The longer I am in India, the more I realise I’m on a spiritual journey. This journey seems to be about identity and I guess I’m using my blog mostly to figure things out, organise my thoughts and write things off my mind. It’s difficult to understand what nomadic slow living does to me and my mind.

For the first time in my life I feel like I’ve got a lot of space to think about my life; whether past, present or future. I’ve got the chance to detox my life, body and mind by reflecting, closing chapters and making new choices. I had never thought I’d be able to do this before turning 30. I mean, I had been trying this for so many years, but every time I got caught up in work, responsibilities, expectations from others and all the issues and hardships I had to deal with. I had been through a lot and it felt like I was continuously busy cleaning up the mess. Every time when I was just about to finish the cleaning, some other thing happened. Hence, I had never got the chance to work on new things. Now I have.

Nomadic slow living in India helps me in this process, as there’s a lot to see around. Every conversation teaches me something new. Whether I talk to the Xerox man, the pani puri woman, some children playing outside, the bank person, a security guard, driver or jewelry seller; every single meeting triggers something in my mind. The triggers turn into thoughts and the thoughts turn into insights that enrichen my mind, choices and life. Sometimes it feels like I’m a mystery guest exploring daily life in India. I talk to people and ask them about things to know more about their daily lives and the way they see things. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to interact with them so openly. Many people share their stories with me and don’t treat me as an outsider, because in their eyes I’m one of them, a native Indian.

I don’t tell them I’m from abroad and if I tell them, they don’t believe me. “The way you talk, behave, dress and everything is typically Indian,” many people say to me. The only thing they’re usually surprised about is me greeting them respectfully, interacting with them and thanking them. I guess they aren’t used to people showing interest in them and their stories. Anyway, it really changes my perspective on many things in life and inspires me to deepen my minimalistic lifestyle more. I work less, go on long walks, use public transport, explore the city (mostly its people), journal a lot (private) and I keep a tight budget. I thought I was very good at budgetting, but after talking to the pani puri woman, I realised there is so much to learn from Indians with a lower income. This way I am also learning to find joy in smaller things.

For many people this type of slow travelling is very boring, but for me it’s priceless. I learn so much and because of this I’m able to refine the redesigning of my life. I feel that, because of COVID-19 I’ll not be able to enjoy to the fullest when I go to travel some beautiful place. So I’m using this time to work on my personal development, redesign my life, arrange things and when I’m ready to travel to some awesome place, my joy will be more than double. At that point travel won’t be an escape from daily life anymore; my daily life will be full of happiness and my travels will only add more to that.

The longer I’m in India, the more I’m being redirected. My original idea was to travel a lot and follow some programs on ancient Indian practices from time to time. However, COVID-19 forced me to reconsider my plans and go for nomadic slow living instead, which I am actually starting to like.

Nomadic slow living is a mindful way of travelling in which the journey is more important than the destination. It’s about staying in one place for a longer time, soaking in your environments, living a local life, meeting various people and having all kinds of typical native experiences along the way. Instead of seeing all touristic and beautiful places, booking many activities and travelling a lot, slow living encourages you to indulge in the local culture or local daily life. So basically you live in the moment and honour the connection of all people, places and whatever is there. Actually it’s a quite holistic lifestyle in which you structure your life around meaning and fulfillment, focussing on the quality of your life.

What I do most, is work (necessary to cover my expenses), household chores, get groceries, cook, arrange local documents, walk around and have conversations with various people. From the pani puri woman to the Xerox man to grocery people, driving instructors, bank people, drivers, security guards, my therapist and just about every single person I meet on a day. It’s very interesting to know about their life, experiences and the way they think about things. Most people have a very simple lifestyle and are happy with that. They believe in pacing rather than rushing; enjoying the quality of a few minutes rather than counting them. That inspires me a lot and made me work towards a more conscious and reflecting way of life.

Talking with them I realize even more how everything I built up in my life actually means nothing. What are a higher education, growing up in a foreign country, having a beneficial currency etc. if you can’t even have this simple mindset of being happy in this very moment? These people are so much richer than me, in each and every way of what life is truly about. I learn a lot from our conversations and the local experiences. Mostly I learn to appreciate life more, see more positivity in everything that crosses my path and be happy more. Also, I’m starting to understand the Indian systems, like these complex government ways, North-South conflicts, the obsession with light skin, sex hungry guys, the rosy images of western countries… I agree many things are far from ideal, but I choose to keep seeing and appreciating the good efforts too.

We don’t have to agree with each other, but sharing different perspectives definitely gives a better understanding and makes us connect more. Talking about connection, I must say it’s a privilige to be Indian, have the Indian looks, knowing Hindi and be considered as a true Indian while slow living. Sometimes it feels like being a mystery guest haha.. People won’t know that I’m from abroad; most people just think I’m from Delhi and that makes things easier. Some people even expressed to me that they like the way I meet them with respect and have genuine conversations with them. Most people are really happy when I greet them respectfully with namaste, treat them as equal, ask them how they are doing and say thank you. Some people even express this and seeing their gratitude and them giving me good wishes & blessings often leaves me teary-eyed. I mean: it’s so sad that mutual respect isn’t just normal!

I know that for many people it’s difficult to understand my mindset and lifestyle. Many people online label me as weak, naive, having a romanticized view of India, being “too hindu” and also in daily life many travellers I meet ridicule me for being a practising hindu, being vegan, not smoking, not doing drugs, not drinking alcohol, not being a party person, wearing ethnic Indian clothes etc. They have all kinds of opinions on how a traveller should be “outgoing”, social, interact with other travellers more, travel all kinds of awesome places, posting amazing pictures etc. I guess I’m not the standard or typical traveller heheh.. I don’t know about that. I just know that I’m happy the way I am and nomadic slow living appears to be my travel style, at least for now. I like to find the right balance in life and live a meaningful one, travelling inward more than outward, living holistically and being a student of life.

Let’s see what the future will bring for me…..

At the end of June I was able to go to another place where it was more safe and I could cook my own food. It was the backpacker’s hostel where I had stayed before, when I had just come to Pune. I met some very nice people and had a great time there, but after a few weeks I realised some people were just trying to gain my trust and use me. They were all guys and I was the only woman staying there. Two of them thought: “Oh, she’s from abroad, so she would be in for sex easily” and almost all had ‘payment issues’.

Some didn’t have UPI, some didn’t have a debit card, some didn’t have cash, some didn’t have a proper banking app… I ended up playing a sort of ‘money transfer service’ for them, as I thought they were friends and I was happy to help. But after a few weeks some of them started to act like they were having some problems and they needed money urgently, “no other person was willing to help them” etc. One person I really trusted and considered as a close friend even did some very good acting that he needed to go to the hospital (with cold hands, cold forehead, screaming in pain and everything; excellent real-life acting).

I realised their intentions just on time (thank God for that!) and they weren’t successful in getting any money from me, but I really broke down emotionally and my trust in people got scattered. One guy is still trying to harass me by calling me from different numbers and trying to manipulate me so that I would trust him again. I told him off so much and keep blocking him, but he isn’t giving up.. That’s when I posted my queries in BBTI for a safe place and one gentle person offered me a stay at a very safe & private place far from Pune with all the basic facilities I need. I’m so grateful!

Now I’m in self-isolation, trying to process all that happened and also I keep myself busy with my online work. I only go outside to get groceries and in the meanwhile I’m giving myself a proper detox treatment, as the ayurvedic places are not responding whenever I try to contact them. I don’t have a lot of work in these crazy times, but at least it’s enough to keep myself busy. I try to just work out my options and find ways to work on my personal development without going outside too much. I have to admit it’s not easy, as I’ve been mostly indoors since 14 March and I’m afraid it has started to affect my mental health.

At the same time I feel I have to remain cautious all the time, to not repeat the same mistake of trusting wrong people or ending up in wrong places. I guess the universe is teaching me a lot of big lessons about people, mentalities, intentions and all those stuff. Apparently the much needed experiences I had to get to learn the best life lessons and grow as a person. Fortunately, I also got a lot of support through members of this Facebook group and that helps me a lot in my process 🙂 Especially at this new place, I feel like I’m finally able to take some time off from people, have proper me-time, breathe again and take proper rest.

I made this meme to summarise my journey till now 🤪

I have been in India for 7 months now. Damn, it has been a crazy journey! I came here mostly to learn more about life, explore myself and grow as a person. Well, I think I surely did!

It all started in Mumbai, where I spent one week just recovering from my jetlag and exploring nearby places. I met an awesome friend from BBTI and went to the Elephanta Caves. Although I had travelled in India earlier, I noticed I felt very insecure, as I am not that social (former workaholic with almost no life, friends etc.) and it was my first time staying and travelling in a big Indian city.

From Mumbai I went to Igatpuri for a 10-day vipassana, where I realised more and more how restless and fragile my mind is. There was so much to figure out in life and I had great difficulty finding mental peace. There were so many impulses, I almost wasn’t able to meditate at all! So many thoughts, emotions, questions and insecurities….. Maybe it was also because I had a session with a very accurate nadi astrologer the day before and that triggered a lot.

After the vipassana I felt a very strong urge to go to Pune. I wanted to strengthen my mind and in Pune there is a gun shooting academy where you don’t only learn to shoot guns and rifles, but also get physical exercise daily, with a sports coach and yoga instructor. So I wanted to go there and participate in the 1-month foundation course. Unfortunately, soon after the COVID-19 regulations, lock-down etc. kicked in and the course got suspended.

At that time I was staying at a PG that was recommended via BBTI too (BBTI is a very helpful group, as you know😊). In the beginning all was well and very nice, but soon the PG owner started to cut expenses on even essential things like food and internet. I got malnourished, wasn’t able to work properly (no WiFi) and as if that wasn’t enough, he started his own restaurant downstairs and getting people with COVID-19 symptoms, all against the rules & regulations and just to earn more money.

Although my situation was very bad over there, I have learned a lot from the experience. It felt like a big survival journey inside a building with no possibility to go to another accommodation (others weren’t willing to accept new people or didn’t provide proper food or cooking facilities.. also transport was a big issue). Even delivery options were almost zero at that location. I felt stuck with no proper options to move from there. So it was a good time to explore my own inner strength, mental capacities and creativity.

A journey in India does a lot with a person, especially during these pandemic times. Some people call it “crazy”, “amazing”, “life-changing” or “horrible”. For me, it’s like a cocktail. Or maybe a rollercoaster is a better metaphor….. I have great difficulty dealing with my feelings and emotions, as they’re getting more and more overwhelming. Unwillingly I keep thinking about the things that happened, in my previous life in the Netherlands, during my backpacking journeys in India and of course the things that happened this year.

The main thing that keeps bothering me is my broken trust, which often makes me feel very lonely and somehow lost in life. Some people have played with my trust in such a way that I can just not seem to digest or process it. When people overcharge you or scam you, you’re somehow able to deal with it. Yes, being deceived and losing your hard-earned savings definitely hurts and affects your well-being severely, but when someone you considered as your own continuously plays with your feelings and trust, it leaves a scar on your heart. A scar that seems to act like an infection on your entire trust system.

The same thing happened in India. After many years I started trusting again and even became very close friends with someone (yup, that’s new for me), but apparently that experience was jinxed too. I don’t know whether it’s the pandemic situation that forces people into criminal activities or just the regular Indian city issues. Some people say that, for them it’s normal; they’re used to it and I’m having a very “native” Indian experience. They tell me to not think about it anymore and “just move on”. It sounds like the typical Indian survival mode I’ve learned in my childhood. “Just forget about it and focus on the future” or “best is to keep yourself busy, so that you don’t think about it”.

It sounds so easy and logical, but guess what? I can’t….. I’m not a doll; I’m a human being. I have feelings and emotions.. I feel pain, sadness, anger, worry, stress, fear…… and I can’t help it. If I had a magic wand, I would definitely make my negative feelings and emotions disappear. But unfortunately I don’t know any magic. So yes, there are days that I feel very low and I just lay on my bed, crying myself to sleep. There are moments I can’t control my tears and I fall down on the floor, hyperventilating and unable to control myself. At some moments in the week I feel so miserable. Only devotional songs and hymns seem to be able to console me and give me back the strength to pull myself together, make myself proper food and work, as if that bad moment didn’t exist.

When it comes to trust, I have some big lessons to learn. I like to see the good in people and as an empath, I am able to see things from different perspectives, which sometimes makes me downplay signals I should have acted on. But the good thing is: I learn from it. I guess India is the best country to work on my balance, because of the great diversity in people, cultures, natural habitats and experiences. My Indian friends urge me to keep a distance from everyone and to be honest, that also matches my personal needs at this moment. I just need a break from everything and everyone, to sort out my feelings and emotions, and align with myself again. As I’m also experiencing a new feeling: anger. Something I mainly experience in India, and when I feel it, it’s very intense.

So far it has been an interesting self-discovery journey in India. I finally seem to realize the biggest lessons of my life. I’m starting to get a healthy routine again and my lifestyle is getting balanced. I don’t know where my journey will bring me, but I’m finally starting to understand and mostly feel the purpose of things happening and me being here. I think I’ve even started to like the process. I mean: hey, I’m making friends with healthy & tasty meals, after 28 years! I’ve started writing and creating websites again and even started to enjoy my own company. Now I finally understand why my personal coach and friend said: “This is progress, my dear.”

Since childhood I had some “hate-love relationship” with food. Snacks and tapas were great for me, but I was always gathering courage to have meals. I could spend at least one hour on a small portion of food and I never really enjoyed eating meals.

It was more that I “had to” eat (fuel for the body), otherwise I wouldn’t eat, to be honest. However, I loved cooking food for others. I have always loved cooking & baking and the Indian cuisine is my favourite. Still I was not able to enjoy cooking & baking to the fullest, because of my hate-love relationship with food.

Here in India that has changed. The corona time has forced me to prepare my own food, no matter how cheap tiffin services in India are. That started with quite simple food, like cooked potatoes, stir-fried green beans and grilled tofu. Fellow guests at the hostel used to ask me how I could eat so tasteless all the time.

“What are you punishing yourself for?” they kept asking me. The questions and comments of people around me have had a very therapeutic impact on me, because I realised more and more that I indeed considered eating meals as a punishment. I was still punishing myself, for example for those three years that I ate fish, meat and eggs against my consciousness.

The people around me were very caring and even started to cook food for me. Gradually I started to get used to the tastes of all kinds of vegetables and spices. One person realised it was easier for me to have snacks rather than meals and whenever I had a low feeling and/or didn’t feel like eating a meal, he used to order pakodas (my favourite snacks) for me and served those in a bowl, so that I would at least eat something.

Eventually I started to enjoy meals. I must say it helps when people around you pamper you and don’t let you do anything. As the only woman staying here I got pampered a lot and they used to prepare the food extra tastefully, so that I would learn to enjoy eating meals and get out of my regular sad moods. The corona time triggered a lot of emotions inside me.

When I started to enjoy the meals I decided to peep inside the kitchen whenever they were cooking. That’s how I learned what Indian ‘home cooking’ could look like. After the last lockdown more people started to leave the hostel and I started to cook more on my own. I prepared dishes I had never prepared before. With success, as I enjoyed them and so did the few people around me, with whom I sometimes shared the food.

In the meantime I got quite used to cooking my own food and I enjoy getting groceries and preparing food. I learn a lot about daily Indian life and household. I can also really enjoy my own homemade meals. In the mornings I usually eat poha, in the afternoon some protein rich dish with roti and in the evenings some vegetable dish with rice. Sometimes I overdo things and prepare a small thali.

Today I’m planning to prepare roti, rice and a nice vegetable curry, with the colours of the Indian flag. So that would be carrots, tofu and green peas in a tasteful curry🇮🇳 Because of the heavy rains we can’t raise a flag and cooking is also difficult, as the kitchen is in the basement and it’s full of water now. Still we will make the best out of it😊

Freedom in the minds … Faith in the words … Pride in our souls … Let’s salute our beautiful nation😍 Jai Hind!🇮🇳

Happy Independence Day!

On 4 February I moved to India, to live here as a minimalistic nomad. I wanted to explore living in India and immerse myself into the journey of exploring life and working on my personal development, as I had been workaholic most of my life.

Also, I wanted to discover where I belong, as even though I am a 5th-generation Indian born and brought up in the Netherlands, I have always felt strongly connected to India and very less to the Netherlands or any other country in the world. My former backpacking journeys in India only made me feel more at home in India.

In the last few months nothing has gone the way I had planned (due to the COVID-19 situation), but I have really learned a lot about daily life in India, at least in Mumbai and Pune, where I have mostly been this time. Interacting with locals, domestic travellers and other nomads has taught me a lot, for example about how things in India work, some jugaads (flexible solutions to solve problems with limited resources), home cooking and managing an Indian household.

Unfortunately, I had to learn many things the hard way, as apparently some people find it necessary to harass, stalk, loot, deceive or scam me during my stay. Even some male members in the Indian backpackers’ group I co-manage harassed me (don’t worry; they’re not in the group anymore), one of the reasons that I became very less active here and with blogging at all. One guy had even reached the PG (Paying Guest, a common type of accommodation in India) where I was staying (God knows how he got to know), while I had told him I am not interested in meeting him.

People say that challenges make you stronger, so let’s hope for the best. At least I have recovered from the malnutrition and most deceptive and double-faced people are out of sight now. I buy my groceries, cook my food, clean my room and work as a freelance communication advisor, entrepreneur coach and ghostwriter. Working for Indian clients is challenging (really different mindset and working culture + most people I have come across till now are really stingy, wanting big results fast, for free and without efforts from their side), but I definitely learn a lot from these experiences.

Even though I am still emotionally recovering from the experiences with many ill-minded people who have crossed my path till now (things could have gone really bad and nasty), I feel really blessed to be in India and live here. It just feels like home, so much more than any residence I’ve had in the Netherlands. Also, it feels like all these challenges will only make me stronger in the end. I feel like I am just in the right country now, and in the right lifestyle😊 It’s nice to live as a nomad, as you meet different kinds of people and can see living in the country from different perspectives.

Many people can’t believe that I am from outside India and I am happy that most people treat me as a common Indian and not a NRI (non-resident Indian) or foreigner. It makes things less awkward, I get less unwanted attention and I am able to explore daily India in a better way. Living here alone as a nomad and young woman definitely raises some question marks. Many Indians say I should either go back to the Netherlands or marry and settle down somewhere in India (“zamana kharaab hai” – the world is bad). They even offer to search for suitable matches hahaha.

A few weeks from now it’s time to leave Pune and head to another destination. I’ve been here since 23 February and now I feel it’s high time to move on and explore living in another place. I must say I’m craving for an ayurvedic treatment, some fresh air and physical exercise. Let’s see whether I can find a new place in these crazy COVID-19 times.

It has been almost five months since I reached India on this latest journey of mine. Due to the pandemic situation I haven’t been able to travel much, but I was still able to explore a lot regarding Indian daily life. In the last three months I have actually had the experience of living in India.

I have been staying at a shared accommodation as a paying guest and have been working online and doing household chores the way I would at my former rental apartment in the Netherlands. The only difference is that I’ve not been allowed to cook my own food and that I’ve had flat mates. So: eat whatever I got on my plate, whether it’s spicy, just gravy or even plain fried rice. Yes, that was the kind of food I’ve had since 25 March, the day the lockdown started in India. Not only with food I had to adjust, but also with hygiene and typical conservative thinking of people around me, especially the owner and my younger flat mates.

Backward sides in Indian culture

The owner of the accommodation is barely educated and believes whatever message he gets on WhatsApp. He didn’t update himself regarding the needed precautions in the pandemic situation, he was very careless with people’s private information and he didn’t know much about necessary paper work. To illustrate some things: he thought the Netherlands is a place in India, he didn’t know what an OCI card is and he thinks that you can get COVID-19 only by physical touch. The place is very badly maintained: it is dirty, there are lots of cockroaches, lizards, ants & mosquitos, street dogs would lick the filtered water and the staff would still put it in the drinking water tank…

Highly educated Indians and still backward thinking…

My flat mates were just 3-4 years younger than me and despite of having a Master of Science degree, they would still have very conservative thinking. They would still believe dark skin is ugly and light skin is beautiful. They would still let their parents decide everything for them, even if they don’t want it (“I’ve got no choice”). They would still think love marriage is a sign of shamelessness, live in relationships are not done and only arrange marriage is the way to settle down, even if the husband tortures you. They would still think marital rape doesn’t exist. They would still make dirty faces when even hearing the word “gay”. I had huge culture shocks while having conversations with them.

I am more Dutch than I had thought

In these months I have realized that I am more Dutch than I had thought. I never really felt this until this journey. I used to feel too Indian when I was in the Netherlands and now I’ve been in India for almost five months, I feel too Dutch for India. It somehow feels like I’m stuck in some identity crisis. I mean: where do I belong? I realized I can feel at home everywhere, but I really cherish the forward thinking of Dutch people, the openness of Dutch culture, clearly saying what you mean and even some Dutch humour. On the other hand, I am in love with India. I feel so less stress here, I’m close to nature and have got all kinds of options to work on my personal development.

Maybe it’s also because in India you don’t need much to sustain yourself and that creates a lot of space for doing things you really like. For some first times in my life I had been able to live in the moment, fully relax and just let thoughts go.

Indian challenges make you stronger

Because of this pandemic situation it’s too risky to travel and I had a lot of issues with the owner and flat mates. The owner helped one of the flat mates escape her mandatory quarantine and put my health at risk by putting her in my room (she had a quarantine stamp on her hand and symptoms like fever, coughing and sneezing). I had to secure myself in another room, where the owner didn’t allow me to use the beds as “the girls who were staying there have paid for those”. So I slept on the floor. Not very comfortable, but better than catching the virus! On 20 June the owner shouted at me again and told me to leave by the 30th, while most (affordable) accommodations don’t accept new guests. Within a few days I have to leave from here, so a new experience is waiting for me…..

Since the moment I left the rat race I’ve had to deal with several slaps and crashes. My life got upside down and I got inside out, as many old things were coming up. Feelings, emotions, memories and lots of unprocessed thoughts. To be honest, it felt like I took off a plaster from a wound I hadn’t taken care of and a lot of blood and pus were coming out.

Many times I literally fainted, crashed and got into periods my energy was really low and all I could do was just lie on my bed and do nothing. Many times I was even too weak to make myself a proper meal. Damn, I ordered a lot of food that time! I guess my neighbours had noticed it, as they sometimes made me something healthy and tried to cheer me up many times. I wasn’t able to get any counseling as my physician wouldn’t take me seriously and rather prescribed sleeping pills than heed my request and send me for therapies.

The first months were very tough. My energy levels kept swinging a lot and whenever I got some energy, I used it to work a bit, earn some money to sustain myself and do cleaning rounds of my home and stuff. There wasn’t much “going on” in my life except for my motorcycle driving lessons (and later my physical training) where I kept falling & failing; my confidence broke down almost every time, but my crazy instructor didn’t seem to give up on me. (So why the hell should I?!)

Without any doubt, I was going through the biggest detox I’ve ever had. All because of that one decision to make myself my priority number 1, clean up the mess of my life and start transforming my life into the life I wanted it to be. It wasn’t easy (and it still isn’t). But I sacrificed a lot, worked very hard whenever I was able to and am fighting my demons even now when I’m in India living my dream. To be honest, I feel like I’m still amidst transformation.

During this Indian lockdown I am able to reflect a lot on these crazy past years and I feel like I can finally let some things go. However, I still have to deal with these low energy levels sometimes. I’ve been indoors since 38 days now and my journey definitely didn’t go as expected. That tends to make me overthink things sometimes and then I feel sad and slightly depressed again. Then I either talk to my house mate or watch some ‘motivational’ movie like Brittany Runs A Marathon (any suggestions for likewise movies?? I’ve seen so many already🙈).

Whenever my energy gets normal again, I work on creating my online course and otherwise I just eat, drink, rest, bathe and sleep. Progress is slow nowadays, especially when my Summer activities got cancelled recently. It seems like this crazy COVID-19 situation isn’t going to leave us till at least September. But I’m learning to cope with this emptiness now and trying to make the best out of it. Being less harsh on myself, making my steps smaller and taking things as they come (and hoping them to leave the same way😅🙈).

Geezz, it feels like an elephant’s leg got off my chest when writing this…😅

“Give yourself a break. You’re not perfect. No one is. You don’t have to be at the top of your game every day. No one is happy all the time. No one loves themselves always. No one lives without pain.”

– @tinybuddha (Twitter)

For ten years I had worked for very less money, with working weeks of 50 to 80 hours per week and mostly short, tough deadlines. Until I got beaten up with words by my coach, Sharon Goeman. She said I charged way too less for my work and expertise. That had to change!

I grew up in an orthodox Surinamese-Indian family in which I, as a girl and young person, was supposed to just obey. Do whatever I was asked to. Not to expect anything in return. Don’t ask questions. Don’t argue or start a discussion. Although I often did in the Surinamese-Indian community, I remained too soft for Dutch society, especially for a young entrepreneur.

I was 14 years old when I started freelancing and 20 when I registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. In primary school they already told me that I had a lot of talent and was way ahead for my age. However, I had never valued myself enough to negotiate and have a proper price tag attached to my qualities. Thanks to Sharon, in 2016 I finally made the decision to say no to my clients and increase my wages. Out of 12 clients only 2 stayed.

Then I was asked for an amazing job (as an employee) and there I learned that appreciation in money is not enough. One should also be valued as a person and for one’s qualities and expertise. So in the end I decided to cancel my permanent job contract and get away from it all. I was done making a career. Done with the rat race, the continuous “have tos” and obeying society’s norms and unwritten rules. I left for India for 3 months and soon I got a taste for more.

After reorganizing and redesigning my entrepreneurship I gave up my rental apartment, sold my stuff, packed my backpacks and again left for the country of my ancestors, India, with just 15 kgs of luggage. This time for a long period of time. I travel here as a digital nomad, which means that I combine working with travelling. This way I create a lot of space to take control of my own life and to enjoy huge freedom, with plenty of space for personal development.

Due to the corona crisis India is currently in lockdown, which means that now I mainly sit indoors and work. I had the opportunity to return to the Netherlands, but I decided not to. At the moment I am safer here than there and above all I still enjoy my freedom to do whatever I want peacefully, even though I am only allowed to go outside to get groceries.

The hostel where I’m staying is a very nice place and I enjoy working, chatting with my housemate and practicing meditations, yoga and workouts. The lockdown is expected to be lifted gradually from Monday. When normal life continues here, I will continue my journey.

Before I left, the NPO2 camera crew wanted to meet me and make recordings for their TV program “Jong en Hindoe”. The program will be broadcast today, at 4:25 PM on NPO2. You can watch the broadcast on this link.