of traveling solo. We wait always eagerly to hear about your new destinations and adventures. Reena is always keen to hear when is you next commercial coming up :). All the very best and have a great Seychelles experience.

  3. This one is by far your best post on this blog. Have fun… wish you loads of good stories and adventures. 🙂

  4. Did I mention you inspire me. Really! I read your words and think wow, for someone at 25, she is brilliant. Then I think, I must try and incorporate her philosophy a bit more into my training business. And believe me, between you and a few other friends, I will be following your advice and not doing too much to burn out, but not doing too little to attract what I need to do my own things. You are truly an amazing young lady, and I hope we can get to share either a drink, or I get to book you for a tour sometime soon. Enjoy the gulls, the mountains are my siren song. I have a hard time wanting to leave mountains…

  5. Madhulima Acharya says:

    Hi Shivya…I am been following your stupendous blogs from past few months. It’s an honour knowing a girl who quit her well-paid job to go gallivanting around the magnificent globe. I wish you all the good luck and hope to interact with you soon. Bon Voyage:)

  6. Shivya, you are AMAZING 😉 wishing you lots of ‘Happy travelling on your own terms”

  7. I so so so agree with you Shivya! And I am on the same boat. 🙂

    This month saw me declining 3 international invites. People around me (especially the blogger community) think I am crazy to decline!

    But I like to travel my way, the tortoise way…. at my pace, finding my own path & comfort zone in a new place. Mingling with locals, buying my own grocery & traveling by public transport are some of my favourite activities while travelling. 🙂

    All the best to people like us. 😀

  8. Hero Waikhom says:

    What a post Shivya ! Well thought of, very lucid and true to the core. Learning to walk away… is going to bring many more in your way. I think, I am not going to miss any of your article now onwards, am already a fan of yours ! Keep the spirit high and all the best…

  9. Colleen Brynn says:

    I have yet to go on such a sponsored trip, but actually, I’m not looking to do that… just because of this. I want to travel my way. 🙂

  10. Have a wonderful trip. It’s tough to say no but you’re a happier person for choosing to do so.

  11. Enjoy Seychelles! Went there for our honeymoon and il have to say its a paradise! It’s so beautiful, so pristine , so untouched 🙂 safe trip!

  12. Good for you shooting star! It’s time us writers stopped allowing people to exploit us. Enjoy the Seychelles 🙂

  13. Good attitude Shivya… experiencing a country properly produces a far better travellers tale. Besides i’ve never been able to write “to order” Keep it up!

  14. whoa! that’s one kick-ass attitude! gotta give it to ur guts to say NO! 🙂
    Trip On, no matter what latitude the Sun rises in!

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