i quit my fulltime job 3.5 years ago to pursue something in traveling or travel writing. (yes, it was as vague as that) this was after 5.5 years in the corporate world. i had reached the conclusion that i wanted to do something with my time beyond write research reports for brands.
that is when the search began… january 13th 2010. the search for that job which was a passion that gave me money, much like cricket is for sachin tendulkar. i know some people are born with a passion, have their blinding blinkers on and go get ‘that’. i was never one of them, nor will i ever be… i have always wanted different things at different points of my life. simply put, i am passionate about change.
lets go back to 2010… at that time, i had decided travel was the industry i wanted to be a part of… i was clear about that.
life’s not so easy right. i mean, i wasn’t expecting a job to come knocking at my door… (ok honest truth, i was and it didn’t happen to my great disappointment)
it was tough to find something i wanted to do within the travel industry. one travel company that was exciting, was based in bangalore and didn’t want someone based in chennai (where i was at that point of time). after a couple of months with no great leads and fueled by an empty bank account, thanks to a forty-day-long trip to europe, i went back to market research.
i didn’t lose sight of the ‘travel’ bug, but nurtured it. i became a freelance market researcher. decided i would not go back to fulltime which gave me more money, but much lesser time to travel. then in december 2010, i got married, shifted to mumbai… life had again offered me change and something new to put my head to. the ‘travel’ bug was somewhere in my stomach but now a little dormant.
a couple of months later, i did a project for an online travel company. they didn’t pay me for my time, only reimbursed my costs of travel. that was not a great long-term plan. adding to my woes, that material didn’t get used for more than two years! so while i kept saying i had ‘done’ it, there was nothing to prove it anywhere.
more than a year later, couple of job interviews… one call-back came since i sent a poem as an email to the ceo & founder of that company. sadly, it didn’t work out. the couple wanted to do the scouting themselves and wanted me to be the back-end. i didn’t agree and demanded more… they never got back.
another company wanted me to set-up their branch in mumbai, but after some to and fro and then largely silence from their side, i stopped following up. i had realised that both of these were more operational and less writing, not something i wanted to do…
why was writing important?
well, in the midst of all of this mulling, i would also send emails to magazines and editors begging for a chance to write about my last trip. there was only silence. i didn’t even get one reply except from pocketguide who let me write the script for three walking tours about mumbai. i don’t know why they trusted someone with very little writing experience. but they did, and i am glad for that…
it made me realise that i needed to showcase my writing. few people would give me a writing job without some of my work out there… and thus enters merrytogoaround.com.
i had started this blog in 2011 but never really got down to writing regularly. in october 2012, in a month where i had no research work, i wrote and wrote and wrote…morning to night and at times, through the night… i wrote about trips from my past. stories that i remembered about people and places. i wrote about all my experiences. and i started to love it… started to love expressing my thoughts and the likes and comments. with renewed zest i would publish something atleast once a week and keep checking the wordpress stats with a new-found madness for ‘stats’!
and that was the beginning of the writing bug…
armed with this resume (an online writing portfolio) i wrote to a wide range of people. and yes, i finally got a few replies. one magazine printed my article and then two more. i got some guest posts out on popular blogs, websites. then a newspaper printed some work… and then two months ago, i got a job interview with audiocompass.in. and, i began work on the 8th of july!
i was nervous, excited, worried and happy… my husband was too, he was treating me like a child off to her first day at school… he kept asking me if i would be alright, if i would manage… if i would be fine… whether i had everything…
my business card (only if i get one) will say writer! and my projects for the next few months are on the elephanta caves, mazgaon, byculla, jantar-mantar, jaipur, ajanta-ellora, hyderabad and goa… i get to travel to these places and write about them. i am very excited, happy and hoping that i do a great job.
is this the end of the search, maybe not…. but its definitely a great way to continue to my search for ‘that’!
p.s. all the clichés of the writing profession exist, including ‘the salary sucks’ compared to my previous job
p.p.s and i had my lows.. wondering if i would ever find anything i could do… i’m happy now…
and and and p.p.s