How I travelled for a full year without a job

One Year of Epic Travel Memories

The evening of 31st October 2016 was when I bid goodbye to everyone, punched myself out of my workplace for the final time and headed home. The plan was to travel for the entire month of November, travel internationally before 2016 ended, celebrate my birthday after 10 years at home in December, move back to Mumbai by the end of the year and take up freelance video work or look for another corporate job.

Everything went as per plan except the last bit. I did return to Mumbai but only to pack up, leave my rented accommodation and head home. It was full-time travel blogging, freelance work from home (not much materialized though) and my head was excited at finally getting a chance to try leading group trips. If I could, this is all I would want to do.

I got inspired by youtube and tried travel vlogging, got my film screened at an international film festival and my story got published in an international travel book as one of 80 most inspirational travel stories. A few more things that were awesome were to happen, but didn’t.

I was asked several times ‘Why don’t you take up a full-time job?’ I have avoided the answer all the while. The bank account has dwindled a few times and forced me to update my linkedin profile, but then a freelance/blogging project would come up, I would ignore the question again.

‘You would be getting paid so well had you not quit your job,’ I have been told several times. I consider it for a moment and glimpses of the 12-15 hour work days, the helplessness and the corporate pressure come flashing back. ‘I am better off without it,’ I think.

And an entire year passed. Just like that. Superfast.

Yesterday evening, I sat down and listed down all the travelling I have done these last 12 months. All of it was funded from my savings from the corporate life and supplemented by the freelance and blogging work I have done this past year. The ‘getting a visa on the passport’ objective still remains unfulfilled but I did manage to travel to more places than I have ever done in life. If my memory serves me right, some of the numbers overwhelmed me. As many as 22 long distance train journeys, 14 roadtrips, 31 destinations, 12 individual flights (all in/out of Delhi), 12 beaches, 6 adventure sports and 3 treks.

Here are all the statistics (Skip to the video at the end if this doesn't interest you):

Trips - 13

Flights - 12

  • Delhi – Bagdogra – Delhi (Spicejet, GoAir)
  • Nagpur – Delhi – Nagpur (Both Indigo)
  • Delhi – Srinagar – Delhi (GoAir, Spicejet)
  • Bhubaneswar - Delhi – Srinagar – Delhi (Indigo, Air India, Indigo)
  • Delhi – Srinagar – Delhi (Both Spicejet)
  • Raipur – Delhi (Indigo)

Train Journeys - 22

  • Goa to Mumbai – Jan Shatabdi Express
  • Mumbai to Delhi – Rajdhani Express
  • Delhi to Dehradun – Dehradun Express
  • Dehradun to Delhi – Nanda Devi Express
  • Delhi to Chandrapur – Telangana Express
  • Chandrapur to Mumbai – Sevagram Express
  • Goa to Mumbai – Jan Shatabdi Express
  • Mumbai to Chennai – Chennai Express
  • Chennai to Bangalore – Double Decker Train
  • Bangalore to Mumbai – Udyan Express
  • Mumbai to Chandrapur – Sevagram Express
  • Chandrapur to Delhi – AP AC Express
  • Delhi to Chandrapur – Telangana Express
  • Chandrapur to Mumbai – Anandvan Express
  • Mumbai to Chandrapur – Sevagram Express
  • Sambalpur to Bhubaneswar – Intercity Express
  • Delhi to Bhubaneswar - Rajdhani Express
  • Bhubaneswar to Sambalpur – Intercity Express
  • Sambalpur to Delhi – Hirakud Express
  • Delhi to Jharsuguda – Kalinga Utkal Express
  • Delhi to Bhubaneswar – Rajdhani Express
  • Bhubaneswar to Sambalpur – Intercity Express

Bus Journeys - 5

  • Mumbai to Goa
  • Mumbai to Hospet (Hampi)
  • Pune - Mumbai
  • Chandrapur – Nagpur – Chandrapur

Roadtrips - 14

  • Baga – Panjim – Madgaon - Palolem - Baga, Goa
  • Dehradun – Pantwari - Dehradun, Uttarakhand
  • Bagdogra - Phuentsholing – Thimphu – Paro – Phuentsholing – Bagdogra
  • Bagdogra – Darjeeling – Bagdogra
  • Hospet – Dandeli- Gokarna – Goa
  • Chennai – Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry – Chennai
  • Delhi – Haridwar - Rishikesh – Delhi
  • Srinagar – Anantnag – Pahalgam – Gulmarg – Srinagar
  • Chandrapur – Sambalpur
  • Srinagar – Kargil – Leh – Pangong Tso – Nubra Valley (Shyok Route) – Leh – Srinagar
  • Bhubaneswar – Puri - Bhubaneswar
  • Srinagar – Kargil – Leh – Nubra Valley – Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh – Srinagar
  • Sambalpur – Raipur
  • Delhi – Bir - Delhi

Cities (At least one night stay) - 21

Panjim, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pantwari, Phuentsholing, Thimphu, Paro, Darjeeling, Chandrapur, Hospet, Chennai, Pondicherry, Rishikesh, Anantnag, Srinagar, Sambalpur, Bhubaneswar, Leh, Spangmik, Hunder, Bir

Cities/Towns (Sightseeing/Long transit but no night stay) - 10

Dehradun, Bagdogra, Hampi, Haridwar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Drass, Kargil, Diskit, Puri

Countries - 2

  • India
  • Bhutan

Treks - 3

  • Nag Tibba Trek, Uttarakhand
  • Tiger’s Nest Trek, Bhutan
  • Aaru Valley short Trek, Kashmir

Beaches - 12

  • Goa- Baga, Vagator, Calangute, Palolem, Sequirim, Little Vagator
  • Gokarna- Om, Kudle
  • Pondicherry- Promenade, Paradise
  • Chennai- Besant Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur

Adventure Sports - 6

  • Parasailing, Goa
  • Bouldering, Hampi
  • Kayaking, Dandeli
  • Ice-skiing & Sledging, Gulmarg
  • Paragliding, Bir Billing

I thought I would mention the trip wise and total expenditure as well, but that will take a lot of calculations and I am lazy.

So what’s the plan for the coming days? I do have a trip planned for an exciting event in November, more than one wedding is to be attended, but there aren’t any plans for after that.

Would I continue freelancing or take up a job? Would I move back to Mumbai or Delhi? Would I conduct more group trips or head on personal vacations? I don’t know the answers yet. But that’s how the entire last year looked before it happened. It took perfect shape, and so I am no longer worried. Things always tend to fall into place.

I am leaving you with this video of ‘The Craziest Year of My Life’. It took me a while to choose the footage from the nearly 100 GB of photos and videos from the last one year, and I think it turned out pretty well. Do watch it and if the tiniest part of this story inspired you, do share it.

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  1. Beautiful brother. You just pumped me with enough motivation. I like you am sitting in the exact same position as you are right now. Having quit my job in December and been travelling since then funding my travels with some savings and freelance money. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring the world. Would love to cross paths sometime in this journey called life.

    1. A comment like this from someone you have never had a conversation with easily makes one's day. Would love to read your story and know about your journey too Johann. And yes, hope our paths cross sometime :)

  2. This is really cool. Loved the vdo and inspired by this post, I am now thinking to document / enlist the trips I take every year in one post and publish on my blog by that year end.
    Again, great post.

    1. Yes, you should. Only when I sat and listed it all down did I realise how many days (and nights) I have spent in trains :D

  3. Your journey is truly amazing! Kudos and keep going for more!

  4. Antarik! You know usually when I see something like this or read something like this about you I prefer texting you on a personal chat window. But dunno why I m leaving a comment here today. Way to go boy! It's one side of the story and I have seen the other too. So it makes me feel proud. And no matter how much I tell you to move back to Mumbai or somewhere near me, this is what I want you to do, the thing which makes you happier and I can surely bare the distance between us for that. Keep it going and I shall only see you smiling and filled with happiness, everytime at some different place.

    1. Sayali...thank you for the lovely comment (and for finally reading a post and leaving a comment on my blog..haha)
      Glad you were a part of this journey. Singing the bday song and then saying 'Sorry but we don't know your name' Haha..!
      Will plan a trip to Mumbai/Pune sometime soon hopefully :)

  5. Keep rocking, keep traveling! And let me comment via name URL :D

  6. Great achievement! Keep traveling and keep sharing. However, I would also like to know how much did it cost to travel for a year across the country? Can we have a post on this and tips on how we can plan a budget? Thanks!

    1. Hey Moon, thanks for the comment. It's a little difficult to calculate the costs and put in a post and I think I am too lazy to do it. But all my trips were budget trips and most were sponsored in some way or the other, so the cost never actually went very high.


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