So writing your first post on your website can be a daunting task. It took me two weeks to figure out what my first post should be. Actually, scratch that. It took me about two months since my India trip and after quitting my job to finally figure out that I should start writing and putting together travel inspiration stories.
The bigger irony is that, prior to this, it also took me two years to start this and figure out that I want to collect stories and experiences. I visited many countries and trekked to many places but there were only few places that really captivated and inspired me to look at things differently.
If you have read my About Me page, you would know a little bit of my history of why I started this and where I came from. But let me tell you what the turning point was.
On my first travels to other places, I thought people who owned a fancy equipment like a DSLR only had the right to tell a story. After all, they spend hours behind the camera learning up the technicalities to weave magic and emotion onto that final frame.
Putting cameras aside, I was just visiting sights and places in Myanmar but didn't quite form a connection with the place and thought something was amiss. I then met a local sculptor in Myanmar and just listened to what he had to say. He didn't have much, but had a lot of stories to offer of how he was putting every penny aside to save up and study archaeology, all this while supporting his family. I met another family on my trek to the Annapurnas in Nepal - a father who is an amputee, a mother who has Asperger's syndrome and a three year old toddler. Their mantra was simple: they were on this transformative journey and did not care for the limitations that they had.
That quote and stories really put thing into perspective. It was such a great lesson to hear them out. I realised you can find inspiration in the simplest of things around you. It's not about objects or possessions, but more like how you're in a shitty mood and nothing resonates with you. You go to a cafe or a random walk somewhere and you overhear someone's conversations and you think to yourself "Oh crap that's such an amazing story." In similar ways, you hear a person's story and you feel more connected to them.
More than that, a lot of my decisions and change to take a stand and dedicate my work towards something more meaningful also came from difficult experiences. I was studying and working to make things work when my dad passed away. Having an episode like that reminded me of my mortality and served as a clarifying event in my life. This also led to a lot of changes in my life and the need to shut out everything and refocus on things that would make me happy.
So what is it that I want, and have I found it?
As someone who did a few cool adventures, I do enjoy my time off to collect these nuggets of inspiration. But in no way have I gave up working completely, since finding your calling at the beginning doesn't come with a paycheck. What I am doing right now is working on few projects and trying to make The Gone Goat a resource to remind myself and others of our strength and scale and diversity of this planet that we live in when we need them the most.
In the end I just hope that the stories can teach us a lot about lives fully lived. If you think I have lost it, please note that I would in no way tell you go high on a green sweep of Swiss alps or go grazing with a herd of goats like how the 33-year-old who decided to become a goat.