There are so many ways that you can earn money while traveling the world. This week I spoke to Eniko from Hungary who is traveling and working across India as a ‘professional Indian wedding crasher’!
Interview with Eniko: A Travel Ambassador and Professional Indian Wedding Crasher
Eniko Toth (Angie) is a 26-year-old Hungarian girl and passionate traveler. At 21, Angie took up a life changing opportunity to work and travel in the US, then she worked as a volunteer in Brazil and travelled in Southeast Asia. Now she is working as a travel-ambassador and professional wedding crasher in India for a new startup called www.joinmywedding.com.!
Working abroad is a dream for so many people and your job sounds so cool and unique! Attending a real Indian wedding is such an incredible experience, and you have attended over a dozen! Please tell us a bit more about your interesting job
Well, if I was to describe my job in a few words, I would say I’m a “professional wedding crasher” but what I have been through in India over the past five months is so much more and participating in Indian weddings is only a small part of what I do for JoinMyWedding.
This new and super exciting start-up, JoinMyWedding (www.joinmywedding.com) allows couples to extend open invitations to their weddings making it possible for interested travelers to experience a traditional wedding while travelling.
My job is to spread the concept among the travelers around India. I always stay in hostels so when a wedding is nearby, I can scoop up some travelers and we go together. In the meantime, I help them find appropriate traditional clothing, organize the transportation as well as keeping in contact with the couples. Because the idea is new, I help and explain everything to the travelers, but in the future travelers will be able to organize everything by themselves via the JoinMyWedding.com platform.
I am also the photographer and videographer at the weddings and the team is continuously working on and improving the online platform using all the insights I am gathering from the users (couples and travelers).
What made you decide to work like this, and how did you make it happen?
I was a solo female traveler before, I was exploring the USA, Southeast Asia and a part of South America. To be honest, I just read an article about this business and fell in love with it and the story of the two female founders. I reached out to them via email and offered my help as I love traveling and new challenges.
The founders (Marti Matecsa & Orsi Parkanyi) saw that I am very sociable and able to travel alone, so they afforded me this opportunity. I had some other options and ideas at that time, but I loved their idea and found it so exciting so I decided to join the team. So I made a quick decision and took a flight to India without knowing anything about what was going to happen or how it will work.
So what does a typical day as a professional wedding crasher look like!?
Every day is completely different and this is what I love about it the most. I get new impulses all the time, I visit many places, meet countless people and experience a lot about the everyday life in India. It’s an enormous and diverse country so I can say that I am faced with never ending surprises.
My job is really diverse. When I visit weddings I am out and active all day. Organizing transportation, helping the travelers, meeting up with the couples and several hundreds of guests (sometimes several thousands!). I also participate in numerous rituals and ceremonies from the morning until very late in the night, every day during the wedding (weddings are usually 2-3 days long).
Between weddings, I organize my videos and photos while receiving new feedback from travelers, all the while, keeping up the promotion via talking or flyers. Sometimes when I have some time I also write guest posts about the company, It’s pretty cool, because I can summarize my memories. 🙂
When I don’t work, I am a backpacker who enjoys the vibes of India! Every day is a new challenge and I learn a lot!
Sounds like such an awesome job! So what do you like the best about your work?
I would mention three things:
Firstly, the challenges and excitement it brings each day. Every member of the JoinMyWedding team works super hard and we are pushed by ourselves to do our best. We push each other forward. It’s such a great feeling to be part of such a great team and something new and exciting!
Secondly, the magic of all the weddings I am attending. Being part of the most important life event of someone else is a massive honor. I love dressing up to look like a princess in a beautiful sari for a few hours, and I love to learn more about their deeply rich culture and everyday life. Every wedding I attend and every person I meet gives me a different experience; a new thought that will influence my life. I can not help but notice how much I have changed in the last few months.
Last but not least, the joy of traveling. A year ago I had no idea, plan, or even dream that I would travel to India. Meeting new people and getting to know new places are always an adventure. My favorite places are out of the crowded cities, so I love the mountains and sea here, but India truly has everything. You can find deserts, jungles, river valley, cultural and historical places and so on… I feel that in these past few months, I’ve visited countless places and learned so many things, and yet I feel as though I still know nothing and didn’t see much of anything. 🙂
This video explains more about the concept.
But nothing’s perfect right? Are there any downsides?
Of course. The emotional roller coaster is almost natural during the travel, highs and lows follow one another. You are always on the road, organizing your travel, people coming and going, and you haven’t got a home base where you can calm down and feel grounded. Everything is so new and definitely not always comfortable, and adding on working and responsibilities, it becomes even harder. But this is all part of this journey and makes it complete.
My other big problem is the pollution in the country. There are places where people can almost literally swim in the trash in the streets! The air pollution has made me sick three times the past four months, and I also got food poisoning a couple times… I am almost sure that every traveler agrees if I were to say that there is no worse feeling than being very sick, very far from home. Luckily, I have always found people to help me get through these tough times.
Yes, India can be challenging! Do you have one standout highlight, favorite destination or most amazing wedding?
Actually, I have a few favorite destinations in India. If I had to choose a location close to nature, I would choose Goa, because of the beautiful beaches. I am sure that Kashmir and other states around the Himalayas look really amazing too, but unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to visit them yet.
If I was to choose a city, I would say Mumbai. This city has special vibes that I haven’t experience in any other big cities in India. I really like Udaipur as well in Rajasthan. A beautiful, romantic town, influenced by the Arabian architecture style with a lake in the middle of the desert.
Every wedding so far has been really special and completely different, it is hard to say which was the most amazing one. Personally my favorite one was inWest Bengal, more specifically in Burdwan, a small town about 90 kilometers away from Kolkata. I cannot explain why I liked it the most, but something was different there. The atmosphere. Everyone was super friendly, but not intrusive. I met some amazing people there and the whole wedding was so familiar. I felt I was part of the family. I will never forget those 3 days that I could have never experienced if I wasn’t to make a decision to become a JoinMyWedding ambassador in India.
And what has been the greatest challenge?
The greatest challenge is to grow the company and spread the word about the concept of ticketed weddings far across India. the concept of far across India. JoinMyWedding is your chance, as a traveller, to be on the guest list of a genuine cultural celebration. This is truly the ultimate cultural immersion and is an amazing feeling that I can see how it all grows and how much people like the concept and enjoy attending the weddings here in India. It’s hard work, but the greatest challenge. It’s really good to see how everyone wins from the experience.
What do you wish you had known before you started working there?
Well, I am not sure that it is good to know everything in advance. LOL. This is a whole new challenge with a lot of ups and downs. There are extremely hard periods and there are amazing, unforgettable adventures. I prepared for this trip as much as I could, I had read blogs like yours as well to learn from other people’s experiences, which was very useful. One this is for sure, I wouldn’t had changed my plans if I had more information to start with.
So, what are your plans and ambitions for the future?
I am the sort of person who always have a lot of plans! Well, these plans usually change during my journey, but I love it this way. I am a really ambitious woman, often a single female traveler, and I always look forward! In this case, I am a single female traveler in India. I would definitely like to continue traveling. There are so many experiences, adventures and lessons that are out there waiting for me, so many that I don’t feel that I could spend such a long time in one place.
Being part of a real Indian wedding is an amazing and unique experience that I’m sure so many travelers would love to do. What are your tips for travelers who wish to attend an Indian wedding?
Just do it. It’s okay if you don’t know what to expect, what to wear or how to get there. This is the point. You can become an Indian for a day or two, you can immerse yourself in the culture and experience the real India. You will figure out everything in time and there will be a lot of people who help you with all the information. People here in India are super friendly, easy going and they are really excited about hosting you at their weddings, regardless where you are visiting from. This is an important point as we, western people, often think that having strangers at your wedding is not something people would be happy about.
The truth is quite the opposite. In India, there is nothing more important than a Wedding, it brings good luck to the couple to have more and more guests. Moreover, it offers them a chance to showcase their rich culture and connect with international travelers. There is a saying in India that resonated with me greatly “Guest is God” and indeed I felt like I was part of the family and welcomed greatly, and treated as a Goddess at these weddings. I was not an intruder, but someone warmly welcomed and included. This is the spirit and mission of JoinMyWedding.com
It is going to be a lifetime experience anyways and something completely different from what you’ve seen before in India or in the world. So my advice is simple. Go for it. You won’t regret it.
Thanks Eniko for sharing your amazing job and lifestyle, working for JoinmyWedding sounds like so much fun! If you want to attend a big Indian wedding yourself you can find more information at www.joinmywedding.com.
If you have an interesting job working abroad or unique way to make money while traveling then contact me to be featured here in the next interview.