While growing up I never thought I will leave the place which I call as home and hence the thought of blind date with the world is something not even came in my dream.
But as I started going to college and started reading things the curiosity bug bit me too. I often thought of just going to some place and keep traveling because at the end of the day what do you need – something to eat, a safe place to sleep and stay and then keep moving.
"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams" ~ Oprah Winfrey
I had many times discussed this with my school friends about dreaming of living in a place in a small hut where in the backside of the hut we have some vegetable garden with veggies and in front of the house are the hot springs where we cook most of our food and eat and sleep under the sky gazing stars and my Moon.
I know dreams are so beautiful and when someone says go live your dream – that’s really an action which once taken then you’re on your own.
I also took such a blind date with the world and it was in the year of 1997 when I took a one-way ticket to Toronto, Canada. I had gone through the process of immigration where I got my Permanent Residential visa and I headed to this blind date with Canada where I have no friends and/or family. I will share the journey which now I look back and feel good about taking that blind date with Canada because it changes my whole perspective about how I look at world now.
"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." ~ Jawaharlal Nehru
I remember I had only clothes in my suitcase as I had heard its very cold in Canada and so I landed in the month of April assuming it will be spring and may not be cold. Surprisingly, it was still snowing that year and I had my mixed feelings towards that. It’s beautiful how nature itself deals with all these seasonal changes and how people adapt to it too.
My journey was a struggle in the beginning because when you land at any place which is not your home, you start your bill from that moment. Not only that, there's a strangeness in the beginning and also cultural shocks which makes you to be more cautious. I somehow made use of the newspaper ads which helped me to get the rental basement space for me even though the job was still far from me. I have met many people during this struggle time and to be frank only Indians took advantage of my situation. Others, they offered help without expecting anything in return. I am not sure if I should call that out but that’s one of the experiences which happened not once but number of times.
People tried to convert me to Christianity, so they can get money from their institution and to me they suggested we will help you with the job, which was totally incorrect, and I am glad I didn’t fall for it. One thing I knew that there are no free lunches so some of the proverbs that I learnt in school did actually help me from not making mistakes.
"Life is an adventure, it's not a package tour." ~ Eckhart Tolle
But then in all this, you tend to find yourself safe in the custody of your race and people and that’s what lead me to suffer. The moment I freed my mind from that, I felt a relief and freedom from all tie-ups, taboos and everything. It’s all about your mind believe me. I decided to move out of renting in someone’s house and went to rent a one-bedroom apartment where I had my freedom and independence to live. It not only gave me my space, but it also taught me how to not look to lean all the time.
I found a small job as a part-time cashier with minimum wage, but again it was the mind which said this is not what you came here for and so I decided in 4 months I need to move on from here. And believe me sometimes you got to make your decision from your mind and not heart, because only then you can do things that your heart wants.
One after the other jobs and finally I ended up in a Bank and it completely changed my life, from an HR field to technology field. The merge was amazing, and the transition was such that I figured out my actual interest, which is people and technology that enables people to do things. I guess the blend of this helped me to move from one company to the other and one place to the other, and now I am in California, USA.
I think we should all blind date with the world, so we understand people and life better. Sitting in a comfort zone can make anyone do anything that they feel is right but actual life is in traveling and understanding the life of different people. So, I love this blind date which made me to marry to traveling :).
It’s true that blind date is not always about happy ending, because many ups and downs are there which occurred in my life too because of meeting wrong people at the wrong time and place but the better lesson you learn and move out from there. Because life always gives you another chance and that’s up to us to see and grab it.
"Life experience is what defines our character, even if it means getting your heart broken or being lied to. You know, you need the downs to appreciate the ups. Going on the adventure or taking that risk is important." ~ Nev Schulman
As I was getting comfortable with my date in Toronto, I decided to do another blind date with San Francisco, in California USA. Let me tell you, it was not a very happy one. I feel when there is a change, it does bring some turbulence, but one got to hold on to it and stay strong that’s what I did. Initial days I didn’t like US. It was something like I started comparing between Canada and USA. Everything I related it that way, whether its people, place, behavior or even the process in banking etc. I realized I was missing Canada very much because it was my first blind date with whom I fell in love, so the first love is always there as special in my heart. I guess no one will understand that because that journey I had taken alone and every corner of the place, city, people have made an impact on me. It is difficult to not be connected with a place where I started from scratch and built my home finally.
Over the period, I went back to visit and be at every place that I lived in, walked around and worked around and after that when I came back to California it was kind of be at peace.
"Life would be pretty boring if I didn't explore. It's about letting my ears take me on an adventure to soak in everything I can." ~ Trombone Shorty
I would like to go for another blind date and I am just going to go for that soon!