arrows in many directions

I Have No Idea Where I’m Going

The Happy Nomad Tour has never had as much uncertainty as it has at the present moment as I write this post.

Below is the Indian flag. I feel just like it…

The Indian Flag

The Indian Flag

See the wheel on the inside? I feel like I’m in the middle of the wheel not sure which spoke to travel down. I don’t know where I’m going!

Actually, it’s not uncertainty regarding which spoke to travel down, but rather waiting to see which spokes I can travel down.

To be clear, I’m perfectly ok with being in the middle of that wheel. I’m comfortable with the uncertainty. But never on the trip has the near future been so uncertain, perhaps only when I was waiting to find out if I got the Indian visa.

Here are the elements of uncertainty at the moment:

  1. I was invited to a conference in Singapore to speak about alternative careers. I can’t afford to fly there on my own though, so I’m waiting to see if they’ll cover my flight.
  2. I was invited to speak at a university in the UAE about my experiences.
  3. I’ve been in talks with the tourism promotion department of the government of Bhutan. If they invite me to Bhutan, I’d be powerless to refuse. I want to go there so badly since Tibet is not an option.

So, those are three different directions things go move in. Since I only have a double entry Indian visa, I’d have to combine #1 and #2 if I do them both, and then return to India that way, perhaps even combining all three in a UAE-Singapore-Bhutan journey before returning to India.

But should I return to India?

To be honest, I feel like I’m at the halfway point in my trip and I kind of feel like taking a break. Truth be told, if none of the three things above end up happening, I’ll stay in India. But otherwise, I’ve been toying with the idea of spending the 2.5 months between the potential speech in Singapore and a scheduled speech in Madrid, Spain focused on working.

What does working mean?

I want to start writing a book. It’d be possible to write a book on the road, but I don’t have the clarity and peace of mind I would otherwise have in a stable place. I also want to start working on presentations and case studies I could use to sell to universities and business schools.

Apart from being halfway through my trip, I’m also about halfway through my savings. I need to start dusting off the lessons learned in business school and figure out how to make some money to keep the plunge going. I hate dedicating any resources to that, but efforts like writing a book and giving speeches also helps me spread my ideas about life and taking the plunge – a win-win situation.

Where might I like to settle down to work on these things?

  1. North Cyprus. Yes, an unrecognized country I fell in love with in 2006, I always thought maybe I’d end up living here. This could be an opportunity to give it a try and see if it’s really the place for me. Plus, how perfect a fit would it be if a nomad lives in a country unrecognized by every country in the world except Turkey? Off the grid for sure.
  2. Istanbul, Turkey. I also really liked Istanbul when I visited in 2005. Istanbul is both on the European continent and Asian continent. It has always been the crossroad between East and West, and still is. Again, a nomad caught between two worlds sums things up quite well, and the food and people are both wonderful.
  3. Spain. I lived in Madrid while attending business school and I really like Spain. I think living there again, even for just two months, would really cement all the Spanish I learned in Latin America in my brain. Plus, when I lived in Spain during business school I didn’t speak Spanish. Living in Spain while speaking Spanish would be a completely different experience.
  4. Kerala, India. From what I’ve heard, Kerala is a beautiful part of India, highly developed, warm, and inexpensive. It could be an option as well.
  5. Anywhere else. The future is dynamic and things seem to be changing quickly.

Part of being a nomad is being flexible and rolling with the punches. That’s how I roll, even if it’s not ideal sometimes. I guess for people with more “normal” lives such uncertainty is a constant. The most important thing is attitude, and mine is positive!

7 replies
  1. Owen Lipsett
    Owen Lipsett says:

    First off, I really hope you get to go to Bhutan and write about it in your wonderful way! You and Bhutan deserve each other, which I mean in the nicest way possible 🙂

    One thing that I notice you didn’t mention is the relative cost of the places you’re considering staying. It seems to me that it might be worth keeping in mind whether the resources you’ve set aside for the break could last longer in one place as opposed to another.

    Having only been to (and loved) Madrid and Istanbul of the destinations you’ve mentioned, I don’t think you’d go wrong in either. That said, it seems to me that considering your focus has been in less developed countries, it might be shock to the system to move back to one of those, arguing perhaps for Kerala. On the other hand, maybe a change of paradigm is what you are looking for.

    For Istanbul, you might find this blog, by a couple who change cities every 3 months, interesting. They just moved to Istanbul:

    Anyway, good luck in making your decision and thanks for sharing your thought process.

  2. For 91 Days Travel Blog
    For 91 Days Travel Blog says:

    If you decide to go to Spain consider maybe Valencia. We spent 2 month there before going to Istanbul. It’s our “home” base! And we go back at least once a year. If you are looking for relaxing in an great, affordable city … choose Valencia! 🙂 … we also have Valencia Blog (Hola Valencia)

    • Adam Pervez
      Adam Pervez says:

      Gracias! Well, I lived in Madrid while doing my masters degree so I’m partial to Madrid. But in the end I chose Cyprus. It’s cheaper and has a unique ethnic and cultural make up. I’ll still be visiting Madrid for a few days in April though 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion though. And while living in Madrid I visited Valencia and participated in Tomatina!

  3. PasserBy
    PasserBy says:

    Out of your many revealing, and satisfying articles, I think this is one of my favourites, feels like quite a personal article.
    If you do end up giving a speech, please have it recorded and posted on youtube.

    Remian well.


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