This lady, Manjulika, is very close to my heart.
Now that is a very cheesy line to start off the post but that is what it is!
I met Manjulika when I just started off with being an influencer, thanks to this li’l blog of mine. I met her in Goa and we kicked off really well. The more I got to know her, the more I was inspired by her passion to write.
Years passed by and we would randomly talk sometime or just meet at various social events. While she took her passion very seriously, I was so much engrossed in the rock bottoms of my life that blogging took a back seat. Soon enough I realized that I need to get back to blogging because that keeps me sane. And when I returned, I saw Manjulika traveling all around the globe and leaving a mark. And that is when I realized that if you have to achieve your dreams the amount of investment of your efforts and time is too damn high!
Looking at her blog keeps me going. She is my girl next door, who inspires me every day!
When I decided to interview her, I knew that it’s going to be a good learning experience. When you read her answers, you would realize that she is probably one of the most practical and realistic people you will ever come across. This is an honest and elaborated interview which is surely going to leave a mark!
Manjulika: I would be lying if I said that leaving a well-paying job as a Telecom Engineer was not painful because I grew up as an ambitious student and always wanted to make a mark in the corporate world. It came as a shock to me when the thought of leaving job began to trouble me every day and one day, I resigned. The decision was a personal one and there were many factors that led to it but I am glad that blogging gave me the strength to stand by my decision. My parents were shocked but my husband was supportive. There has not been a day when I have regretted it because I was not enjoying my job at all. I felt wasted every day. Except for the salary, there was nothing that was inspiring me to return to office while blogging had opened up new and exciting avenues. When I had started my first blog in 2008, I had never expected that blogging would change the course of my life. My motivation comes from penning down stories on my blog which is called –PENDOWN.
Question: Being a blogger is still not a real “job” in India, or anywhere for that matter. It is definitely a struggle to maintain your dignity. How has been the struggle for you so far? Is the struggle over yet?
Question: By the above question, I meant if you had to really break some gender stereotypes?
Question: Social norms and your career choice – How did you cope up with all of it? (Log kya kahengey?!)
Question: Travelling is a dream for almost all. You are living your dream – that is what it seems to all of your readers. What all goes into making your journey look effortless?
Question: What is it like to be a one-woman-army?
Question: We all have our bad days at work. What keeps you going during those days?
Manjulika: There is no shortcut to blogging. No one starts getting opportunities from day one. Focus on building a style, a brand. Work on the statistics of the blog rather than buying a fake number of followers. And be passionate about discovering new stories and telling it to the world.
Don’t jump into the decision of quitting your job by getting influenced by others. And if you really want to do it, start working towards it. Take a year to prepare and cut down your expenses. Do your travels on weekends and see what you enjoy and what you don’t. Start doing some freelancing work or diverting your time towards your passion. You must make some money before you say goodbyes to your monthly paycheques. If you really feel that your priority is to travel and you have achieved a balance in life, then just go ahead. The salary cut down isn’t easy to handle so everyone must be prepared for it. You will not regret only when you are fully prepared to face the consequences. So I wouldn’t say don’t follow your passion but be ready to work really hard. Remember, you need money to travel too. Though I know I am not going back to my regular job, it needs a lot of courage to hold on to the thought that traveling for passion will become lucrative someday.
I really wish that this conversation did not end because each of her instances is so true and one can relate to so easily! Once you read her blog, you will see her achievements as a person in terms of experiences is many of us dream of! She is an inspiration, isn’t she?