Last updated on July 8th, 2018.
Welcome and thank you for your interest in my story and blog!
I’m Natalia – an Eastern European who left everything for my dream destination, but about it later. I was fascinated by different cultures since childhood, though being from a post-Soviet country, you have limited possibilities to explore the world.
That got me motivated to apply for numerous grants, volunteering and work programs that partially or completely fund traveling. That’s how I’ve stayed in several countries in Europe and got into India for the first time.
I’m a project management and marketing professional, though I’ve learned many other skills due to my international experience and hobbies which diversified my profile and helped me become part of interesting opportunities.
Initially, I’ve started this blog to learn new skills. I wanted to improve my English writing and online marketing skills. I believe in “learning by doing” concept. You can take hundreds of courses online, but at the end, practice makes a real difference. The time I started I was working as a project manager, so my work experience was indirectly contributing to this blog and vice-versa.
After a few months, I started getting messages from the readers asking more information about India, Nepal and other destinations. That’s when I realized that there are people who find this information useful and this gave me an additional motivation to update, improve and create new content.
Mytriphack is a resource of practical experience of living and traveling in South Asia and Eastern Europe. Sometimes, I also write about other destinations that left a special footprint in my memory. I’m trying to be as specific and practical as possible. From here comes the name: My Trip Hack – I share a practical advice how you can get a certain experience, how much it will cost and how you can plan it.
This blog is built on constant feedback and questions from the readers and I’m grateful to every one of you for reaching out!
Everyone has THE dream destination. For someone, it’s France, for others the USA, for me it was India. Back in teenage years I’ve seen many movies and read books about this country. I tried to visit India through different programs since early student years, though I got this opportunity only after many years of trials and fails.
By the time I was invited to India I had a job which I loved, an entrepreneurship project and a community of close people around. It wasn’t an easy decision to make to leave everything for the childhood dream.
Despite all the challenges, India was one of the most rewarding experiences for me. First time I came with hopes to find the answers to some pending questions in my life. Well, I didn’t! But somehow through its randomness and diversity, this country gave me another perspective.
I’ve been staying in India for more than two years and have discovered different aspects of it. Initially, there was the excitement of everything new: vast history of Delhi, interesting work, first experience living in PG, new friends, personal and professional getaways around the country.
After a few months, there was a core adaptation. I got drowned by the social reality, corporate culture, food allergies, immense contrasts and cultural differences. It wasn’t my first living abroad experience, so I knew I need to keep going and get more information, meet more people to understand the local reality and be able to make a change.
India is a country of contrasts and diversity: it is rich, poor, modern, conservative, techy, traditional, innovative, spiritual. There are so many adjectives you can use to describe this country and they all will be true. Everyone finds his/her own India here.
Through all my successes and failures, achievements and struggles, I’ve learned to accept and love India the way it is.
I always promote getting beyond the tourism landmarks and connecting to locals, because people make your experience special. I’ve met here so many interesting people, a few of whom transformed into my friends for lifetime.
Living and working with local people helped me understand and experience their way of life to a certain extent. I’ve discovered local companies that make life simpler and better in India, found destinations and experiences which tourists often skip. I’ve unconsciously picked up some local features and habits. That’s why people often call me the “local foreigner”.
Since travelling and living in India are different, I’ve started writing about this country to share my experience and help you on both. So here I am, a girl from a developing country, exploring India in a local way.
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Topics I specially care about: women empowerment, innovative education, intercultural learning, offbeat destinations and experiences.