In 2007, I spent six months in India and practically spent everything that I had saved in 2005 while working for a NGO. The money I had was spent in my quest to come to India. However, after six month in India, I went back to Korea and found myself a nice job in a research firm with a fancy office. I was happy with my new job but I knew something was missing. I couldn't quite pinpoint it, but I knew that my heart wanted something else.
I used to listen to my colleagues talk among themselves about making money and investing in the stock market. I was really disheartened because I knew how people were living in Africa and India with no facilities at all. One day from what seemed out of nowhere, I got a call from an American textile company who was setting up a factory in Madagascar. The owner of the company flew to Korea from the US to interview me. To my surprise, I got a job in Talatamaty, Madagascar. It shocked me that I was moving back to Africa so quickly once again. I had moved to Madagascar once before in 2004. This time I had not planned a move away from Korea. It kind of fell into my lap, and I couldn't say no.
With that decision, I made a plan for the first time in my life. I took the job with the goal that I would save up for one year and then travel back to India. This was an exciting decision for me. I was only spending 300 dollars per month and that too was only on basic requirements. I was able to save up the rest of my salary. I knew I had to leave after a year so I even cut expenses by sharing a small house with other people and took the local bus to and from my workplace. It was a hard year as I scraped together every cent in order to save money.
I always had a dream of buying a vintage car which I fulfilled in Madagascar. I got myself a very old English Mini Austin. I had a habit of running after my dreams with full devotion. However, the most important lesson I learned that year was that sometimes it is better to sacrifice a passion for the greater good.
I learned this the hard way. My dream car broke down just after 10 days after purchase. It was not only a headache but also a dent to my financial savings because I could only fix the car by flying in spares from Great Britain. One time, I almost died when the wheels came off while I was going back home from work late at night.
After my one year stay in Madagascar, I resigned and moved back to India. The plan was not exactly detailed but I knew my end goal as I had a fair idea about the requirements of settling in India.