As some of you know, I have recently embarked on an adventure/holiday/vacation, whatever you want to call it. I have an idea of what I want to do, where I want to go and what I want to see while I am away but I have no fixed plan, no fixed timeline and no fixed destination. I want to experience what ‘going with the flow’ truly means. I want to understand how it feels to be free, even if I’ts for a few months/years.
But what made me take this leap? How did the decision come about? Did it take me months or years to finally be able to do it?
To give you some background, I am originally from India. I was born and brought up in Pune and had always lived with my absolutely loving family. But I always wanted to explore what was “out there” without really knowing what “there” meant. I always wanted to be independent. As a lot of the Indians in my generation, my background is in I.T. and the company I worked for after my graduation gave me an opportunity to work in another country. As luck would have it, I was able to dictate (sort of) where I wanted to go so I chose to come to the UK just because I was always fascinated by it.
I came to London thinking I’ll stay for a year but given the drifter I have been I ended up staying for 7years. London is where I realized I had wings to fly and I just needed to learn how. These 7 years have been fabulous and have provided me with extremely rich experiences, memories, friends and a true sense of self. But I knew early on that I would never settle in the UK. Even so, after years of paying ridiculous money in rent and seeing everyone buy (or try to buy) a property I decided I should too coz you know, that’s what grown ups do. This was conflicting to my “I don’t want to settle in London” feeling but after so many years that had somehow become background noise. Also, not knowing where else I wanted to live made it easier to decide I should stay put.
At the start of 2014, I was trying to figure out where in London I wanted to buy a house, where could I AFFORD to buy a house, going to banks to understand mortgage deals, getting ready to apply for my British Citizenship, trying to figure out what I could do besides I.T. Quality Assurance that I had been doing for the last 9 years. I think at one point it all got too much. There were too many Qs that I was trying to answer, too many plans that I was trying to make.
After a good nudge in the back (more like a kick up my arse) from my best friend, who is also my younger sister, I decided to probe deeper to find out what I really wanted as it was seriously muddled up in a lot of “should dos” and “have tos”. Since doing that I have gone from wanting to buy a flat in London to traveling in Europe for 3 months (before moving to Spain, because of sunshine and Sangria!) to traveling in SE Asia for 6 months to finally being “F*&k it! I’m just going quit my job and London and take off, wherever!”. And funnily enough, this idea did not lose it’s appeal even after a few weeks or a month and so I started taking it seriously. I sometimes joked about “being a kid again or having no responsibilities” and I thought this was my chance to do it. And I decided to take the leap.
4 months after making that decision, I resigned from work and 2 months later, I set out on this adventure. There are so many question marks around what I will end up doing but I am sure I will figure things out along the way. It’s going to be one hell of an experience!