Updates

It’s been a while since I blogged.

After quitting from work on Mar 11, things have been very slow. I tried to accomplish too many things and naturally ended up not doing much. Here’s a quick update on things.

Travel:

The only travel I did in this period was a quick trip with wifey to Goa and a visit to my in-laws place, Shimoga.

The plans to travel to Andaman didn’t materialize.

Tomorrow, hopefully if my waitlisted ticket gets confirmed, I will be travelling by train to Sikkim (New Jalpaiguri and then by bus). I have plans to visit Varanasi too, if time permits.

Start-up plans:

The start-up ideas haven’t materialized yet and am finding it hard to decide as to what to pursue. Unlike many people who quit with a particular reason to pursue, I had quit without any reason, but with just an idea to do something new in life. I guess the process of figuring things out could take much longer than I had anticipated. And yes, by far, I had under estimated how soon I would set things rolling.

I also under estimated the amount of effort it would need to run a business analytics startup. If I decide to continue with Business Analytics, I might join a start-up instead of trying something on my own.

That said, as of now, am very happy to be on a break. Never once during these days did I feel I did a wrong thing by quitting. But yes, at times I did feel that I wasn’t doing much in life. And yes, on the last day of the month, I wondered if I missed the regular salary and did feel confused about what I did. But, quickly I realized I was happier doing this and am in no rush to figure out what to do next in life. Am taking it easy and slow.

Priorities:

In this period, I figured out a whole lot of things that are more important to me than a regular job. In the scheme of having a salaried job, the priorities just got pushed aside. Perhaps, this is a golden time to act on those. A few of them are

  1. spending time with family and connecting with other family members
  2. check out the feasibility of my dual living plans
  3. health and fitness
  4. travel and bicycle touring
  5. increase passive income
  6. act on my bucket list
  7. volunteering for a worthy cause

And after carefully reviewing financial situation, ambitions and my personal interests, I realize that I only need something highly worthwhile to pursue… not necessarily a startup. Even a fulfilling volunteering opportunity or a year (or two) of travel or that book I want to write about Nilgiris could qualify as worthy things. Thankfully, my financial situation can accommodate a few years of no income provided I remain sensible with my expenditure. So, I am seriously considering a gap year of travel / volunteer-traveling / volunteering in addition to my start-up option.

Managing finances during a break:

And on the financial side, which is very important for someone without a regular salary, I’ve worked things out a bit to accommodate my situation. I now manage my money more tightly (like not keeping money in low interest savings accounts and instead using floating rate funds with more discipline, etc). I am watching every rupee more cautiously now.

Also, am working on improving asset quality in my portfolio. Am still under invested in equity as of now (had sold out most positions in 2010) and am slowly deploying cash into equities again.  Also, my family holds a couple of dud properties which is doing more harm than good and I am thinking of  cleaning things up. If I can manage that, I would be very happy!

Looking back, I realize that I was very lucky with the 2008 recession in the stock market and I did rather well to ward off market noise. Buying heavily in that period is what enabled my current ‘break’. I keep telling myself not to be over confident about it and that I was plain lucky that the market recovered so well so quickly.

Road ahead:

The choices that I have now are:

  1. a volunteering opportunity in Nilgiris that could also provide me the enough time on the side to document Nilgiris and perhaps write a book.
  2. start a simple venture in areas I am passionate about: books, travel, photography, cycling, etc (finance is one area am really passionate about, but after much thought, decided against it for many reasons).
  3. just travel for a year and then get back to mainstream work (or join a startup).
  4. go back to work around Sept/Oct for a Business Analytics startup (I realize its very difficult for me to start an analytics company on my own).
  5. take up a job outside India and use it to travel.
  6. consulting and training in my field and then doing something else along with it. This is reasonably lucrative, but the business practises are not much to my liking in this area.
  7. volunteering based travel.

For now, am busy with planning for Sikkim. The plan is to visit Yumthang, Gurudongma lake, Pelling, Yuksom, Tashiding, Kheochopalri lake, Romtek, etc. I intend to stay there for 10-15 days and do a bit of trekking as well.

Am hoping my ticket moves from WL11 to confirmed.

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