BDG was born 2 years ago today
It was — and is — a labour of love
On this date two years ago, August 23, 2009, I launched Breathedreamgo (BDG). It was Ganesh Chaturthi, the Hindu god Ganesh’s birthday, which I chose because he is the god of luck and auspicious occasions, and the god worshipped at the beginning of new ventures.
I have a lot of feeling for the elephant-headed Ganesh because he has protected me during all my travels in India (I always carry a representation of Ganesh with me).
Breathedreamgo grew out of a travel blog I wrote on Travelblog.org while I was traveling in India the first time. On December 5, 2005 I flew to Delhi, India for the start of a six-month odyssey. Blogging about that first trip really helped me gain meaning from the experience and also bolstered my confidence as a writer.
By the summer of 2009, when I was planning Breathedreamgo, I realized that blogging about my travels in India, yoga and Indian culture was my passion. But it hasn’t been easy. It has taken a huge leap of faith to pour my time, energy and skills into this blog — and it has taken those things away from other aspects of my life and career. I am now at a critical juncture. Back in August 2009, I gave myself two years to “breathe, dream and go.” To follow my dreams unfettered by thoughts of money, practicality or the future. Today, the two years is up.
Many people ask me, why India? I went to India when I was at the lowest point of my life. I had lost both my parents and split with my fiance. I was not happy with my career (corporate communications) and had never followed my dreams. I was over 40 and knew, if not now, when? I decided I had to do something BIG, so I bought a backpack, gave up my apartment and went to India for six months. It was like jumping off a cliff. I was truly scared. But I went anyway … and it was the best thing I have ever done.
In India, I was revitalized and inspired. I found a new family and a spiritual path. I felt an uncanny affinity to India and developed love and admiration for the people and the culture. I was inspired by India to write and changed my career.
Basically, by going to India I started a whole new chapter in my life — at a time when I thought my life was over. I always wanted to be a writer, but never felt I had the confidence, skills or subject matter. Traveling, and blogging, in India changed all that.
I feel I owe so much to India. Through my writings on Breathedreamgo and in newspapers and magazines, I try to share the beauty of India’s culture and wisdom with the world. That’s my way of saying thank you.
Now, I need to re-evaluate. So far, my blog has been 100% non-commercial. My entire strategy has been to create unique, heart-felt and (I hope) compelling content. I am very proud of what I have accomplished in the last two years: My blog traffic has grown exponentially — please see About Breathedreamgo for the numbers. I have published a book, Song of India; been on several press trips; organized two tours to India (upcoming this winter) and published many articles in newspapers, magazines and on many travel sites. I have done everything I set out to do, and have gone as far as I can without support.
I am now pursuing appropriate partners and sponsors: People, organizations and companies who want to support my efforts to stimulate tourism to India, increase awareness of Indian culture, promote a more spiritual approach to life and support causes such as child welfare (UNICEF), literacy (World Literacy of Canada) and environmental conservation (Tiger Watch). If this sounds like you, please contact me! Without you, Breathedreamgo will not reach its potential.
Advice is also welcome. What have you done when you were publishing a blog — or building any kind of business — and still had the vision and the passion, but not enough resources to keep building?
A word of thanks
Back in August 2009, I remember rushing my hard-working and fabulous web designer, Jennifer Johannesen of lowtotheground, to ensure I could launch on time. Thanks Jennifer for supporting me from the beginning. It means a lot to me, as Breathedreamgo has always been a labour of love. My talented graphic designer friends, Shelly Rowen, Renee Klerer, Helen Lee and Ana Botelho also supported me by providing the graphic elements and designing my book in exchange for dinner. We designed the banner one night after a vegetarian feast — thanks ladies!
During the past two years, I have published a number of incredible photos by an array of professional photographers. I want to especially thank Andrew Adams of Katha Images and Dave Bouskill of Picture the Planet for your ongoing love and support — and awesome photos. Also want to mention photographers Amanjeet Chauhan, Jeff Jung of Career Break Secrets, Nikolaz Godet, Bruce Granofsky and Lisa Field-Elliott. Thanks so much, I need you — photography is not my strong suit.
Also want to thank several wonderful people who work for the Ministry of Tourism in India and Canada, notably Venkat, Vibhava, Sushil and Eugene. Your support has enabled me to travel in India with confidence.
Qatar Airlines flew me to India on my fifth trip – and I had one of the best flights of my life! Thanks to Tilley Hats, Chapters-Indigo and Sony Pictures I was able to give away some great prizes to lucky readers. LMA PR and the Uma Paro sent me on a fabulous trip to Bhutan. And Bundi Vilas (Bundi, Rajasthan), The Farm Villa (Ranthambhore) and Casa Cottage (Bangalore) have all hosted me – and they are all great places to stay.
And of course I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my family and friends here in Canada and in India — especially my Indian family in Delhi. Without you, I couldn’t have done any of this. Thank you.
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