Category Archives: Self

Meet the girl who sold her house and is exploring her spiritual self in India

As a solo traveller, who sets off with no fixed plan, I am  often asked this question:  How do I manage to travel all by myself and end up having a good time?

You know, when you are travelling alone, you are never really alone. You constantly meet new people and when you are all by yourself,  curiosity leads to talking to people.

I have always met good people on the road and the experiences have made me what I am and hence, I cherish solo travel.

This post is about meeting one such lady, with whom I could connect, have a meaningful conversation and talk about the purpose of life.


I met Hajnalka Zsuzsanna Rácz,  who lived in a  town near Budapest.  I met her while I was volunteering in an ashram in south India.

32-year-old Hajnalka Zsuzsanna Rácz from a town near Budapest

Her story 

32-year-old Hajnalka, worked in a Tele- communication company for eight years. However, she could not see herself selling things for her entire life. She felt the company she was working for cared more about the numbers than the people.

She quit her job, worked in a restaurant for five months so that she could travel for the rest of the seven months.  Hajnalka also sold her house as she did not want to keep paying the EMI and be dependent.

“Things like a house don’t interest me. It is the new experiences in life that I am looking for. In volunteering, I find selfless love. No salary can give me that.”  With the money that she had earned while working in a restaurant, she came to India.

I was intrigued to know why she wanted to travel to India. “India was my calling. I reached the airport and the wind blew at me. The smell of the earth, the wind seemed like it was welcoming me here,” she said.

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Hajnalka, is in India and on her spiritual journey and is living  in a  living in an ashram in south India. She is  volunteering in a canteen where she is sometimes serving people and at times baking cakes amongst other things.

I began talking about life and happiness.   I see a lot of young people unhappy with the jobs.  I always wondered if  money was that important? How is it in your country?

She said, “It is the same in my country too. One is supposed to work, earn, marry and then have babies. Though I love babies. And would like to have Indian babies! However, I see many people are not happy in their lives.  Maybe because they are always looking for materialistic happiness in their life.

We both agreed that materialistic happiness is short-lived and people need to find meaning in their lives. Once that is sorted, perhaps happiness makes the life going.

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The art of draping the saree

Hajnalka can drape a saree better than I can.  In one of the felicitation functions at the ashram, we wanted to wear a saree. However, when I told her I did not know how to drape one, she said “Come to my place. I know it. I can help you with it!

It was funny that as an Indian I did not know the art that well.   I asked her how she learnt to wear the art of draping a saree and she said, “I feel so connected with this country as if I belong here. It was easy for me to pick it up.”


This conversation and meeting Hajnalka remains one of the most insightful time. I interacted with her for a couple of hours, however, I can feel some connection with her.

Sometimes, all you need is a good conversation.

Dear fellow traveller, I would love to hear the stories of people you met on the road.

 

 

 

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Things I did for myself on World Health Day

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.”
-Thomas Jefferson

April 7. It is  World Health Day!  On this day, I pledge to make health my priority.  Not just physical but mental health as well.

These are some steps I took to ensure I kick some ass.

Borrowed a cycle from my neighbour and went for a ride: I was having a chat with a fellow traveller. He mentioned about his idea of going for a 5km ride on World Health Day. It got me itching to ride a cycle myself. Hell, I did not have a cycle. However, even before I could think, said, one could always borrow or rent a cycle. “Jugaad,” the Indian word for the word hack is what we Indian’s are best at.

Hence, I borrowed a cycle from my neighbour. It took me less than five minutes to approach her. Most times, this is the time it takes to make that decision- To do things you always wanted to do. It will happen when you let it happen. Just do.

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Backstory: I fear to ride a bike. As a child and as an adult I have fallen off the bike a few times. This developed a fear and these are my baby steps in overcoming that fear.

Recently, I saw a Ted Talk by Shonda Rhimes My year of saying yes to everything and the journey to find that missing “hum.”  With this, I started my own journey.

Enroled myself in a course to study counselling: I was a part of  an organisation that worked with children in dangerous situations. I love children and the purity of thought they have. However, I was unable to work with them as closely as I wanted to. Partly, because of the educational background I had. While on the onset, this seemed like one of the best reason to enrol in a course.

However, another reason to enrol me in the course was to understand myself better. In India, mental health is not taken as seriously as it should. In order to empower myself, I enroled in a counselling course. April 6, was my first class and I am excited to learn new things!

Enroled myself in a Yoga class: Six months ago, I had fractured my foot. Things did not go as I planned. From quitting a job for a travel fellowship, I was not able to travel. With this, my travel stopped for a while. I decided to take a leap of faith and see how I could sustain myself and travel. The reason why I am mentioning this here is because the accident somehow put a halt to my physical activity.  I travelled on and off, however, none of this was a trek. Now, I think it is the time I start again!

Who knows, within a few months, I will be off to that trek I always wanted to go.  I do wish to embrace myself in the silence of seeing the rising sun from the mountains and listening to the sound of the gushing river.

Like me, dear fellow traveller, what is that one thing that you have always been itching to do?

Pick up that thing.  Listen to your heart. Just listen. Do not shut that voice inside you.

“Do not let anyone stop you from doing the things that you love- not even yourself”- Unknown.