A few months back I posted a blog about a college student who wanted to quit his studies to travel. After a friend, Tanisha Guin read it, she asked if she could contribute a blog on the same topic. I will admit, I was hesitant but I really liked what she has written! So enjoy the guest post by Tanisha Guin on how to travel while studying. You can read her blog here.
As a 16-year-old student, I’d only dreamt of traveling as I was always fed with the thought that traveling is expensive. Back then, my idea of travel was to explore some far-off destination. But things changed and my past understandings were proven wrong.
As a 17-year-old college-going student, I was exposed to the realm of ‘candid’ men and women who traveled, some solo, while others either as a couple or as backpackers. This exposure was when the hidden-wanderer/explorer in me shook and the first thing I said to myself as a student who dreamed of travel with no money was ‘If they can, I can’ and certainly that was where my adventures had started rolling in.
I started small. I started with backyard travel i.e.., to explore one’s own city/countryside/town. I took baby steps in my very own home base (then), Mumbai. After my long affair with Mumbai, little did I know, about the city’s secrets. It had corners to unveil and stories to unravel. With a
pocket-size of a mouse and my decision to not ask money from my parents to travel took me to many a corner in the big city of Mumbai. It started from the shanty settlements of Dharavi.
Dharavi was where I’d started working as an English and French language teacher to the slum community. I also freelanced as a travel blogger and a city tour guide. With the little I earned, I saved every bit of it, and prioritized travel over shopping, eating out and randomly snacking.
This made way to explore the city’s lesser-known secrets, the nearby hill stations, and the countryside getaways. During weekdays I’d started exploring Mumbai with the lens of a newbie, this idea certainly took
me to places inside-out. Starting from meeting the Chinese residents in the only-Chinese temple of Mumbai, exchanging conversations with the laundrymen of Asia’s largest laundromat in Dhobighat, unraveling the history and the lives of the Jews from the Jew Synagogues, to having
inspirational musings from the silent corridors of the art galleries across the artsy lanes of Kala Ghoda definitely showed me the side of Mumbai only a few could’ve had seen.
My curious mind, restless soul and itchy feet had soon transformed me from ‘just’ being a Humanities student to also being a language teacher, a city tour guide and a travel blogger alongside.
Here’s a glimpse of what my every day looked like –
5 am – Start from Vasai (a town 60 km away from the heart of Mumbai) to board the Churchgate local for college.
6:30 am – Reach Churchgate. Either watch the Sunrise from the Gateway of India or sit by the Arabian Sea at Marine Drive and soak in the pleasure of seeing the city shape into motion slowly but steadily.
8:00 am – College. During free lectures, venture out, explore the neighborhood that is home to a Jew Synagogue, a handful of beautiful art galleries, and museums or just wander by the ever-changing dramatic streets that is home to some heritage masterpieces, or even better, if I have
a guest coming in, show him around for a few hours and cash in some pocket money.
1:00 pm – Attend French classes for 2 hours.
3:00 pm – Leave for Dharavi Diary (the learning center in Dharavi), to deliver English and French lessons for 4 hours.
Board the local train and get back home by 9 pm.
I would venture out to the countrysides during weekends or on off-days.
This might seem like a tiring routine, in fact, it surely was but following this routine for like 2 years was what had transformed me to be lucid at all the things I loved. Even though I was tired by the end of the day I slept with a wide smile on my face.
To this day, I’ve come down to believe that yes, traveling does involve money, but equally, it is also about prioritizing travel above other life choices, saving and being smart with the move.
I quit my job about 4 years ago, I was totally not planning on it. I often say I do not miss work, but I certainly miss my salary. My blogging income is nowhere near my professor’s salary. But since I quit my job, it is assumed I quit it for traveling. Here is what I wrote after six months of quitting my job, it is in no way glamorous!
Today I was looking at my Instagram message requests, when I decided to reply to a young boy. To everyone who asks me about quitting their studies or jobs, you will be directed to this post. It is an actual conversation which I have edited minimally for clarity. There is no identifying information about the person who had this conversation with me. So here we go! The boy goes by the acronym YB for young boy and I am ME! Text in the parenthesis is mine added for clarity!
YB: Hello ma’am I want to be a travel blogger please help me
ME: Good luck if you have a specific question do let me know
YB: Ma’am i need a little bit of guidance…pls if u can show me the path
YB: Ma’am if u wish i can tell u my whole journey
ME: Not possible
ME: You need to start a blog somewhere
ME: Or be active on Instagram
ME: Also no point of a private profile (YBs profile is private on Instagram)
ME: Sponsors can’t view it
YB: Ma’am i want to make it as a career
YB: My only passion and love all my life has been to travel and travel
YB: And i do it for my own happiness
YB: I just hate sitting in a classroom listening boring lectures
YB: Ma’am i dont want to kill my passion
ME: I was a professor before I quit giving those boring lectures
YB: Oops sorry mam
ME: Worked for 13 years full time
ME: Saved money
ME: Husband still works full time
ME: Answer the question for yourself- where will the money come from?
ME: And you are sorted
YB: Ma’am if i do good work which impresses people..somehow things would work out
ME: Too many people thinking the same, buying followers …
ME: Try side by side
ME: I make nowhere near my salary from blogging
YB: Ma’am i made a vlog and showed it to my frns..
YB: They liked it
ME: Show it to a sponsor and see if anything happens
ME: Try side by side
YB: I don’t know any sponsor
ME: Search on Instagram
ME: Connect with them
ME: Message them
ME: The companies you want to work with
YB: I just want to show true nature to people…
YB: Is there any particular company
ME: You have to think about it
YB: Mam how to search for companies..
ME: Using the search button (on Instagram)
ME: Or Google
Me: I would search for example Samsung
ME: If I wanted a cell phone company
YB: Mam i want to tell one thing
YB: When i made my first travel vlog..the energy i received was tremendous..it felt i was very happy..and suddenly as if i became a new person
YB: Thats when i found that this is my passion
YB: Now i don’t want to leave this
ME: Yes good luck
ME: Try it out while studying
YB: Ma’am the study is like a burden on me
ME: Beta (son) you are a burden on your family
ME: Who are educating you
ME: Become independent and do whatever you want
ME: You are talking to the wrong blogger
ME: I would never advice you to quit
ME: If my daughter did this I would ask her to finance it herself
YB: Ok ma’am
ME: Take care, use your free time to follow your passion
ME: And complete that degree or school
YB: Ok ma’am
ME: What do you study
YB: I m doing MBA
ME: What is the fees
YB: 10 lakhs
ME: Who paid it?
ME: See, you would value it much more if you arranged it.
ME: Got a loan
ME: Paid your own fees
YB: Ma’am had i arranged it..i wouldn’t have done it in the first place
YB: I just randomly gave the MBA entrance and got 98%ile
YB: So i have to join it
ME: They (YB’s parents) could have gone on a trip to Europe instead of paying your fees!
ME: Now that you have joined do justice to their money
ME: Don’t let it go down the drain
YB: And should continue doing something where i don’t have interest…
ME: Should have thought about it before you took admission
ME: You think blogging is fun?
YB: Ma’am i told u i want to make it as a career
ME: Yes but use it (MBA) to get a job
ME: There is no fairy tale in blogging
ME: It is not vacation
ME: And it won’t give you money for years to come
ME: Who will pay for your travel
YB: Ma’am when u like something u just arrange somehow
ME: Yes just repay that 10 lakh and do whatever you want
ME: I know the value of 10 lakh
ME: If my child wasted it I would ask it back and go on a trip to Antarctica
YB: Mam its not that…i would get the job..but doing that won’t give me satisfaction
ME: Yes so change your career
ME: Your parents money was not plucked from a tree
ME: Once you are earning your own money use it to fuel your passion
ME: No one will bother you then.
ME: And as the saying goes you get to know aate dal ka bhav or the cost of visa and flight tickets
YB: Ok ma’am..i would make it a side career
ME: Yes and switch once you are confident.
ME: Bye for now and good luck
YB: Thank u ma’am
ME: You are welcome
I am Mridula Dwivedi, I love to travel! I started my travel blog in 2005. I have been going places since! For more details do check out my media kit! In another life I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur. I was a professor when I quit my job in 2015.
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