Not too surprisingly, the pandemic changed all our lives. Our idea of normal, our personal lives, relationships, work life, hobbies, tastes and so much more. With travel coming to a long halt, we sure lost our motivation to blog. And while life went on, there were too few updates to share here. But we’re here with some of the most life changing events that we’d like to share with you. And to begin a new era of life, times and travels with Awara Diaries.
The Learning Lifestyle
The pandemic really pushed us back, gave time to reflect and explore ideas that were never done before. Cooking at home, plumbing, fixing furniture, and more happened without a choice for most part of the lock down. The need to keep things happening and interesting was so pivotal to survive through what we could call the dark ages. And then there was surge in online trends, activities and options to keep you entertained.
To get over the guilt of binge-watching on Netflix, I did sign up for some online workshops related to content creation, panels, discussions and more. Parichay had completely dived into his learning lifestyle by signing up for the paid membership on Coursera and making the most of it by completing multiple certification courses.
The next thing we did together was learning German through Göthe Institut’s online A1-A2 courses. Given our future plans, this was an essential and we did start off pretty well.
For Parichay, there was a phase of GoKarting, Rifle/Pistol Shooting and Yoga too. For me, well there was pottery and a big big dream that I was so motivated to fulfill.
Back to Study
I had always thought given the nerd that I was that I would at least complete my Masters and probably consider a PHD. But after my Bachelor’s in Mass Media in 2014, my one-year break to work and gain some work experience turned into a 7-year long stint, of content production, creation and marketing. There was so much to learn practically that a theoretical course seemed unimportant at that point.
Given the various developments, aspirations and plans for the future, the pandemic made me seriously reconsider my career opportunities and what I wanted to dedicate myself to for the rest of my life. While we were strongly veering in the direction of culture and tourism, I became particularly interested in learning more about sustainability.
Through a series of coincidences, I came across an MSc course in the field of Sustainable Development, Management and Policy in a private university in Vienna. I ended up applying to see if I had any chance. And before I could fully comprehend, I had a conditional acceptance to the course. This was the sign.
After 7 years, I was back to studying. I started attending classes for the first semester online. Waiting through a long process of documentation to head to Vienna on a student visa, which was bound to be further delayed due to Covid.
Sustainability as way of life
It made absolute sense to pursue my masters after 7 long years, when it was to be in a field that I absolutely knew nothing about. The education system and pattern here was absolutely new to me, a lot more research based, more effort and preparation driven. And through all these changes, new information and readings, my belief and excitement in the scope and future of sustainability got stronger. The aim continues to keep learning more, exploring new dimensions, understanding sustainability much beyond its surface dimensions and putting this knowledge to purposeful use to build our future.
WE GOT MARRIED
Parichay and I have known each other for over a decade now, we’ve dated each other for 8 years and worked together for almost the same amount of time. We’ve travelled places together, been through ups and downs, enjoyed and lasted through the roller-coaster of the journey that the last 8 years have been.
Finally, we got married in a simple and sustainable court wedding in Mumbai on the 17th February, 2022.
We’ve moved to Vienna
And finally, 3 weeks after our wedding, on the 10th March, 2022 we flew from Mumbai to Vienna, Austria to settle here. You could say that moving to Europe is like living the dream, but we’re living this dream with a solid plan. For the next year and a half, I will be completing my Masters studies to get my MSc in Sustainable Development, Management and policy degree from Modul University, Vienna. Given the need of the hour and the European Union’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals and battling climate change, the field of sustainability holds promising present and future, not just in Europe but all across the globe. Sustainability is no longer just CSR, it is mainstream for governments, brands, people and places.
While Parichay is still facing delays on his resident permit, due to lack of people from India moving to Austria to start their own company, we’re working through the situation. We’re positive and excited about starting a sustainable travel hostel chain across Europe, starting with Vienna.
Expat Life In Vienna
It’s been 5 weeks since we arrived in Vienna, this time to make it home. We’re making progress, learning the new ways of this city, this culture and the life here.
We have our very own Austrian address and mobile number!
We have a gorgeous home in Vienna that we’ve put together with a lot of DIY furniture from IKEA!
We have a bank account in an Austrian bank.
We’ve figured how the transport system works.
We have our go-to supermarkets.
And we’ve begun to build our life here!
Without a doubt, none of this was a cake walk. It took us months, weeks and days to figure some of these things out. Paper work, lack of Austrian German language (German spoken in Germany and German spoken in Austria are a little different from each other), card issues, adjusting with the limited work hours and weekends off has been a real challenge.
But we got through it all. We look back and think of how amazing this journey has been so far. We’ve done so many things for the very first time in our lives. We’ve overcome many obstacles and troubles through the last 5 weeks.
We’re becoming independent (beyond what we thought we could or we needed).
And this is just the beginning. We’re looking forward to living, learning, laughing and finding, creating and living through more stories!