And I raised my Hand !
My never ending fascination to travel around India has taken me to 20 states and 2 Union Territories in 18 months. Well, I always liked travelling but never thought that it will become my passion one day. So much that I decided to quit my settled PR career of 8 years without a thought. At that time, all I had in mind was to Travel and witness the beauty of this country. I decided to listen and follow my heart.
Recently yourstory.com (Click here) carried an article where I shared my experience as a Solo Backpacker in India. Soon I received many appreciation emails and messages. Among them there were people who shared their inclination for continuous travel and wanted to understand what I do for a living.
I will be honest with you guys here. I struggled. I always thought that I would travel for 6 months and would opt to go back to my corporate life. But when I started backpacking, I realised that there is so much to see that I cannot restrict myself with number of days. The decision to lead a semi-nomadic life also meant that I had to look at options to earn, while on the go. I tirelessly started pitching for freelance work and initial few days were nothing short of big struggle. There were months when I had meager amount in the bank, which led me to compromise on few plans I had. All this at once, led me to question my decision. One thing which worked in my favour was that I was always sure of what I wanted to do, which still includes not going back to the big lucrative world of corporate. I opted to live a free life and this is what I want to continue.
There were things which I learnt and I would want to share this with you. In a scenario where we hear and see people leaving jobs to Travel, we need to understand that it all comes with a plan. I know Traveling the world, Travel solo, backpacking… all sounds exciting but there are ground realities attached with it. Travelers who quit jobs always have required savings in hand. Iam sure a lot of people would know about this but what comes next is my question. Savings without a source of earning will surely get over one day. Going back to your regular job can be one option if you quit the job for a break. But what if you want to continue with your passion?
This is where I always say that have a long-term vision. Things are possible in every way. HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN ALWAYS! Do not rely on one thing to earn money
If you think that you can strive solely on your writings then invariably Travel pieces do not fetch much in Indian market. You cannot strive solely on your writings. So after much struggle and studying the market, I opted to look out for options. This is what I decided to do:
- I continue to freelance as a PR consultant, which also remains my main source of income. I have 8 years of working experience which works in my favour always
- Contribute writings for Media Houses which is a part of my portfolio
- I am also a freelance content writer
This brings me to another question, what can you do to sustain in this industry? The good thing is that Travel industry is booming in India and there are lot of good opportunities. Lot of start-ups are entering the market and it’s important to keep your ears open.
Here is what I can suggest (Off-course there would be additions to this. I shall keep updating this)
- Be a Travel Writer
- Be a Travel Advisor: You can have the option of working with a Travel agency to design itineraries with your experience
- Be a Specialist: Work out on your strengths. Heritage/ adventure/ photography walks are quite popular these days, which will fetch you money. If you have an expertise in Heritage or adventure or photography there are companies who are on a look out for you
- Be a Social Media Expert
- Be a communication expert: Recently a start up proposed me to sell properties to corporate through them and I actually found this idea good. These deals actually fetch you good money even if this means on commission basis
- Be a Traveler: Many companies look forward to appointing Travelers, who can bring them good stuff by going places. This can include information of offbeat places/ Food/ Stay. The bonus is these are all paid trips, while they also pay you an amount (as a part of salary)
Hope this shall answer many questions 🙂