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It’s Better To Own A Little And See The World, Than To Own The World & See Little

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 21 September 2014 | Views [360]

Living as an expat in a country like India, there are many common questions locals & travellers will ask you:-

* Where are you from?

* Why are you here? 

* How did you get here?

* Do you like living in India (or varients of this)

* How long have you lived in India? 

In context, these questions are basic, but when you take a step back & consider the depth of such questions, it leaves you pondering.


Having said that, getting the same questions on a daily basis means you create a standard repetoire of responses - Im from Oz, I live and work here in India, got offered an interesting job with the challenge of experiencing different cultures so though I'd give it a go. 
Yes, I enjoy living in India - a country of many contrasts - filled with life, disparity, chaos, love, collectiveness & history. I've been here over 2 years - and even after that amount of time every day is different. 


India is a challenge - put plain & simple. Coming from and Individualistic culture of Australia, where people focus on themselves & their immediate loved ones, it is quite a contrast living in a collective society. Some things I truely appreciate - caring for each other, ensuring a whole community plus your extened family is cared for, and the pure joy found in small things. 

On the other hand, there are a variety of differences you encounter daily - the sheer number of 'festivals' (holidays) across many many religions - and the spirituality behind each and every one is astounding. The traditions that seem almost alien even when it is meant to ensure the best for the family unit (for example after a baby is born, the mother & child return to her mother's house ("Native place") for the first 5 months of the childs life. The father is often left behind to work and will only see mother & child when he goes to visit in the Native place. Arranged marraiges are another part of daily life in India one must adjust to. A concept so foreign to me that upon being asked by a local (upon their finding out that I'm not married) if would my parents arrange a marraige for me I often stare in horror. Not meaning to be rude, however if my father came to me and told me he had 'found me a husband' I'd probably ask him if he was looking to be put in a mental hospital. Having said that, this ancient tradition that came from dowries and political alignments has simmered down to the modern version of arranged marraige which is much akin to the western world's dating/matchmaking websites - only as many families in India put it - who is better to choose someone for you that those who love you the most - your parents. 

Im drifting off topic... the point of all these experiences & learnings is ... exactly that - experience & learning. 

I recently have been asked a lot WHY I travel - WHY do I like to travel when theoretically basis the money I have spent in the last 5 years on seeing this incredible world - had I saved said money, I would have been able to have paid off half a house by now. Well for me it's simple. 

Whilst I still believe investments, and investing in ones future and ones family's future is importance, I also believe that in your eulogy no one will be shouting about how you paid off a house and the $1M you had saved. Its the people you connect with & the experiences you have that will essentially define who you are.  Like everything in life - it's a balance. Create a base for yourself - but I truely believe there is nothing in life that will fulfill you morewhat you gain from travel. 


Tags: choice, decision, expat, freedom, india, lifeinwanderlust, lifestyle, travel, wanderlust

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