7 Years, 7 Continents : My 2020 RTW Travel Goal, Why I must start planning it now and why perhaps you must too #my2014wishlist

1/09/2014 06:44:00 AM

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7 years back, in the year 2006, I first sat foot outside my home country India and continent. I was a little girl, alone, naive, mostly scared, so much that All I did was to watch TV the entire time and never left my hotel room for 90 days, except spending a long weekend babysitting my colleague/friend's daughter. actually they were the one who picked me for a few trips to shopping-mall and dropped me back at the hotel. for once, I went out for a day long drive to Point Reyes near San Francisco, stuffed in the car, b/w two couples, one that couldn't stop cuddling, and the other that couldn't stop fighting. I have had my doubts on marriage ever since. Alright I am just making excuses now.

I have been traveling internationally on and off ever since. I learned my way to the world. Both travel and related interests, grew on me in these past few years. and I am wise now, not wise or bold enough to enter in to a bar alone yet though. But at least now I can talk travel and I have a certain fixed goals for example let say I want to travel the world for sure and I know why and how.

I was reading a few mails I was sent to, that specifically wanted to know how one can afford to travel. most of 'em, these people who wrote, however, were fed up of their current jobs, and were mostly looking for an affirmative nod from me on making it to the world w/ out a regular work schedule. networking links, invites, if i could spill a few is all most of em wanted from me- secrets of Sponsored travel - Free travel - "Free" is a huge word you know. everyone loves it. I am sure you know, those sales, where sometime people buy things just because they so badly want that thing thats coming free w/ 'em. such is the power of free. But Its delusional.

only about 3 years back I deactivated my facebook account for about an year and half, the reason - I was surrounded by braggers. every other person getting published ( photographers ) and flaunting it. I had only started shooting seriously then and I hardly knew people in the industry or was too shy to actually get in touch w/ any magazine etc. however I made friends and yes I got few article published, photographs as well. then I had to run behind the editors for payment. the bubble that publishing world is,  busted pretty quickly. I dint want to work just to see my name on paper, and so much for the money that i cant buy a pair of shoes with. I thought, why should I? when I can earn a hundred dollar an hour in my main / however a little stressful profession for which I studied all my life. ( Career who cares. Money, Livelyhood you have to earn someway or the other)

I made my decision, where and what I want to spent my time and energy on, and I am happy. but here comes the bummer. its twitter now that has become a place to brag, only its replaced by traveler bloggers ( not travelers really). while you are not learning anything in such company, its irritating to the core listening to how great I am, blabber. Its like no matter where on social media you go, you'd find self-claimed celebrities.

I have been asked this question many times and both by people who travel but don't blog at all, and those do a little just for the love of it. How's the travel done all by urself any different and less celebrated than that done by invites from tourism companies. you network w/ PR, you send pitches / media kits and what not, then you have deadlines to deliver the write-ups. its a constant process and nothing less than actual real job. you don't meet the deadlines, you wont see another invite or is it not that way?

You do it because thats how you earn your livelihood. Your blog is what ?- a book of advertisements with no real story. trust me in real stories not everything looks glorious.

And well here's the other kind of people. that just don't want to get in to all this fake drama and just want to travel for the sake of travel and blog for the sake of blogging. They have an adventure thats totally written by them, totally planned and lived by them. then what makes them and their's stories not good enough? or not worth the mention? just because they don't stroke your back for you to return the favor? or they wont give you a PR name, or an - xyz sent me disclaimer? or they are not known, its simple they don't care and don't need to run around people for anything, because they have the money ( which is also hard earned by the way through not-so diplomatic yet excellent skills) to do what you're doing through those glorious invites, which you earned through "contacts" and well they are doing it their way.

free is not always free - I have had hard time explaining this to people when I reply to them. The truth is People hear what they want to hear. such is the case, but here are few points I'd try to put my perspective for the final time.

1 Don't compare yourself to anyone.
you wont do this if you,

2 Set up your priorities.

Its as simple as this : if you want to be a writer -> author. go invest your energy on writing a book.

You wouldn't have to draw comparison with anyone, if you know what your priorities are. jot them down. Don't get bedazzled by braggers or the professional popular ones. and  just incase if you have been then,

3 Give your idea a test run. try living their life for a while.
Grass is always green on the other side, be on each side for a while to figure out if its really worth being there. its always good to take risks, experiment and then work further w/ the results.

4 You 'are' good at what they do, you are just choosing to focus on something else, that also give you more moolah and more freedom, and because you have freedom,

5 You can do things the way you want to do them.
i.e. your travels are more meaningful and satisfying. they're not just bragging rights.

Those, above, my friends, are my learnings so far. You can be on either side, but be aware of the other side, love it, and be respectful. I picked mine and I am glad because as I learned I know I can plan big and those plans are in my own hands. My passport is expiring next month and I think I have a brand new plan for the brand new passport. I have been dreaming about one thing whole new year week. and that is.

an RTW trip.

But I cant do it.

Why Not? because I don't have money? or I don't have RTW invites? or I have to go wherever someone would send me to?
No. Its because, I would want to take a break and come back home every other month.

While I am all in for travel and I want to travel the world, see all the national parks, mountains, forests, and remote villages i..e  every inch of the earth, I also know I have to get this bug out of my mind someday soon,  to think of something further, something beyond just traveling, and thats why its important, ( and not because I want to show and brag I can do it, with out you know what )  that I give a deadline to my Dream of a world travel odyssey. Now I am sure money wont be a problem ( fingers crossed, there)

So here is the plan.

7 Continents
in 7 years.

i.e. by end of 2020 I am hoping and wishing to visit the whole world. so that in 2021 I can dream about something beyond travel and actually do something else. I could have easily done this by now and already. but I think knowledge comes through experiences and one learns from his mistakes. Just see, only 2 weeks back in my letter to Santa I was talking about How I was okay being sent anywhere and everywhere. Well, I just hope you too find the freedom to fulfill your true dreams because thats all what truly matters and nothing else.

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  1. What a thought provoking post, Poonam.

    You know what? I've seen people (the so called travel bloggers) turning every stone to get an invite and then brag about it. They use all their contacts and other means to be in limelight & then brag abt it.... whether it is about their interviews, or top positions or no. of pages left in passport or no. of followers. If I tell you who all have bought followers on twitter & FB, you'll be shocked. :)
    People who earlier used to call themselves journalists, now promoting themselves as Travel bloggers.
    I wonder how PR people can be so dumb not to notice these things.

    I have been travelling & later volunteering since ages, for nearly 18-20 years now but started blogging very late. I started getting invites only since 2012.... because of the contents in my blog! You must've noticed I am not in any kind of race, you won't find me in any "Top" list, I am not always on social media. But I have a life! :)

    Nearly everyday I get a mail, message or a call asking me the secrets of getting an invite. I simply tell them to travel with their own money, explore the world for a few years & then come to me.

    Unlike you, I can't hope to visit the whole world in 7 years... I am a slow traveler, I like to either stick to a place for months or go back to it again & again. So my no. of places is not much compared to my memories and I am happy that way. :)

    Hey! But I think you are a fan of some of these braggers. No? :)

    P.S.- Can you pls enable the Name/URL option for commenting ?

    1. Oh Nisha, :)

      I'll reply backwards. Just enabled Name/URL option. was wondering why its not already there. spams I believe would've been the reason.

      And Oh What made you think I am -forget braggers, anyone's- fan at all? :) no such word in my dictionary. I am actually the butcher of brag-crap and I criticize non-stop much to everyone's dismay.
      But Honestly, being in the other corner of the world, I feel it helps a lot. Bangalore was a nightmare.

      I have been on and off social media and blogging both.. confused where I should be, and I enjoyed both, peace and nonexistent online life and being around online and seeing whats going on and how people are making fool of themselves. Harsh but true. But as I always say, the world the heterogenous, you'd find all kind of people. The One I like are also around and a conversation or two w/ them once in a blue moon always makes it worth being in this maze.

      I am a slow traveler myself. can't be on the run non-stop, and thats why this 7 years Idea. Only time knows I can do it not, or would want to, say after a month even ( confused I tell you ) But It is true, w/ the rate, the word travel has consumed my mind lately, I would want to get it done and get it over with, Unless Mark twain's word come true. - "I shall be happily infected until the end of my life."

  2. Wow....great. Wish you best in your travel endeavors. Not a traveler blogger ( in fact, not much of blogger either - so no clue regarding PR and Travel blogging) but just do it for fun and learn.

    1. Thank you very much Rajesh.
      Actually thats all I want to convey here through this post to many who are in the rat race.. fun and learn is what, thats more important..
      you said it.. !. and thanks again for the wishes.. cya around.


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