That’s it folks, I quit! :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” - Henry David Thoreau
Last month was my last at work. I quit, finally! 
Surprisingly, it wasn’t all about travel. 

Jumping With Joy

Although travel had a lot to do with this decision, it was also not entirely about it. It was something so much more than travel. Something that travel had introduced me to, freedom! The freedom to do things we want and things we must. I love to travel, no doubt, and having a steady job with good income and a great number of vacations per year was actually working out quite well for me. But somewhere along it felt like I was trying hard to play catch up and never really caught up. The last few months have been so crazy I’ve hardly been able to do anything I like. It was an exciting period both professionally and personally but it drained me out completely and left me mentally exhausted.

Despite having never gone to gym, I used to be pretty fit thanks to frequent short yet strenuous treks. But over the last few years I have become so dull, I struggled to climb every single time I have gone trekking in the recent past. Being unfit in the outdoors is so not fun, trust me! No treks, no sunsets, no cool evenings, it seemed all that time was spent in traffic. And the rest of the time, I was busy playing catch up. I got a lot of writing done (Read : Reflecting on a year as a Travel Writer!), got a lot of experience and all that slogging was part of the mandatory early learning curve but it had to go away. It had to end.

I had already given up on material possessions in favor of meaningful experiences, you know how travel does that to you, but I wasn’t counting the mental energy and precious time I was still investing to keep up this lifestyle. One fine day, as I struggled with this new discomfort, I came across Henry David Thoreau’s excellent quote “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” That did it for me, I decided it wasn’t worth it anymore. I didn’t want the extra money at the cost of living with stress and restraint. I wanted freedom - the time to indulge in my passions, to travel, to read, to write, to go visit my family and have the bandwidth to explore and do/create something meaningful.

I did not want to settle for what’s been handed to me. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t escape me for one moment that I’ve been blessed with extremely good fortune where I have a good life, am free to travel, have my health, earn well and have a supportive family that doesn’t require my financial support. Because I had nothing stopping me, it made all the more sense to go after my dreams or make better use of my time than participate in the rat race. If not, all that good fortune seemed just like a crutch to take support from forever instead of making it a pedestal from where I could fly higher. I’ve taken the path of least resistance so far(finished school, took up engineering, took up the first job I got) but now it’s time to tread new waters and push boundaries.

Years from now, I don’t want to be wondering “what if?”. Travel has showed me how beautiful life and this world can be and I intend to experience as much of it as possible. Cliched as it may sound, I want to feel alive and be free.

Of course I will be traveling more but I am not taking off on a six month trip to some place exotic because time is what I need, not more travel. All I want now is the bandwidth to try out different things, enjoy the sunsets, think about how the next years of mine should look like, write and read more. I want time to stand still while I figure this out. But since we do not have that luxury, I want to slow down or just stop in my tracks, turn back and start over. I do not want to escape the hard work, just that I want to invest my time and energy in doing things that matter to me and are close to my heart. And that’s the freedom I dream of.

I am excited about the future, that which is unwritten, wide open and mine to create.
The one where endless possibilities await!

New possibilities, the future is bright?

NOTE : In case you are wondering, I used to work in the IT Industry. ;)

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105 comments

  1. Great Neelima!! I know it's a courageous path many wish to do but are not dare to do.. All the best in your new ventures.

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  2. All the best Neelima ......
    Its a coincidence of sort ... For past few months i have been through the same dilemma for i finally decided to quit :)

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    1. That's great, Vijay! We all need to slow down to do things we love once in a while. If it works, well and good. If not, at least we would've tried! :)

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  3. Best wishes to the new phase of life

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  4. It was heartening to read this post.:-) ...Good luck Neelima..:-)

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  5. Congratulations and good luck! Took a similar decision recently, and it's so great to have the freedom and time to explore personal interests.

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    1. Thanks Niyantha, I was so tired of juggling between professional and personal interests! About time. Good luck to you too! :)

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  6. Happy independence day :). In my mind, I read the title as "I Move" in stead of "I Quit" :).

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    1. Ha ha, yes, independence with a caveat, a big responsibility towards my future! :)

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  7. Prashant DurgadmathJune 13, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    you make your own luck..so don't want to wish you more of good luck, am sure you will make that for yourself. All I want to say is you inspire and very happy for you.

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    1. Thanks Prashant, I hope I will be able to make my own luck.

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  8. Great :)...Congrats and all the best :)...Enjoy your freedom :)

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  9. Congrats! Neelima.
    I like it that you have spent the effort to figure out an acceptable answer to the 'what do you do question' before quitting. Your photographs and the writings are a treat. Cheers!

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    1. Thanks Anoop. I am hoping I will be able to do much more for my writing and photography now that I've quit. :)

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  10. I feared when I took that step when I had just passed out of high school. That was 9 years ago and things have been great ever since.

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    1. You are an inspiration! I've seen how you've carved a niche for yourself in a non-existent area in India. :)

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  11. The wanderlust got you! Great :)
    Btw, that last picture at the meadows breathtaking. Where?

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    1. Yes, it did! It was taken at Kudremukh in Karnataka, one hell of a place that!

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  12. Few people achieve what they really want. Its great when you are following your heart not your brain.All the best :)

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    1. Ha ha, yes, I hope my heart will show me the right way. Thank you! :)

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  13. Congrats for your new beginnings

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  14. "Independence is not only doing what you like all the time. It is also the ability to do what you do not like at your free will."
    Not my own..i read it from a great indian leader. I think it was Mahatma.
    Anyway I hope your blessings will inspire many more.... Cheer's!

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    1. Exactly, that choice is the freedom I am looking for. Thank you!

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  15. Happy for u.... I've recently started following your post and wish to visit all places u've been to.
    All the very best for ur future.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Neha, I hope you will be able to visit all these places soon!

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  16. you seem to have earned quite a packet to be able to do this dream! lucky !!

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    1. Not at all true, I haven't earned money but I've earned enough experience and confidence. Most of us can never enough to not work again for an entire lifetime!

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  17. Girl u cudnt resist using the word 'bandwidth'......twice....the IT hangover...i guess..

    Now while you are trying to stop time.... go live in a buddhist monastery or isha yoga centre n 'breathe'.....things will clear up...

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    1. One shouldn't forget where they come from. IT industry gave the wings to my dreams, for that I shall be grateful forever. :)

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  18. Welcome to the new world Neelima. Since I have been in this very space for some years, I have to say that it is tough, but it is also fun. And in terms of freedom, nothing can beat it. If you are self-driven, you have good days ahead. Cheers and good luck!

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    1. Thanks Sankara! I exactly know what you mean, I'm so lazy these days already with no boss sitting over my head, have to make a few changes and draw up a few schedules if I intend not to go bankrupt in the coming days. :)

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  19. Awesome Neelima and best of luck!

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  20. Seems like many are moving out of IT industry these days. Few of our gang mates moved into organic farming and live stock farming couple of years back, and believe me they all are doing really good and having peaceful lives as well, completely stress free and lots of time to do anything as you wish, at the same time making good money as well. I wish to join them as soon as I have the initial capital raised.

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    1. Oh wow, that's nice to know. I really see no point in stressing ourselves so much when we can live peacefully for much less. All the best to you too, hope you join your friends soon.

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  21. Only one word: "WOW!"

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  22. All the very best Neelima....

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    1. Neelima, Also you can update your 30 before 30 article.... :)

      30 .Quit my current job and enter the world of Travel & Photography full time!

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    2. Yes, yes, I will do that, Have to cross off two things. ;) Thank you!

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  23. Not surprised at all! Travel exposes one to the spirit of life that makes desks and computers hard to cope with. Good Luck!

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    1. Ha ha, thanks Harita. Seemed like the only option, like you rightly said. :)

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  24. Well done. Wish you all the best in life. I did the same thing, for the same reason, three years ago and I am glad I did it.

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    1. Awesome! I hope I too will have good things to say about this decision in future.

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  25. Wow! Bravo! Best of luck! :)
    Henry David Thoreau is my hero too!

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    1. Thanks Mamta, I am yet to read more of his work. But I have a feeling he'll be my favorite too. :)

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  26. Hey Neelima: Congratulations on choosing to follow your dreams. A.. All the best dream chaser, you have chosen wisely, what few dare to. May the FORCE be with you.... :)

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    1. Thanks Prasad, should be an interesting journey ahead. :)

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  27. :) . Like William Davies puts it.
    What is this life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

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    1. Whoa, that's another gem! Thanks for this. :)

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  28. Cool che...
    All the best for the new destinations and new roads in life... wish you a fantastic journey ahead...

    ~SK.

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  29. The title suggests it all. You set the mood for your readers.It was delightful to read your blog. The likes and comments support it more.
    The usage of the photo, the ease with which you moved along was amazing. Am yet to realize, when I started and when I wrapped it up.
    If not, all that good fortune seemed just like a crutch to take support from forever instead of making it a pedestal from where I could fly higher--Nice formation.
    I really appreciate your passion and your drive to invest more time on yourself. Kudos!!
    The write up was lively and reverberates simplicity throughout.
    Let the world know more about your experiences.
    Keep writing.

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    1. Thank you, Hareesh. Glad you liked the writing.

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  30. Way to go Neelima ! This was very heartening to read. May all your dreams come true!

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  31. Very very good to see this finally , Neelima.. good luck , I am sure there are going to be challenges along the way, but I am sure you find a way out of it..

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    1. Thank you Sankar, I have been thinking of it for such a long time. I had to do this and I wrote this post so that I remind myself why I quit in first place before giving up easy when the going gets tough. :)

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  32. I'd prefer reading it as 'Moving on' and not 'Quitting' :) Good luck Neelima for the new journey in life !! Best wishes...

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    1. True, moving makes more sense. Thank you! :)

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  33. This was an amazing article. To quit your full time job and follow your dreams is not the easiest thing to do. All the very best for your travels Neelima :).

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    1. Thanks Anshul, it was long due. Sooner the better. :)

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  34. Sounds great. I love reading your blog. All the best Neelima. :)
    BTW the jumping with joy pic is amazing.

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    1. Thank you! I love jumping in crazy places like this. :)

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  35. Very happy for you Neelima! Good luck for your new ventures!!

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  36. Congratulations n here u join the fleet of dreamers. All the best!

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  37. You have made the obvious choice - moving out off the beaten track! It was inevitable. Hopefully you have taken the decision in right time before it could get late. I salute your decision & clarity of your brain for taking the right decision at right time which would definitely inspire others to take a birds eye view at their lives.
    Long live life ...... cheers.

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  38. I too will look forward to your writings Neelima...travel-related or not :) Enjoy the freedom :)
    -- Varanasi: bathing men

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  39. Good luck, Neelima! Am sure you will experience all that you wanted to, in the coming years.

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  40. Congrats and Good luck, Neelima!
    You might like this zenpencils comic: http://zenpencils.com/comic/128-bill-watterson-a-cartoonists-advice/

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  41. Good luck for your future endeavors. I badly want to do it, but do not have the courage to take the leap.

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  42. Neelima! Congratulations for choosing to follow your dreams.It is really extremely difficult and challenging task to decide things especially at this younger age. You will be an inspiration for many. Proceed on your path with strong determination & will-power & confidence. Always listen to your heart. My best wishes are always with you. I am really proud of you. May success reach you in all your efforts.

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  43. where was the last pic taken btw? Is it in Chikmaglur.. the setting looks so much like Baba Budan...

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  44. Right decision... I left a few months ago... was sick of it...
    somewhat tight in terms of finances but will take that anyday over the cubicle... (& my family doesn't know still :P)

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    1. the rid decision is to quit always! good job neelima

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  45. When there is no external force on what you have to become... There is a INFINITE probability of you becoming anything! Your choice has inspired every one of us. A talented travel writer, nature lover like you has lot to do outside the four walls. You have made the right choice of escaping that miserable death in the cunning corporate world.
    I bet you! If you can publish your writings, your tales that would inspire millions will be the bestseller of this era. All the best Neelam tc, be free 

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  46. Awesome .. Best of Luck

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  47. Woohooo... Finally my wait is over :) was very much Curious after reading your 30 before 30 list about when will you strike off the last item on that list... My Super hearty cheers and wishes from the most emotional part of my heart ... Had not followed you from few months. Suddenlly remembered when i was planning a 3 day trip to Mangalore and Agumbe and realised my wait actually got over a month ago :) I would do Huge Hi 5 if I was with you :) Cheers again...

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  48. Way to go!! All the very best Neelima.. :)

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  49. i have read your post and also am a vivid traveller. some point of time in our busy schedules i also thought of leaving everything behind for taking some time of our own to do things we love to do... sooner or later i wish i could do the same....

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  50. So how far have you gotten with the "30 before 30." ( I dunno when you are gonna read this, by then perhaps we'll have 30 states)

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  51. Great post. Good to hear your reasons and glad that you are thankful for ask that you have and the freedom it brings to you.

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  52. Quite good write-up ..i think one of your best.

    It is challenging to leave everything and travel, of course its not just the travel but in anyways leaving your job and finding freelancing or start your own things for your personal space is challenging. We are entrapped in an illusive yet captivating web of security and conformity that's too detrimental to our own spiritual aspiration but the pull of security and conformity is too great, in a way, quite impossible to break.

    Another aspect is of course money, I am sure you have saved enough money for your rainy days, but is it possible for everyone to do the same. I guess no. I meet lots of westerners during my travel, they leave their country and travel, but the realty is they are quite secured. In fact, the truth is today monks are also secured financially.

    The quote is excellent, inspiring like any other Thoreau maxim.

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  53. As someone who is getting very close to making a similar jump, I have to say congratulations! Sometimes in life, you just have to make that leap and figure it out later, and I am sure you will. Like you, it's not all about travel for me, but it's a nice side benefit. See you out there on the road, hopefully soon ;)

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  54. Kudoos 2 d new beginning. I'm on the verge of initiating my adventurous tour but need quality company....

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  55. Courageous. Your blog is lovely and I like your writing. It connects....

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  56. I came here to check the Gio adventures contest results and stumbled upon this post. ;) I recently wrote a post reflecting on the year 2015, and the part about quitting full-time job is almost as you've described it here. It's not just about travel but so much more. Happy travels and more adventures to you!

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