How My Work-from-Home Journey Began (The Steps of My Story)

Bonita Jewel, MFA
9 min readNov 9, 2021
Photo by NEOSiAM 2021 from Pexels

My work-from-home journey actually began in India.

I moved there at the age of 16, along with a group of young people who wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

We spent the summer involved in a variety of social projects — workshops for prison inmates, ministries to support mentally-challenged individuals, and help for residents of impoverished communities.

But the world wasn’t exactly my oyster.

For a girl who had home-schooled all her life, suffered from social anxiety, and generally felt more comfortable in the company of books than people, my early weeks in India were sometimes overwhelming …

The humid heat of Mumbai in April, May, June, July …

The sheer number of people.

The fact that I had no way to blend in, being blonde and nearly six feet tall and more than a little awkward.

By the end of the summer, most of my friends returned to the United States. Part of me wanted to head back to California as well. But I stayed.

Some part of me was trying to find a sense of purpose …

And I had a feeling that, despite the heat and challenging living conditions, India was the place to find that purpose.

To answer some kind of call.

One day I hope to write more about my time there, but that’s not the focus of this story.

I ended up staying in India for nearly 12 years.

I got married to a terrific guy from Chennai. We had three beautiful children, all born in Bangalore.

Then, my husband and I began to consider moving back to my hometown in California’s San Joaquin Valley. I wanted our young children to be closer to my family.

We had been involved in a variety of projects and ministries — from working with the deaf to opening sponsored schools for children from slums — and life was fulfilling.

But it was time for us to move on.

The First Step — Online Writing and Editing Jobs

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