Since April last year, I have moved three homes, travelled 17 destinations (and counting) and have had numerous once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Amidst all of this, I have lost a number of assignments, missed birthdays and have delayed work on my website. Sometimes, I wish I were in one place, with steady Internet to make up for the losses. That continues to be wishful thinking.
When I talk to people, they are usually in awe of this on-the-road life that I am living. Sure, it’s thrilling and envious but I spend more time trying to add numbers so that I can support myself the following month. The practicalities of this life doesn’t appeal to all those who are usually assuming how glamorous the life of a travel writer may be. Let’s be honest, my life is NOT glamorous. It is extremely challenging and every day there are hours that I spend motivating myself, because there isn’t a salary which comes at the end of the month and there definitely isn’t outsourcing that Wi-Fi bill to anyone!
Searching for a decent workplace
One of my mandatory struggle remains to find a good place from where I can work. I am not someone used to working while I am travelling but that thin line between my professional and personal life has slowly faded away over the last few months. So, no matter where I am just now, my most important question is ‘do you have free Wi-Fi here?’ (And I know fellow travellers are smiling just now.) And if they do then, I actively spend the next few minutes setting up my camp: starting my laptop, replying to mails, connecting on Social Media or drafting a quick post for the website. It is tough to come across a healthy combination of a quiet workstation, sans the stare of people (because I am working in a place where they’re socialising) and a well-connected Wi-Fi. And trust me, I’ve learnt to be grateful for being blessed only by the basics.
Missing assignments and deadlines
Over the years, I have learnt to tame my tendencies of procrastination. And then I go ahead and become a travel writer! With a knack of travelling to those off-beat places without connectivity, I try to make my submissions before the deadline. But in situations when I’ve had work coming in which requires an immediate response, it’s gone while I’m wandering in the mountains. And since I hate missing opportunities, it takes me a lot of time to recover from that heartbreak.
Life is too short not to be there for those dear ones who need you. While travelling, I have missed birthdays, special occasions, celebratory news and life-changing moments of family and close friends. We all know how important it is to stay connected and be a part of these celebrations (or even heart breaks.) And somehow, I hate myself for not being there. Even though I may have witnessed a surreal sunrise, it doesn’t make up for missing my mother’s birthday.
No room for single-tasking
I’m not a half-hearted worker. I like to invest in every task with my best efforts. Sometimes, when I have very limited resources, I take the quick way out and finish what I started. It doesn’t mean I write a shoddy article, but sometimes, when I want to spend more time with it and I am unable to do so. Being a natural single-tasker, I find it tough to let go of experiences without doing complete justice to it.
Nothing last forever
As a traveller, I’ve inculcated the one principle: nothing lasts forever. Farewells have become a part of my life; whether it is leaving that happy place, bidding goodbye to people who I’ve fallen in love with, that comforting figure in my bank account or to that moment I’ve wanted to etch in my heart. And often I am scared that this detachment will get the better of me.
This is the life I have chosen for myself and I have absolutely no regrets. I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side, but it’s always as hard to cut.