I Sold Everything I Owned and Spent a Year in India
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I sang to my fellow yatris on our last day on the Jagriti Yatra. (Photo: Zim Ugochukwu)
Who: Zim Ugochukwu, creator of Travel Noire, an online platform featuring cultivated insights from a global community of black travelers.
Why: I wanted to take the skills that I acquired in college and put them to use internationally.
Where: I’ve traveled to every region of India except the Northeast. I saw over 70 percent of the country in a year’s time.
Cost: Nothing. I went as a part of an amazing fellowship program. The Luce Scholars Program covered everything. The program is designed to introduce young movers-and-shakers under-30 to Asia. Each of my fellow scholars lived in a different country in Asia.
How I did it: During the fall of my senior year in college, I decided that I wanted to try something different. I wanted to connect with a world outside of the one I know. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, but I was determined to get out of the United States and experience the most fascinating corners of the world (for free). I spent months applying for the fellowship, and when I was selected in 2011, I sold everything I owned and moved to India.
My photography club in Bangalore, India (Photo: Zim Ugochukwu)
Was it hard to let your stuff go?: I just did it. We’ve been taught to accumulate and hoard things that we can never transfer from this life. I reassured myself that it would be an opportunity to rebuild my wardrobe with different things from around the world. I began to go through my things and sorted through what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to give away or sell. The premise was simple: The sale, hosted at my apartment, was an as-is-sale. We didn’t move anything; we just put price tags on everything. I took a deep breath and let go. It wasn’t easy, but it was best. I made about $850.