A story of how a broke 18 year old from Goa gets paid to travel the world
A year ago I was 18 years old and just like every Indian I was pushed into studying engineering, I realized that I was wasting my time as I wasn't learning anything that would of value for the life I wanted for myself. I didn't want to continue studying something I didn’t like, graduate after wasting 4 years of my life, and then get a job.
I dropped out of college and quit the expectations of society to“get a degree, get a job, work for 40 years, get married, settle down, “invest” in mutual funds and retire at 65.”
Instead, I was willing to delay gratification and Build a life where I do what I want to do, where my work brings meaning to my life, where I don’t need a vacation cause I love what I do.
I had entrepreneurial tendencies growing up and I knew I was going to start something on my own, I knew that I would always find a way no matter the hurdle. I promised myself that I would not work in a job I didn't like or work for someone I didn't like.
One of the things I really enjoyed was reading, learning and writing. I was always leaning towards online businesses as it provided, the freedom to live anywhere in the world. Also an online business is easier to start especially for a broke college student.
After dropping out I started a travel blog at www.thinktravelliftgrow.com with money I saved from Christmas and birthday gifts.
I was inspired by all the stories of people quitting their jobs to travel the world. Why couldn't I do that? I mean were they just lucky? I don't believe that! I believe they worked hard for what they achieved in their lives.
I sold everything I owned and left Goa, India in April 2016 after dropping out of engineering with barely had 200$ in my bank account. I began my travels in Nepal and used to build websites for bars, cafes and hostels to make ends meet. I learnt to build websites while building my own blog and was self taught.
Since I had no credentials I had to depend on results and to get clients, I decided to go cafe to cafe and ask them if they need a website! By the end of the day, I had a client, but I also realized why everyone also had an excuse for why they can’t do something in life.
As I entered a cafe and pitched it was awkward and especially scary for me as I used to be shy and have social anxiety. Yet I knew I had to push myself out of my comfort zone. I got a lot of rude answers but I kept on going.
But the more cafes I went to, the more awkward and scary situations I put myself in, the more I got made fun of, the less I started to give a shit.
I kept my travel costs low and kept on truly working on my blog in the background. My blog grew until it started making enough money to cover all my expenses and I could stop having to build websites.
Most kids these days fail to understand how long life is. With modern medicine, you are going to be living longer. If you are 25 and you live to be 100 you have 75 more years to your life. 75 years is a long time, instead of going out clubbing every weekend, for 2 years spend your time working on your goals.
I started out my journey in Nepal and spent 3 months there, I also did an amazing 15 day trek called the Annapurna Circuit trek up to 5416m with everything I owned on my back. It gave hence of freedom that can never be explained in words. After Nepal I visited Bhutan for a while, then camped in the mountains of Uttarakhand, lived in Dharamsala for over a month and even attended a teaching of the Dalai Lama.
I left India at the end of September, spent 1-month surfing on the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka before making my way to South East Asia. Over the next 3 years my plan is to travel all of South East Asia living in different parts, I've already spent 4 months traveling Cambodia and Vietnam and right now rented an apartment in Hanoi, Vietnam to live there for a month before heading off on the road again!
Thanks to my blog I can travel for the rest my life if I want to. But I'm also starting another online business and a marketing agency right now as I love doing what I do. I don't consider it work.
I'm 19 years old now! That’s young. Really young! If I live to be 60 that’s more than 40 whole years. So many more adventures await me.
I googled "entrepreneur" to make sure I spelled it right. haha!
According to me an entrepreneur is someone who finds a need or problem in society and helps fulfill that need with a solution, in exchange for something of the same value, be it monetary or not, without harming anyone or anything.
That might not be the dictionary definition of an entrepreneur but according to my standards, I am not an entrepreneur, I am on the journey of becoming an entrepreneur. I feel like so many people now call themselves entrepreneurs like it’s the coolest thing in the world.
Stop kidding yourself! Everyone who has an "idea" nowdays call themselves an entrepreneur. Ideas don't mean shit. Execution is everything. No one cares about your idea, we want to see results.
I don’t know what need or problem in society I will end up solving. But I know it will leave the world a better place than it would be had I not been born.
I get so many emails and messages from friends and classmates from high school and every single one of them are like "Hey Jeremy, remember me from school? Omg You're so Lucky!"
Let me tell you one thing, I'm not lucky. I worked! While my friends were busy trying to impress the popular girl in class I was reading.
You do want to talk about luck? Well there was a time when I was completely broke for 4 days before I managed to get a new cafe as a client, having spent my last few bucks I bought a jar of peanut butter and I was living in my tent and I had only peanut butter to eat for all my meals. So lucky aren't I?
Sure I could have gone back to the comfort of my parents and go back to college, but then you wouldn’t be reading this, now would you? Even if I lose everything today and I am broke on the streets tomorrow, I would be back here in a couple of months. It’s about becoming more, not just achieving more.
I love learning and don't believe I will ever stop learning. I read between 3-8 books every week. I take more courses in a month than most people take in their lifetimes. But I never do it for a degree, no! I don't care for a piece of paper. I just love learning. My favorite way of learning is by doing!
I've never let my school interfere with my education - Mark Twain
I do however consider myself lucky when I think about how grateful I am that I alive and I am a human. I'm lucky I wasn't born in a war-torn country where my life is at risk every single day. The odds of being a human is more than 1 in 400 trillion. So yes, I’m lucky to be a human, just like you. I am not lucky that I get to travel the world for a living.
I had the same resources most of the people reading do, the internet created so many opportunities for each and every one of us! People take the power they hold in their hand so lightly and just spend their days sharing memes.
Life is about adventure, and despite what most people will tell you Life is amazing. It’s just that negativity is easier to market.
For me retiring ie not working, is death! Whatever part of my work I don’t like I outsource or hire someone else to do. When you do what you love, you don’t really need a vacation.