One month update from Goa

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I can hardly believe we have been here in Goa for a whole month already. Not because the time has flown by, because it hasn’t, we’ve moved gently with it, like floating dreamily down stream. I just still find it a little hard to believe that this is my life. I’m not on holiday; I have no fixed plans, and no return date. It’s a sense of freedom so vast it’s almost unreal, like wrapping your head around the infinite magnitude of space. It’s mind-blowing.

There is such ease to life here, and I have little to worry about beyond the recent discovery of my first grey hair, which horrified me I might add. But I suppose things can never be completely perfect.

Or maybe they can. Because ten days ago this happened:

Our adopted cat Safi had kittens. We had only discovered she was pregnant two days before she gave birth, and suddenly there they were, three tiny little mice-like babies ready to make sure I never leave our lovely little house, and distract me from getting any work done whatsoever.

It turns out, however, that new born kittens are actually less entertaining than I thought, so I have happily begun to fall into a routine with my writing instead, something I was never able to do back home in England with my 80+ hour work week and lack of organisational skills.

I am also continuing my graphic design work, and have been fortunate enough to secure some very exciting freelance projects to help make our travels a little more indefinite. I recently completed a website re-design for the lovely Monica McCarthy, and hope to continue to grow this side of my career as a digital nomad.

I have also been working alongside my team mates Kim and Sarah to promote our participation in the Rickshaw Run, a charity mission that will see us driving 3,500km across India in an auto-rickshaw. In a little under two months time we will be starting the engine on our (hopefully) trusty hunk of metal, and puttering our way across the Rajasthani desert, headed south across the sub-continent towards Cochin in Kerala.

The three of us have spent a lot of time developing our blog, Rickshaw Run Diaries, which charts every aspect of our forthcoming adventure, and trying to raise as much money as we can for our elected charity, FRANK Water.

We are thrilled to have already hit the 56% mark in our bid to raise £2000 GBP (roughly $3,200 USD) for FRANK Water, and are hugely grateful to everyone who has donated via our JustGiving page so far. Your incredible generosity will enable FRANK Water to provide clean drinking water to some of the poorest communities in India.

We have also secured some amazing support from a select group of companies we feel very proud to be working with, and who will be helping us cover the substantial costs of the expedition. At this point I feel it only right to give them all a big shout-out as a very small sign of our deep gratitude:

KEEN

KEEN is an active outdoor company that manufactures eco-friendly shoes, bags and socks, and adheres to an admirable mix of work, play and giving back. KEEN calls this way of living the HybridLife and they design their products accordingly.

We are very excited to be working with KEEN, a brand we all love, and are extremely proud to announce that we have been appointed official KEEN Ambassadors. Not only will we be decked out in KEEN shoes, bags and socks while rattling along on our rickshaw, but KEEN is also providing us with a great big duffle bag full of children’s shoes to donate as we make our way across India.

Wimdu

Wimdu provides travellers with private accommodation all over the world with their catalogue of over 50,000 properties, giving you the opportunity to travel like a local by offering accommodation off the beaten track, from shared flats to apartments to houseboats. Wimdu also provides the opportunity for you to rent out your own home and make money whilst helping other people explore your corner of the world.

Wimdu will graciously be providing accommodation for us at the end of our epic road trip, enabling us to rest our weary bodies, reunite with our partners, write for their blog and update you all on our experience in comfort.

Atlas Cruises and Tours

Atlas Cruises and Tours is a travel agency with an impressive 25 years of experience, enabling them to help you find the perfect holiday on any budget. They work exclusively with the most reputable companies, and have a wide destination section where you can research tours and cruises to the world’s best locations.

Sykes Cottages

Sykes Cottages is the UK’s leading independent holiday cottage rental agency, supplying top quality accommodation in the UK and Ireland for over 25 years. In that time they’ve grown from a small family business to a highly respected national agency with over 3,500 properties available for rent, catering to all tastes and budgets.

Hotelbookers

Hostelbookers prides itself on being the only independent hostel booking site that doesn’t charge a booking fee. With youth hostels and cheap hotels in over 3,500 destinations worldwide, they aim to be the number one provider of cheap accommodation to travellers of all ages.

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Spending time sat comfortably on my backside and working on all these inspiring projects has undoubtedly contributed to my recent bottom troubles, but despite this, the past month really has been wonderful. We’ve done things in our own way, and at our own pace, and I have loved every minute of it.

In the coming weeks we will be stepping things up a notch, and are planning a road trip to explore north Goa, trekking the jungles of Karnataka, revisiting the world heritage site of Hampi, and celebrating Diwali with our new Indian friends. I am also hoping to finalise a volunteer placement with a local charity that rescues young girls from the sex-trafficking industry, but more on that later.

Our first joyful month on the road has been the perfect antidote to the past two years of hard work, sacrifice, planning and saving, and I feel grateful every day that I get to wake up and live each moment on my own terms.

I am also hugely grateful to all of our family and friends for their unwavering support and encouragement, and to all of you lovely people out there reading my blog. You have changed my life in more ways than you can ever realise.

Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart.

I can’t wait to share our next month of adventures with you all, and the many months that will hopefully follow.

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Monica November 2, 2012 at 12:03

Congratulations on your first month! I can’t believe it has been that long already. And I get complimented on my beautiful website you designed ALL the time…. Now I need to by me some tickets to India!!

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Hannah November 2, 2012 at 12:08

I’m so glad people like it – I actually had two design enquiries from your readers yesterday! And yes, please book your tickets asap 🙂

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Jeremy or IHeartTravel November 2, 2012 at 13:15

Just what I needed to start my day. I’m forever inspired by those living out their dreams, and it gives me the upmost inspiration to know I will soon make my own a reality. Can’t wait to hear more about your volunteer opportunity!
I congratulate you everything going on in your life…YOU DESERVE IT!

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Hannah November 3, 2012 at 12:25

Thank you so much Jeremy, and likewise my friend 🙂

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Charlie November 2, 2012 at 13:46

You say it’s been a slow start, but sounds to me like you’ve been pretty busy! Really interested to read about your upcoming volunteering. Sex-trafficking of young girls is something I feel very strongly about and hope to volunteer for a related charity while travelling. Perhaps even in India. Good on you for using your travel time to make a difference!

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Hannah November 3, 2012 at 12:30

Yes, I suppose I have, but I’ve enjoyed it all so much that it really hasn’t felt like that! I am also really looking forward to starting a volunteer placement, which is one of the main reasons why I wanted to travel. I am doing a lot of research to make sure I choose the right charity, and I hope to start very soon.

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Stephen schreck November 2, 2012 at 14:36

Everytime I get a haircut I get informed I have a couple more grey hairs! 🙁 Not good.
Congrats on hitting 56% of your goal Hannah. Go Namaste Outta My Way.

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Hannah November 3, 2012 at 12:30

My sister went grey at 16, so I have been lucky to make it to 32!

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Rachel November 18, 2012 at 11:38

Ceri will thank you for telling the world that!

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Hannah November 19, 2012 at 07:11

Ha, I doubt the world reads my comments!

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Carmel November 2, 2012 at 14:48

Congratulations on your first month abroad! It may not seem fast to you, but it does to the rest of us. I’m glad you’re settling in so well. Hope your bum is better!

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Hannah November 3, 2012 at 12:31

Thanks Carmel, my bum is doing much better 😉

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Meka November 2, 2012 at 18:42

Glad to hear how things are going!!! And I’m so glad we are working together. U are an amazing designer lady!!! Can’t wait to hear about your continued travels especially the Rickshaw race. Looking forward to hearing all about it.

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Hannah November 3, 2012 at 12:31

Me too, I’m so excited to get your new blog up and running for you 🙂

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Patti November 2, 2012 at 20:08

It must feel so wonderful to be fulfilling your dreams after so much hard work and planning!

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Hannah November 3, 2012 at 12:32

It really does. I have never been more grateful for anything in my life 🙂

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Victoria November 2, 2012 at 21:20

I’m so pleased it’s all going well for you. The website you designed is gorgeous. I’m sure you’ll have no problems sustaining the nomadic lifestyle with skills like that. The kittens are adorable, and I’m delighted you’re starting yoga. Enjoy!

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Hannah November 3, 2012 at 12:33

Thank you Victoria! I hope all is going well for you in Mexico and can’t wait to hear more about your yoga teacher training course 🙂

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Anna B November 2, 2012 at 21:27

Can’t believe it’s been a month dude! It’s so great to be with you in the virtual online world 🙂 xxxx

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Hannah November 3, 2012 at 14:01

I know, I can hardly believe it either! Thanks so much for reading, miss you madly xxx

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Patricia Sands November 3, 2012 at 02:15

I’m loving the choices you are making, particularly your proposed volunteer work. Congrats on the great organization with the sponsors for your Rickshaw Run. I’m off to donate!
p.s. Just give those little kittens a few more weeks to become even more adorable and you won’t be able to leave them alone!

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Hannah November 4, 2012 at 03:31

Thank you so much Patricia, that is so kind of you to donate and we all really appreciate your support. And I can’t wait for the kittens to get a bit bigger, they get cuter by the day!

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Lucie November 3, 2012 at 16:10

Looks like this first month was evrthing you wished for. Looking forward to follow you in your upcoming adventures.

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Hannah November 4, 2012 at 03:32

Thank you so much Lucie, I’m so glad you will continue to follow along 🙂

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Ashley of Ashley Abroad November 3, 2012 at 22:58

Congrats on your first month abroad! Your life in India looks lovely. I’m looking forward to reading more, and great job on the website for Monica, it looks gorgeous.

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Hannah November 4, 2012 at 03:34

Thanks Ashley, I’m so glad you like it, it was such a fun project to work on. And yes, life here is lovely. It’s ridiculously simple and freeing, I just wish I’d done it a lot sooner!

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Emma November 4, 2012 at 16:51

Sounds like you and Lee are having the most wonderful experience Han, I am so glued to your blog to see what you have been up to. Sorry for your recent troubles leading to the ring, lol but those kittens are wonderful. Keep living your wonderful life and I look forward to reading more. Love to you and Lee xxx

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Hannah November 5, 2012 at 07:30

Thanks for reading Em, I’m so glad you’re enjoying following our adventures! Hope all is well with you back home xxx

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Sarah Somewhere November 5, 2012 at 00:03

A month already? Man, time flies when you’re having fun hey?! Sounds like exciting, fulfilling times ahead girlfriend!

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Hannah November 5, 2012 at 07:31

I know! We’ll be on that rickshaw before we know it!

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Kim November 6, 2012 at 01:08

Hannah, it sounds like you are setting yourself up for the perfect life living exactly how YOU choose to live. You are so talented and I know you’ll make it happen. XOXOX

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Hannah November 6, 2012 at 05:02

Thank you so much Kim, I hope you’re right xxx

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Tal Gur November 6, 2012 at 03:30

Enjoy Goa and… Kittens! 🙂
Looking forward to read about your future adventures

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Hannah November 6, 2012 at 05:02

Cheers Tal!

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Molly Yonderblog November 6, 2012 at 09:20

Goa life sounds wonderful! I look forward to hearing about your up and coming adventures!

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Hannah November 7, 2012 at 07:52

Thank you Molly, and likewise 🙂

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Marisol November 10, 2012 at 22:57

Hi Hannah, Can’t believe that you’ve been living your dream for a month now. You were just preparing to embark on your dream when I discovered your blog few months ago. I’m so happy to follow the fruition. Glad to know that everything’s going well over there. I hope your bottomline is feeling better.
P.S. I can’t wait to follow your Rickshaw adventure with Sarah and Kim. It must be awesome!

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Hannah November 12, 2012 at 07:17

I know, I can hardly believe it either! Thank you so much for continuing to follow our journey, it really does mean the world to me. And yes, my bottom is feeling much better now thanks, though I’m sure rattling across India in our rickshaw will bring up a whole host of new aches and pains!

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Scarlett November 14, 2012 at 11:29

I can’t believe it’s been a month on the road already! I’ve been loving your kitten updates!! xx

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Hannah November 19, 2012 at 07:19

Thank you my dear! The kittens are growing fast and are so much fun, they just kill me with their collective cuteness 🙂

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Nico November 15, 2012 at 13:03

Your Rickshaw run across India sounds like great fun. Should be a really interesting experience.

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Hannah November 19, 2012 at 07:19

Thanks Nico, I am so excited to start our epic adventure!

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Ayngelina November 19, 2012 at 14:17

So happy to hear things are going well, when are you going to start writing that ebook!

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Hannah November 20, 2012 at 06:46

Ha ha, I was just thinking about that at breakfast this morning! I’m just finishing off some big design projects, then have the Rickshaw Run in January, but after that I am going to get my ass in gear and put the e-book together 🙂

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Vanessa November 20, 2012 at 07:59

Hi Hannah! I just recently found your blog thanks to your awesome kicking debt’s butt skills… my husband and I are killing off $55k (usd) in student loans in 2 years from teaching in Korea. Looks like it’s gonna happen too! Yay! Nice to see other people debt free and living the life they want to live! Way to go! 😀

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Eric November 27, 2012 at 15:44

Hi Hannah,
Just found your website! My wife and I are leaving for India for the beginning of our extended round the world trip in 12 weeks. Your blog has gotten us very excited. It’s nice that you’ve gotten to see the more tranquil side to India. We’ll definitely be reading your blog regularly.

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budget jan December 11, 2012 at 02:38

I had to laugh because I watched the video of your new home and saw your cat lying on the floor and thought – oops she looks pregnant! They look cute and they will get more interesting as they get older. Glad you are loving your life.

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Daniya December 14, 2012 at 00:24

I just stumbled on your blog and look forward to reading about your adventures. I like your emphasis on charity and volunteer work. I hope those kittens keep you good company!

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nomadic translator January 9, 2013 at 22:16

yay! such an exciting month. So happy to see that you are ever so close to your fundraising goal. 🙂
– Maria Alexandra

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