Search the Site

Written by Savi, 47 Comments

Hi guys ever since we posted an update about our TEDx Talk on Instagram and Facebook, we’ve been flooded with messages about it. It was a closed event, so we thought we’d write down our talk just for you. This is best enjoyed when you have 10-15 quiet minutes for yourself. Grab a coffee or a bucket of pop corn – here you go ๐Ÿ™‚



The Nouveau Ambition : The life-changing consequences of cultivating happiness and contentment


Last month, while sitting in a cafรฉ in Bali, a Polish girl handed me a book after a long conversation about Love and Life. As I opened it I saw a sentence highlighted in neon pink, which summed up our hour-long conversation in just a line

โ€œDon’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Beย LED by the dreams in your heartโ€


Here’s how life usually goes โ€“ we educate ourselves, get a job, and gradually get sucked into a routine. Despite nascent dreams we continue to live our lives, grumbling about our jobs but turning up at office everyday in order to pay for a bigger car or a better house. Both ambition and success, weโ€™re repeatedly told, are measured only in terms of career progression or the amount of money one earns. Over the years, this acquires the status of a โ€˜factโ€™ or a โ€˜truthโ€™ through a series of reiterations – by parents, teachers, society, friends โ€“ you name it


But we decided to UNlearn all this. Why? Because at the ripe old age of 30 we had a revelation โ€“ cultivating happiness and contentment was doing strange things to us. We found the stresses of daily life distance themselves from us. While our friends were grumbling about the unease of 16 hour work days and strained backs, we found ourselves staying happy, smiling a lot โ€“ perhaps a bit too much, and wanting to pelt our inner circle with love all the time.


road trip itinerary taiwan couple in taipei
The two of us in Taipei, Taiwan ๐Ÿ™‚


What one needs to become an entrepreneur and marry passion with a financial model


Now before you start dismissing this as some hippie sorcery or questioning us about which magic pill weโ€™ve stumbled upon, let me add a disclaimer or two.


Firstly I am in no way saying money isnโ€™t important. Money pays bills. Money ensures a seamless life. It is very important but it doesnโ€™t HAVE to be the be all and end all of oneโ€™s life. Secondly it is possible to marry oneโ€™s dreams and financial stability.


Of course this isnโ€™t easy. It takes more hard work, patience, and persistence than you can possibly imagine. Take our example. A few years ago, both of us were in well-settled in London.ย I worked in a corporate job and Savi was completing her PhD. By the time we were 30, we had achieved what we set out to achieve both education and job wise. We had well-paying jobs and a traditionally secure future ahead of us. But after exploring 50 odd countries, we found ourselves falling more and more in love with the idea of travelling the world. Then, we quit our jobs, and with it, our life in London, to travel the world full time. After all. you get one life and the two of us wanted to enjoy every single sumptuous second of it.


Of course this was not a whimsical decision. It was part of a larger plan to hone our lives the way WE wanted them to be. While dreaming is essential, putting in the effort to make that dream a reality is even more essential. We saved for 8 years towards a travel fund and for 3 years prior to quitting our jobs, we had decided to start exploiting our skill-set so we could earn an income on the road when we started travelling full time



For us the choice was clear โ€“ we knew we had to put Savi’s background in literature and creative writing, my love for photography, and our common passion for travel together to generate travel-related content we thought the internet needed – content we were proud of! Every evening we would come back from our jobs and start working on our passion project.



We worked 20 hour days to set up a website and learnt the basics of digital marketing. Hundreds of thousands of hours were spent garnering a readership on social media and our website. It’s been a steep learning curve and we’ve learnt many lessons along the way. Weโ€™ve learnt that building an online business takes much more effort than we thought. Sustaining it takes rigorous discipline and motivation. But it also brings with it rewards – we’ve had the opportunity to work with brands we’ve loved and used for years such as Citi, HP, Hyatt Hotels, and Go Pro and our story has been featured on BBC, Discovery Channel, CNN, Cosmopolitan, and TED, so it’s all worth it.ย Bruised Passports is 5 years old and right now, believe it or not, we work longer hours than we used to in our jobs. But if you work is your passion, it doesnโ€™t feel like work at all



Couple in New Zealand - best road trip in the world
Any entrepreneurial venture needs INSANE amounts of discipline, passion, and persistence


Financial stability is great but we want more from life

Having established the importance of a stable model of income and hopefully given you some inspiration to achieve it in unconventional ways as well, let me come back to the original topic of this conversation and also the most asked question of us in real life, on social media, and on our website. Why do we smile so much?


The truth is itโ€™s neither a secret nor a magic pill. Itโ€™s a CONSCIOUS lifestyle choice that weโ€™ve chosen to make over the past few years and you can too. Some call it The Law of Attraction but it is simply the realisation โ€œyou BECOME what you thinkโ€ ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿค—


Letโ€™s start with the obvious. Despite what social media might portray, nobodyโ€™s life is perfect and there are lots of niggles, ranging from mundane to severe, that everyone has to face. But you can choose to tackle them one way or the other.


We live in an age where it is easy to be sucked into negativity. We have all had to face this at some point of our lives. But hereโ€™s what we say try ridding yourself of ALL negative thoughts for once. Jealousies, grudges, toxic people, and negativity belong in the bin. This isnโ€™t an overnight change but a gradual process.


But you will be SO much more creative if you have a happy mind full of positive thoughts. Instead of spewing venom, being envious, or thinking negatively about others, concentrate on working hard to be financially independent while realising you dreams, however crazy those dreams might sound to other people.



This is what we learnt from our journey – as we started to purge negativity from our lives, and got more and more passionate about creating high quality content, things that used to niggle us, didnโ€™t anymore. This nouveau entrepreneurship which focuses on generating an income and cultivating happiness comes with one condition – you need to stop judging others and encouraging negativity. This is YOUR journey – prioritise happiness, contentment, and those people in your life who love you as much as you love them.


couple kissing at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Financial stability is essential but that’s not all we want from life



Consciously Cultivating happiness and contentment


Make a conscious decision to pursue this on getting up every single day. Once you have purged negativity from your life, it is time to start cultivating happiness and contentment. We do this in a variety of ways and so can you

  • Take joy in the small things whether that is a home-cooked meal, a starry night, or the seasonโ€™s first snowfall.
  • Work towards causes you are passionate about โ€“ for us that is kids’ education and womens’ empowerment
  • Recognise the perfect in the imperfect. In life, as in travel, NOTHING is ever perfect. But looking at the glass half full, instead of half empty will change your life!
  • Concentrate Having a beautiful soul and empowering the people around you (be it friends, family, or co-workers) instead of bringing them down. And that is ALL you need for happiness and successes to come your way.


We love working with kids education and women’s empowerment





To sum it all up, Ambition is actually a heterogeneous concept. To some people it means being at the top rung of a corporate firm, to others it means being a millionaire. And thereโ€™s nothing wrong with that! But ambition can also mean MANY other things. A peaceful life, a happy life, and most importantly a content life. That is the ambition that drives us. Iโ€™m going to wrap this up with a little quote from the same book (Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart) I was handed in Bali:


โ€œHappiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wiselyโ€



Couple at Gurudongmar lake in Sikkim
Concentrate on things that matter and try to hone your life the way you want it to be ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’d rather hear us speak, here’s the video:


Want to read more about us? Read ALL our personal articles here


Want to listen to more? Check out our interview with All India Radio where we talk about our life, philosophies, and how you can travel (Just click the play button near the top left ๐Ÿ™‚ )


47 thoughts on “The Nouveau Ambition: Our TEDx Talk :)

  1. This is not the first time I have heard your story of how you actually begin traveling. But every time I read it, or hear it from you guys itโ€™s inspiring. It gives a positive vibe and s very positive outlook towards life. Love & respect for you both. Keep inspiring..!

  2. Hi following you on instagram since last two years… Love your travels… You both look awesome together…

  3. Very nice. Your words about positivity has really inspired me. And I will really start working towards it from now. And even smile more often do that I can attract it and it remains in my life forever with me.
    You too keep smiling and be in love forever. God bless and thank you ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

    1. So happy to hear this Ashita – we say this from experience – every little helps ๐Ÿ™‚ You do good and it’ll come right back to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I was waiting for this upload. Thank you Savi and Vid for inspiring us in many ways. Itโ€™s always a treat to see the contents you guys post. ๐ŸŒˆ

  5. love, love, LOVE this! Even though I knew it takes a lot of effort and hardwork to create content and maintain a blog, I didn’t know you guys saved for 8+3 years before becoming full-time travel bloggers!

    I also LOVE the quote at the end, reminds me of a quote from Harry Potter- “It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.”

    Just a quick question, if you don’t mind answering it- did you guys travel to the 50 countries during the 8 years that you saved for the travel fund or have guys been travelling since the time you guys met? Also, how many times in a year did you travel and how did you manage to do that while in a full-time corporate job?

    You both are ever inspiring and I really want to meet you guys one day! So here’s hoping to that, cheers and have a good day ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hey Vartika – thanks for the love. Yeah both of us travelled a lot both when Vid was studying in Singapore and then during our time in London. We’d try and visit a new place each month, so we travelled a lot even with our jobs. In fact that’s how we fell in love in travelling ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Loved this read. I found it very motivating for people like me that just want to do something creative that pleases our hearts without people telling us we’re living a directionless life. Your perception of life is so pure and happy and I wish everyone thought about people and life this way, although for now, I’ll just start with making sure I think this positively. ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. Such an inspiring story. You guys have helped me motivate myself to make my dreams come into reality. Will definitely work towards it from now only. And you guys give such serious couple goals. Thank you so much. God bless you both ๐Ÿ˜Š

  8. Initially I was a bit sad about not being able to attend the Ted event as it was a closed one.. But you guys made up for it. So thoughtful! Thank you for putting this up, it was an immensely inspiring read as are all your articles ๐Ÿ™‚ Much love to you both and see you’ll at the meet up tomorrow. Can’t wait!

  9. Thank you guys for putting up these in words!
    Loved the opening quote
    โ€œDonโ€™t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be LED by the dreams in your heartโ€
    Just by reading about you guys give such positive vibes!!
    Much love to you guys!!

  10. Itโ€™s such a joy to see your Instagram pictures as well as your blog posts! Youโ€™ll are so inspiring and an actual example of how life should be led! I believe one grasps something from every place they visit,and itโ€™s so crazy that youโ€™ll witness such different cultures,seasons and people every now and then! Hoping to meet you guys soon! Cheers!๐Ÿ˜Š

  11. Woah!! Absolutely loved reading this piece. And you know what I have especially kept a one hour time slot for reading your articles and captions of insta posts.

    One thing I would like to share with you guys that I was a very depressed kind of person. Reason- Ofcourse, it is not always necessary for the things go according to our plans. But that doesn’t mean that we lose hope(which I did). Maybe there are some other tasks awaiting us.

    So we need to stay calm, patient and be perseverant-things which I learnt from you(distancing all the negativities while embracing the positivity), as you spent 8 years on saving and 3 years on learning which is quite a long duration and still you guys didn’t give up which ultimately led to happiness and contentment.๐Ÿ˜Š
    Well, I won’t be there for the Mumbai meetup, but the day I meet you guys would be the super fan moment for me.๐Ÿ˜ƒ
    Vid and Savi, you are THE BEST. Loads of love.๐Ÿ˜Šโค

  12. There’s so much to learn from you both.. I have always admired your dedication,discipline and hard work. I have shared your website, insta page to tins of my friends and we all follow and discuss about your pics and writing :D. Love always๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

    1. Thanks Nupur. Discipline is something that is really not spoken about much when it comes to creative fields but it’s something that is most important ๐Ÿ™‚ Someday I’ll write about that

  13. Beautiful and inspiring as always!

    Thank you guys for spreading so much positivity around. Your pictures, your smiles and your โ€˜realโ€™ story makes us believe dreams may come true if you work hard for it. Wishing you the bestest best of the wonderful times to come! And, look forward to experiencing all of that through your pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. WOW..!! You guys are such an inspiration. It swells my heart everytime I read your article and makes me wanna believe that this world is beyond all the negativity And hatred that most people bring in our lives. True love and passion do exist. And both can coexist together . Thatโ€™s what you teach us with every single post of yours.
    Keep smiling and spreading love and passion.

  15. Absolutely loved the talk. The kind of inspiration one needs on a Sunday morning, especially after a hectic week. Got me thinking and helped me put things in perspective. Thanks for making this available.

  16. Amazing write up! Just what I needed to read now. Thank you for a bundle of positive energy you guys let out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Hi Savi and Vid! A few months ago, a friend of mine was waxing lyrical about this travel blogger duo and she just wouldnโ€™t stop enthusing about them (read you ๐Ÿ˜‰ so I decided to visit your profile and got hooked onto your world ๐Ÿ˜ I fell for the visual imagery, the unassuming nature of you two, Saviโ€™s easy fashion, and of course, her poetic way of describing the travel experiences. As someone in her late 20s, Iโ€™ve been kind of hankering to start something of my own, like become my own boss and looking at you two gives me the much-needed bunk-up and enthusiasm to charge towards my goal. I love you two!

  18. I so much love reading everything you pen down. But this was so inspiring. Not only in terms of travel but inspiring and motivating for the life we lead. We always keep thinking about what we don’t have but never appreciate what we have got with us. I do believe in “The Law Of Attraction” and in your words โ€œyou BECOME what you thinkโ€.
    I love U guys for everything you do, and every time I see You both, there is a smile on my face. Not saying for the sake of it, but trust me I mean it. Ur smile brights up my gloomiest day… I so wish to bump into you two, like most other readers across the globe ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜. More power to you both and I Love U two!

  19. One day I accidentally found your instagram page and it dint take more then a fraction of second to follow you guys. Your posts has something in it which brings a positive aura and it carries away all the negativity around. It is your passion for your dreams that reflects on each posts and writings. I am a great fan of your work . Keep up the good work. Keep inspiring us. Continue making us believe in dreams <3

  20. Much love, adulation and admiration goes out for you guys!!!

    Makes so much more sense to follow heart and start doing effort in that direction.

    Love you….

  21. Absolutely loved reading this. You both are true inspirations for all to follow their dreams, keep it up guys!

  22. This was so inspiring! Love following you guys on Instagram and because of that, I know all this comes from experience. keep up the excellent work!

  23. I was experiencing a feeling of collapsing when I finally decided to open the tab and read this journey of yours. You are an inspiration I must say. Thank you for enlightening me and several others. I wish I would have read everything that you have been writing. I am a fan of URS on Instagram. Love you guys. Thank you.

  24. You guys make the best amalagation of Passion * Profession. Have heard/read your story multiple times yet in every new article/talk comes with a new take away. That shows learning is the only constant in life.

    More power to you guys.
    Here’s to those contagious smiles โค


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *