We all have fancy dreams of giving up a well-paying job for a career in travel or whatever our passion is. But we all accept that it is sometimes too risky to step into the unknown without knowing what it will be like. And so I have found a way to manage both.
After covering about 24 cities in 4 years; some twice and thrice, I realized it is absolutely necessary and feasible to make travel and writing happen with a full time job, because if you keep doing what you love, someday, the dream will embrace you too.
It may sound really impossible to manage a target of 5 trips in a year, but it isn’t that hard really. Here I give you a complete annual chart to help you feed your wanderlust while managing a full time career.
Trip No. 1 – The start of the “year of travel”
The month of Early Adventure
This has to be at the very beginning of the year. It is an absolutely compulsory journey to take to get you started on your year of travel.
And to your rescue comes the national holiday on 26th of January. Ensure you get an extended weekend with a one day leave and go packing. Since this will be a 3-4 day trip, pick a place closer to your city and get going. Do not delay this one, for this will be the beginning of your wanderlust.
Where: The best kinds of places to go in January are the ones with Adventure sports or deserts. This is the time when it is still chilly in Delhi, the flow in the rivers is perfect for rafting activities and there are enough trekking opportunities available.
Trip No. 2 – The year is starting to bore me now
The short sweet cultural break
It is around March/ April when you get tons of holidays for Holi, Ram Navmi etc. Make the best use of this short free period that can as well be extended, assisted by a few clever leaves taken. Pick out a place and experience completely different from the one in January. Go for a cultural visit. This is the time for festivities.
Where: Cities in UP celebrate Holi with great festivities. Mathura and Banares are famous for their crazy Holi celebrations. You could also head to other nearby cities with a rich culture. I hear Goa also sees great climate in this season. Jungle Safaris also make great options for a season like this.
Trip 3 – I need to get out before I kill someone
The escape to the hills
The month of August is hot but it has what most months do not have. It is again the month of a National Holiday and of Janmashtami. Use this break to go take a peaceful break in the mountains. With the heat and the endless bullshit at the office pulling you down, nothing will lift you better than an escape to the north. Google for off-beat hill stations and get yourself a break.
Where: For those living in the North, there are tons of places you could see, McLoedGunj, Manali, Kasauli, Kasaul, Mussoorie, and countless other getaways. For the ones in the south, Lonavla, Ooty, Trekking trips near Bangalore would make for great plans. If you are really into it, go for a bike road trip to Ladakh. It starts in June and ends in August, though August is the least preferred month owing to the onset of rains.
Trip 4 – The month of Festivities
That place you always wanted to see
Oh! What an excellent time of the year October is. It is undoubtedly the Travelers’ heaven especially for working professionals in India. Diwali, Dusshera, Navratris, Gandhi Jayanti. And it isn’t just the number of holidays available, October is the month of festivals for the whole country, the Pushkar mela, the Diwali Celebrations, festivals in the north and so much more.
And even better; it has the perfect weather to be almost anywhere.
Use all the hardwork and reputation earned in the office to strategically get leaves approved. Make yourself a big yummy long weekend and dive in.
Where: There is no limit to where all you could go, Goa, Pondicherry, Rishikesh, Odisha, Bangalore, Kolkata and so on. It is critical to pick a place where you have always wanted to go and the place that will need more than a 3 day weekend, but it is not crazy enough for a December Holiday. Save the crazy for December!
Trip 5 – The LEGEN *waited for it the whole effing year*DARY month
Total epic shit
The last month of the year is the happiest time of the year when you are leaving another year behind with a mix of happy memories and regrets, of achievements and of resolutions, of sadness and of hope, of giving up some things you struggled to get all year and of the new born determination to bring new changes to your life.
With the Christmas holidays, new years’ eve and a lot of corporate office offering bulk holidays, and with bosses being high enough to let you off with more leaves than you deserve, this month makes me start planning it in January itself.
And for this month of glory, nothing short of absolutely crazily epic must happen.
This is your time to lose it, get out and do things that you usually don’t/ can’t do. Take a roadtrip to wherever you like, go on a bike, a car, whatever. Take a train tour across 5 different cities. Go to Nepal, Bhutan, Malana, Pondicherry, Goa (Sunburn), Mumbai. Go on frozen river treks, bicycle tours and experience yourself at your craziest-best.
And even before you know, you will have achieved 5 trips, 3 short, 2 long in one single year, and believe me; it will only leave you craving for more.
This chart here ensures you have a good gap between each trip for all your office commitments, keeping the bosses and the families happy, and yet get yourself a good enough portfolio of places seen. It is critical to end the year with an epic, self-challenging, crazy trip so you start the next with as much enthusiasm.
And to help you with how to manage expense while you are juggling a job and these trips, read “Keep it Cheap”.
If you are hungry enough to save for travel, and allow yourself enough spontaneity, nothing in the world can keep you from seeing the world!
I really really hope it inspires some of you to get started, do share your stories!