Arunachal Pradesh(INDIA) celebrates Nyokum Yullo, a tribal festival that almost no tourist is aware of. We were invited as journalists for the coverage of this incredible culture. And suddenly, a lady appears in our room on the morning of the main event. She was neither a writer nor a blogger. Upon further conversation, we came to know that she had just joined a school in Arunachal as a teacher! She was on a mission to explore this state at least for a year. And where was she before that? was my question. A year in Meghalaya, another somewhere else and then in some other state. What!! we were all stunned. She neither takes help of any workaway nor any websites. She just lands up in a place of her interest and searches for a work that also give her enough free time to explore. And sometimes, her work itself is like dream for many. Be it working in the Himalayan farms or in a school, she enjoys every bit of her work at her dream destination.
Dressing up like a local, grasping their language and accent and being a part of the local culture is Arshiya way of traveling. She doesn’t just travel to a place, she becomes a part of it.
Let’s know more about her in her own words…..
Arshiya, the Lady Christopher McCandless
I was born and brought up in Rajasthan. I come from a nuclear family of four, my younger sister is the closest to me.
Travelling has kept me alive since childhood unknowingly. I always travelled with my family, very short trips. But I started making trips on my own once I got independent.
Taking up full-time travelling
Once I was independent, as in I started working in a 9-5 job, I started planning every month how I would use my salary to take a trip and survive the month. Doing that every month I was so fed up with the routine life and needed excitement. The only genuine happy moment of the month would be the first week as I would be out somewhere other than my desk and the same old people. Either I would go on a trip every month or I would get a tattoo or do something crazy with my life.. to keep myself on the edge. But enough was enough, so I quit my job and stayed home for 4months doing nothing at home. And then my sister and I planned to run away from home.. since we always wanted to go to the North-East, we picked Shillong as our destiny and to figure out things later.
In simple words, I wanted to find the deeper meaning of life.
Two-Years of Wild Journey in the Himalayas
It’s been almost 2 years since I started full-time travel. My idea of travel is not just to visit a place and keep running for no reason. If I decide to see a place means I want to understand the life of people there, adopt the eating habits and create a family of closed ones for myself there. I stay in a state not only to see the places in and around but until the time I have a family of dear ones <3. I started with Shillong and I earned the best people and they are for life.
Now I’m in Arunachal Pradesh, which is a land with lots of tribes. I don’t know how long I’ll be here.. and that’s the thrill that keeps me going.
Working as a Techie in BPO to Traveling Full-time
I worked as a developer in the BPO sector and trained agents on the tools made. It struck me to train people on communication skills while I travel across the country.
I saved nothing for my travels intentionally.. but before leaving on my lifetime adventure, I found out I had 35000/- in my PF account which I could use.
Nothing to regret.. I’m happier than ever I could be in my life. It’s the best step/decision of my life. I can’t imagine my life in any way other than being on the road or say wild.
Surviving Without a Job
I teach for now. But I’m open for any kind of job. Idea is to be happy, wild and free. I earn around 15-20k per month which is more than enough as the expenditure in the mountains is very less.
No calculations, because I mostly rely on help from strangers where I try to understand the basic human behavior, kindness and I am not in any debt by the way.
If you have seen the movie ‘INTO THE WILD’, it made me feel like I’m the reincarnation of Christopher McCandless. I feel exactly the way he feels about the world. So I’m heading on his pathway.
Ways to earn While Traveling
I prefer teaching and farming. Earning is important to survive, but I want to go on travelling without the exchange of money. I believe in the exchange of love, labour and kindness. Let’s say it is like creating a Marxist culture (where people exchange things and knowledge among the community to live cohesively). Any way of giving is earning in a lot of ways.
A Shocking Experience in the North East
I would like to add one of my experiences that still shocks me even after I had lots of different kinds of experiences with different sets of people.
This happened last year when I took my backpack and went on the roads of Meghalaya. I pitched my tent for my first night in a field in Pongtung village near the diversion of Mawlynnong and Pynursla. After a crazy night with wild boars around, I decided to walk to Mawlynnong Village and find out what so special about the place. Since I had heard so much about it being the cleanest village of Asia while I usually observed cleanliness everywhere in Meghalaya. I was amazed at the humbleness, politeness and the hospitality of the people there. With a house full of 8-9 men I spent 2 nights there and was actually treated like a queen. When I left the village after three days I was offered 1600/- and local fruits(pineapple) as a token of love for my farewell. And I never used that money. I keep it with me as it reminds me every time to be as humble and kind to the people I meet along the journey.
Most Useful Websites/Applications
Only Google. I prefer to reach the place and explore the job options myself. Otherwise, the whole concept of travelling is lost if one wants everything served on their plate.
How long would this nomadic life continue?
Her Message to the Aspiring Nomads
Just gather your courage and set out on the road. Don’t wait for anyone’s help. It’s your journey, figure out your own way in your own unique way. You are special.
My View on Arshiyas’ Way of Travelling
Considering the fact that I have seen her mingling with the locals like sugar in the hot milk, I would call her a real traveller. Travelling isn’t just about witnessing the people, culture and landscapes. It is all about being one with the place you choose to live at. Staying for at least a year at each place lets her bring down her expenses on stay. And she also gets to make local friends, stay or hang out with them, learn their language and accent and also learns to try their dressing. Being at the same place, she learns about a culture in detail. She doesn’t miss on any preparation that continues for days before the actual festival. It is certainly beautiful to be able to witness all the seasons at your dream destination.
You can try this in different states of India or even in a different country. This would enable you to enjoy the fun of slow travelling.
Have questions for her? Put it in the comments and she would be happy to Answer
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