…Because Travelers Have Responsibilities Too!

As I recount the last days of my erstwhile corporate life, I romanticize my new existence as a vagabond. I wonder if I will have a lifestyle with no strings attached. Will I escape the common man’s worries of paying rent, getting dressed for work, cleaning the house or doing the dishes? Will I be absolved of my duties of attending to a (future) husband, tucking the (future) children into bed or caring for my parents?

Life isn't always a fairytale (Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany)

Life isn’t always a fairytale (Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany)

Wishful Thinking Won’t Change Reality

With the new-found freedom (read For Travel Goals that are Long Term…), I am becoming acutely aware of the new responsibilities I have. I am no longer insured by my employer or mandated by law to save a slice of my income for my retirement. To add to the uncertainty, the regular flow of monthly income, that I’d grown accustomed to, is missing. I can no longer dismiss my credit card bills, thinking my next month’s salary will take care of those.

I may have become a full time wayfarer, but I am still accountable to my folks. I may not have to wake up at 7 on every weekday, but I have to be awake at 4 on a weekend to meet that impatient client’s deadline. I may be able to pull off a Skype call with a trench coat thrown over my jammies, but I still need clean sets of trekking clothes on my countless hikes through the wilderness.

After each day of wandering, the mind longs for rest (somewhere in Eastern Europe)

After each day of wandering, the mind longs for rest (somewhere in Eastern Europe)

Some Needs Are So Basic, They’re Profession-Agnostic

I must also remember that my new profession does not magically make me a superhero. I need a lot of rest after every hectic day of scouting for interesting places. My sore muscles need to relax after every strenuous trek. I have to allow my weather-beaten skin to be at peace after I’ve subjected it to cold winds, charring sun-rays and liquefying humidity. After all, there is no air-conditioning when you’re on the road!

 

I mustn’t forget that I won’t be in my 20’s forever. The thrill of going solo might some day give way to a yearning for companionship. The couples and families I meet on my journeys will make me question if I indeed can live without a partner or spend a lifetime without having my own kids.

There is a kind of hunger that food cannot satisfy (my zucchini pocket in Budapest)

There is a kind of hunger that food cannot satisfy (my zucchini pocket in Budapest)

Future Depends On The Steps Taken in the Present

Ruing is of no use when you’ve dreamed an empty dream and taken no action to make it happen for real. Living each day without any consideration for what to do tomorrow, is a recipe for delayed regrets. I don’t have much advice on emotional matters, but for personal finance, there are neat ways to protect your future and grow your wealth. Bajaj Allianz Life’s recently launched Future Wealth Gain ULIP is one such way. The unit-linked insurance plan does its primary jobs of insuring the policy holder and enhancing the worth of the instrument by investing in a mix of 8 debt and equity funds, allowing you to #InvestBefikar and #JiyoBefikar.

 

There’s quite a bit of flexibility in the product as you can choose the variant you want (Wealth Plus or Wealth Plus Care), the premium you pay, the life cover you need, the policy term, the premium payment term and frequency, the portfolio strategy and even the riders.

When you've lived in strangers' homes for so long, you desire to have your own (a friend's couch in Lindau)

When you’ve lived in strangers’ homes for so long, you desire to have your own (a friend’s couch in Lindau)

Someday, We’ll Know…

Life is a tough nut to crack. You may have had your future planned out, but there are always surprises. Some pleasant, and some unpleasant. Planning ahead eases your pain through the unpleasant times of disease or death. You can never know when life will throw a curveball at you, but you can be prepped to strike a score. Getting your finances in order goes a long way in tiding over the bad times. Do not tarry. (This is the advice I give myself everyday – do not tarry.)

Getting tanned in Doha like there's no tomorrow

Getting tanned in Doha like there’s no tomorrow

I wander like I have no cares, but I have responsibilities too! Have you financially invested in your future yet? Share some of your strategies in the comments section below! 🙂

 

Do follow me on InstagramFacebook and Twitter for more pictures, tips and stories from my journeys, and spread the love by sharing this article with your pals who are planning their future. 🙂

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For Travel Goals that are Long Term…

“I’m quitting my job to travel.”

I broke this news to my parents last month. They were too baffled and disappointed to react.

“Do you have enough money?” My father finally broke his silence. He had asked me the question I had been asking myself for several months. The more I pondered over this matter, the stronger my decision became. I realized that I want to live for my dreams, and not to be wealthy.

You cannot always predict where the road will lead you (picture from Paro)

You cannot always predict where the road will lead you. (Picture from Paro, Bhutan)

The Road Not Taken

I wasn’t surprised at my decision at all. After all, I had been fed on Robert Frost’s timeless poem – ‘The Road Not Taken’ and countless stories of bravehearts who leave their lives of comfort to chase their dreams. I grew up watching love stories where people would give up all of their money and fight to the ends of the earth to be one with the person they treasured. How could I then be a coward and continue doing what a regressive society expects me to?

Dreams are sweeter when our future plans are secure

Dreams are sweeter when our future plans are secure

A Contingency Plan

There was some truth in what my father said, though. How would I sleep in peace if I did not know how to pay for the night? How would I literally travel the world if my pockets did not have enough to afford the tickets? And how would I be happy with my decision if the worries of the world bothered me?

I knew I needed to get my finances sorted! Throughout my short span in the corporate world, I had managed to set aside small chunks of my salary. I did not know what I was saving for, but I knew I’d be thanking myself later. I suppose, life was preparing me for the eventuality of getting closer to my dreams.

For the nomadic traveller's ever-changing home, her finances must be strong. (Somewhere in the Himalayas)

For the nomadic traveller’s ever-changing home, her finances must be strong. (Somewhere in the Himalayas)

Towards Long Term Financial Goals

Now that I know I’ll need to be more careful with money, I’m keeping an eye out for investment instruments that will serve my need for long term protection. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance has told me that on 22nd June, 2017, they’ll introduce a product with dual benefits of growth and protection to help me #JiyoBefikar. You and I will have another option to consider as we sit down to do our financial planing for the year. Stay tuned with us for updates on the launch. You may want to get live notifications on Twitter – @BajajAllianzLIC and their Facebook page.

A happy meal is when you've left your worries behind (traditional Bhutanese fare)

A happy meal is when you’ve left your worries behind. (Traditional Bhutanese fare)

The Wise Do Not Worry

Matters of money don’t have to crease your forehead with worry lines. You only have to be aware of your needs, keep your eyes open to the offerings that meet those needs, plan meticulously to find the best fit, and finally, act on your decisions – #InvestBefikar. Why should wealth come in the way of your dreams?

Some smiles stay beyond a picture

Some smiles stay beyond a picture. (At Jaldapara National Park)

Have you had the courage to pursue your dreams? Let my readers (and me) know through your comments below! 🙂

Don’t forget to follow me on InstagramFacebook and Twitter for more pictures, tips and stories from my travels! Do spread the love by sharing this article with your friends who’re hesitant to follow their dreams because they can’t figure their finances out. 🙂