Hi, I’m Rohan.
I’m a 20something, and as of now I identify as a digital nomad, a gay traveler, and a writer.
When my pipe dreams of traveling the world first started seeming like a reality, I indulged in a lot of research online. Basically, I consumed content by a whole lot of other travel bloggers.
However, I found that the voice of global travel blogging was almost unanimously made of pretty white folks. That’s not something that mattered much to me initially. However, once I actually set off on my travels, I found that traveling with an Indian Passport posed a lot of challenges.
That whole oft-quoted aesthetic of setting off with a one way ticket… yeah, not a possibility for me.
Anyway. Due to the restrictions posed by my passport and my skin, I had to find my own footing.
In this travel blog, I write from the perspective of a gay Indian guy who isn’t always 100% over-the-moon about traveling.
As a solo traveler, there are plenty of times I find myself alone in hostel rooms, wanting to retreat back into the safe cocoon of my home, of friends who know me. But I continue traveling because I’m also fueled by a desire to escape.
A desire to escape into perfect places and perfect moments… even though they probably don’t exist.
I know that a lot of you might be wondering how I can possibly finance my travels at the age of 22. You might think that I’m an offspring of rich parents, or that I come from money.
All my travels are 100% self-financed.
How do I do it?
Well, read on and find out. In this page I’ll try my best to give you a strong idea of who I am, to the best of my understanding. However, if you don’t care for that (fair enough) and you just want to find out how I finance my travels, then feel free to scroll down to the last part of this page.
You’ll find what you’re looking for.
As for those who’d like to get to know me a little better, I hope this helps…
I’ve only recently felt comfortable adopting the label of a Digital Nomad.
I’d really like to say that I wander the earth, connected to nothing but the digital highway for sustenance. I’d really like to say something along the lines of, ‘I belong nowhere, so I’m free to be everywhere.’ I know, it sounds super pompous, especially considering I’m still a newbie on the road.
But the truth is, I haven’t traveled enough yet to really own the title of a Digital Nomad. I can only hope I’ll eventually grow into it.
Living in Delhi, India, I often find my queer identity to be just a little suffocated.
That’s one of the primary reasons I identify as a Gay Traveler. To an extent, I travel to be able to break free and breathe in some fresh queer air from pinker pastures!
Every time I go someplace new, one of the first things I do is log into Grindr and try and see how many other gay folks are active around me. I use the meters and numbers to gauge how gay-friendly a certain place is.
Next, I go online and trawl through the whole dang internet to find out how many gay bars and gay-friendly pubs are around. Most often, the search turns out to be long, hard, and often fruitless. In most places I visit, I can only hope to get into the thick of queer lifestyle via a network of connections… you know, the friend-of-friend-of-friend-of-friend’s kind.
Through my gay travels, I can perhaps help you find an easier route into the thick of the queer life in any city or place, as discreet as it may be. If you find that you’re traveling in the same city as me, feel free to drop me a line. It’s always such a relief to meet some fellow queer faces in a strange city.
I’m a Freelance Writer.
We’ve already established that.
I write about everything I experience, everything I think or do, and I put up some of it for public consumption.
If you want me to share anything, just ask. I’m pretty shameless so I’ll probably pour my heart out (along with my chest full of dirty little secrets) if you so much as nudge me a little.
Now… for the part you might have been waiting for…
As of now, my primary source of income is Freelance Writing.
After graduating from college in 2016, I tried looking for jobs. I was all set to climb corporate/news agency ladders, I was all set to try and claw my way up.
But I just couldn’t do it.
A lot of the connections I’d made from several different internships failed to pan out. I never received an answer from any of the magazines and newspapers I was sending out resumes to. Perhaps because I was aiming directly for RollingStones, GQ, etc.
And so I had to lower my expectations, and I had to enter my CV into Job Search portals. After a couple of interviews, I was finally accepted into a startup company that was willing to pay me well. They were paying me Rs. 25k (approx. $388) a month.
I went to my first day of work, all eager and excited, settled behind a desk with a computer, and I started pushing letters around. Suffice it to say, I didn’t last long. To be precise, I only lasted four hours. I resigned half-way through my first day and came back home.
My parents were naturally concerned about me. That’s when I started looking for work online. Initially, I told myself that I was holding out for some better job offers. My online search was only supposed to offer me some small sustenance that allowed me to be independent of my parents, financially.
My online search began in August, 2016.
I came across several Online Writing forums, many of which cheated me out of my time and energy. My parents told me that all online work advertisements were a scam, and that I should get serious.
However, I was determined to find an alternative to the regular ol’ 9to5. I trawled through the internet for any advertisements I could find, anything I could contribute to. I sent out long detailed proposals, most of which never received a response.
Halfway through September, my efforts paid off. I earned my first income — $10. Some independent screenwriters needed me to edit their script. I completed the project in about a week, it was quite the large script. At the end of the week, I earned $10, and a butt load of confidence to go with it.
My next project was even worse. I had to write a 20,000 words document in 10 days, for just $20 (approx. Rs. 1200). It felt like slave labour at the time. (Please note: I do not intend to minimize slavery. I’m merely being hyperbolic.)
By the end of September, I managed to earn Rs. 28k (approx. $450), working 10 to 14 hours a day. However, the long hours were worth it because I was independent (marginally so) and I’d already earned more than what I could have hoped for with a starting salary.
It only went uphill from there.
Within the next two months I started earning enough so that I had the freedom to travel within India. I took a flight to meet my friends in Mumbai first. Following that I went on a solo trip to Goa.
By December, 2016, I dropped all my domestic clients because demand pushed my rate far higher than the established domestic rates. By February, I was charging in International rates.
I had a roster of clients from across the globe, and I was working on a diverse range of projects that challenged and pushed me to grow.
One moment I’d find myself writing children’s short stories with lines like “Bob the Dog liked to dig big holes to hide his great big pine cones”. The next moment would find me developmentally editing world war journals. One moment I’d be writing dull technical blogs, and the next moment I’d be writing fetishist erotica.
March, 2017: My life as a Digital Nomad officially began.
I went on my first solo international trip to Bali, Indonesia.
I was hoping for it to be a 2-month long trip — the maximum Visa limit for Indian travelers. (As I soon learnt, the same visa rule doesn’t apply to western travelers.)
Anyway, due to some personal troubles back home I had to cut my trip short and return after 12 days.
But that was enough. I’d caught it.
I’d caught the travel bug, and there was no going back.
Since then I’ve also traveled around several other Southeast Asian countries on a tour spanning 3 months.
Over the course of that journey, I’ve learnt how to ride a bike, and fallen off bikes several times. I’ve been bitten by a dog in a Cambodian island. My entire bank account drained via a stolen debit card. I’ve almost fallen off a cliff face in Pai, Thailand. Yet I wouldn’t trade any of that away.
Well, I hope this gives you a brief idea about who I am, and what I do.
Naturally, I’ll keep adding to this page as time goes by. I haven’t yet found my voice or my footing in this world, and I’m constantly in flux. So you’ll just have to bear with this until I’ve figured it out.
But for now, take care, and thanks for reading,
P.S. If you have any questions, or if you’d just like to say ‘Hello!’ feel free to message me from my Contact page. Alternatively, you can also message me on Instagram, my username is rohan.99999 (that’s five 9’s). You’ll find a social media link in the sidebar. I look forward to hearing from you!