Shifting Your Perspective

My partner and I left the United States for India 3 weeks ago today. What a difference three weeks can make. I have traveled regularly throughout my adult life. I have also had the opportunity to see a country through the eyes of locals, but I have never lived in another country.

Living Locally

My partner, his mother, and I are living in Chennai, on the southeast coast of India, in his childhood home. The home looks different than it did when he was growing up. His father, or Appa in Tamil, made it his mission to work with the builder and the other residents to have the apartment building completely reconstructed.

Appa was detail-oriented down to the light fixtures, the matching curtains, the built-in cabinetry, and the two big sinks in the kitchen. My partner’s mother is an extraordinary cook and the kitchen is outfitted to match her culinary skills. My partner says he can feel his father’s presence in this house.

When my partner asked me to go with him to Chennai, I said, “yes,” without hesitation. We did not have all the details figured out but we knew it would all work out because when something feels so aligned- you trust and leap. My partner and I are still in a state of reverence for this experience of being in Chennai, now in this moment, with his mother.

Body, Mind, and Soul

India, you have touched my body, mind, and soul in the short time I have been here. My perspective is shifting and I am expanding. My body initially went through a period of acclimation but after a few days, my body settled into being here.

Now, I am sleeping better, being spoiled and nourished by the vegetarian delights my partner’s mother prepares, working out in the local gym, and today I took my first small group yoga class with friends here. Additionally, my partner and I recently stocked up on ayurvedic products at the Himalaya store, which will further enhance our health.

My mind is free from stress, worry, and rushing. I feel clear and creative. I am seeing clients on Zoom and writing my book while I am in Chennai. I feel so present. It is refreshing and renewing.

My soul is expanding. I am experiencing peace and a deep connection with being individually human and with humanity. I know that we are living very well here. The dollar goes far in India. We live in a beautiful home and have everything we need. I also know this is not how the majority of Indians live. For multitudes, it is a day to day struggle for the basic necessities.

Education is Essential

Education in India is crucial. Parents will go without, so that their children may receive a good primary education, go to college, and often also graduate school. There is a knowing that an excellent education can make a world of difference for the next generation. Children also care for their parents in India. It is part of the culture and parents are respected and appreciated.

I recently spoke to an Indian teacher who said that government schools provide free breakfast and lunch for the students. For if the students are hungry, how can they learn? Additionally, English is the primary language for the students’ courses. Education is serious business in India.

Perspective Shift

My perspective is shifting. I have been financially free for some time now and I readily live in a state of abundance, not scarcity. Yet, in the United States, I am surrounded mostly with people who live similarly to me. Yes, there are many financial disparities in the United States and also poverty, but I do not see this in my daily life.

In India you see the different financial levels of existence each day you leave your home. There is a woman in our Chennai neighborhood whose job is to sweep the streets, with a handheld broom. So, as I am walking home from the gym, she is sweeping the street. She gives me a big smile as I pass her. I do not walk in her shoes no, but I must consider her footsteps. We are all part of humanity.

Remember The Humanity

Before my first trip to India last November, one of the best pieces of advice I received was from our good friend Jayashree. She told me that from the moment I landed in Mumbai, one of the first things I would notice, that could feel overwhelming, would be the multitudes of people everywhere. Jayashree told me, “Remember the humanity.”

We are all in life together. Our lives may look different and be lived differently, but we are all human, all part of humanity. I have worked hard, planned effectively, and created this life I now live. I do not need to feel guilty for what I have achieved but I do need to have gratitude, act in kindness, follow my purpose, give back, and make a positive difference.

India, thank you for helping me to evolve, expand, and shift my perspective. In this short time, you have touched me deeply.


Susan Howell, The MoneyMaestra

Susan Howell
Written by: Susan Howell, The MoneyMaestra.

Even though I grew up without money, I was able to retire at 50 based on my financial practices. I worked for the Federal Government for 26 years, with 6 of those years at the IRS and 20 at the Department of Justice, which included investigating many money-related cases.

I created MoneyMaestra to share what I know and to help people get on the path to Financial Freedom.


  1. Julie Brady

    Your journey to India is life changing. Thank you for sharing your experience. You are such an amazing person, beautiful inside and out. Wishing you a continuing healthy and happy journey💚🌎

    • Susan Howell

      Thank you Julie for your reflection. This time in India is life changing for me. I am so grateful for the experience.


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