It all started with a simple thought: this cannot be my life.
I was born and brought up in Delhi – a “Delhi Girl” through and through. I went to school and college here, my parents, friends, and my work (all fourteen years of working in a male-dominated sector of corporate India) have all been in this city.
It all happened when I was on my way home from a meeting. Stuck in a massive traffic jam somewhere on MG road for over three hours – by the end of which I realised my life was going nowhere fast. That day I decided to make a change. For the next few months I planned my exit from my business, and decided I was going to take a year off to travel, explore, learn, and spend more time with family and friends.
I managed to quit full-time work – it was a scary move considering I was making good money. Moreover, I had to step away from something I had built and hand it over to someone else. My work had become second nature to me, but I knew I had stuck around too long.
I started the first day of my freedom making plans on an Excel spreadsheet. I couldn’t believe I had so much else I wanted to do. The first thing I did was take a three-week trip to Goa - during the monsoons. I had never seen Goa like this, all my many visits in the past had been weekend jaunts with friends spent at restaurants and the beach. But this time I had no plans. I rented a car and explored Goa. I found my favourite thali places and hole-in-the-wall bars. This time Goa was lush, green, quiet, and very still.
At some point, I realised I had no thoughts. My mind was totally blank, no clutter, no noise, it was almost meditative. I enjoyed the slow pace of life and met some amazing people in similar transitional phases figuring out what to do next. Five days into the trip I called my husband and told him that I wanted us to move here. I have to say he wasn’t too surprised, he knew I needed a big change. By the end of my trip I was looking for houses!
Goa has been amazing in so many ways, it has given me time to reconnect with myself and figure out what I want to do next. I have to admit, life can sometimes get a bit slow here. You get the simplicity of village life but you also get to meet people from all over the world trying to live different lives. You realise how little you need to stay happy.
Text and images by Divya Gupta. Follow her @d_theycallme_d