Anayat and I met in the sixth grade. She was the girl all the boys talked about with the pretty face, exotic name, and infectious laugh. I was envious of her but chose to befriend her instead. Throughout our friendship, hearing Anayat’s laugh at the end of every joke I’ve said, has always made me feel good.
Now Anayat has grown into a strong woman both physically and mentally. She created the opportunity to travel the world for four months and share her experience in the process. Manifest Movement is exactly that. A movement that Anayat manifested.
How long have you been the creator of Manifest Movement?
I started Manifest Movement about ten months ago, just before I decided to embark on a crazy journey traveling the world!
When did you first realize you wanted to travel and ultimately create Manifest Movement?
When I considered blogging and creating Manifest Movement I honestly wasn’t that sold on the idea. My main concern was what was going to set me apart from others. Everyone is a travel blogger these days. Then I realized, for starters, my timeline and itinerary are different. Likely, no one will go the exact places I did and in that order, so hey that’s a start! Then I thought, if I told myself one year ago that I’d be quitting my job to travel the world for four months, I would’ve laughed in my own face. A year ago this whole idea would’ve sounded like a complete fantasy that I never thought would actually happen. Mainly because I didn’t think it was feasible financially.
What changed your mind?
A friend of mine from college, now one of my best friends, Dana, actually came to me with the idea. She didn’t want to go alone on the journey, nor did her parents want her to. She heard I might be crazy enough to do something like this and well after a couple of weeks, I was! I am forever grateful to her for asking and allowing me to be a part of this incredible journey. My purpose was to show how possible traveling is. By sharing my stories country by country, I wanted to empower others to travel and see the world. I decided to be active on social media (mostly before bedtime so I wasn’t behind a screen vs exploring) so that others could follow my journey. I answered a lot of questions I wasn’t expecting and overall felt that people were engaged and interested in my travels.
What was the number one question you were asked?
The biggest question I got is, “How are you affording this?” and the answer is simple. I committed to wanting to do this for me and my self-growth, so I saved for months leading up to my trip. I am a firm believer of putting your mind to something and making it happen. Manifest all the travels! I believe traveling is one of the best things you can do for yourself because it forces you to step into an unfamiliar space, and get to know different cultures, places, food, and most importantly connect with people!
How did your Yoga practice work into Manifest Movement?
Yoga has been a part of my life for the past 12 years. It is something that is very close to my heart. I try to incorporate yoga into my everyday life. Not only the physical practice but overall mindfulness. I wanted to include yoga as a part of Manifest Movement because though extensive travel may not always be present, my yoga practice will be. I didn’t practice the asana (physical) portion of yoga as much as I would’ve like to on my travels but forgive me, I was caught up exploring new places. I did, however, practice mindfulness in various ways throughout my journey. Without my knowledge and experience of yoga, my trip wouldn’t have been the same. I was able to see things from a different perspective, practice being present, and appreciate every little single thing surrounding me.
Do you feel like you had a moment at your job where you decided to pursue Manifest Movement?
There wasn’t exactly a “moment” for me, but I knew overall I wasn’t happy. According to some, I probably should’ve been, because I had a great job for someone my age, but I struggled so much internally with the decision of whether or not to quit my job. Sure, the money was good, and it was setting me up for a comfortable future, but I had little to no motivation to do my job anymore. I was so busy taking into account everyone else’s opinions that I forgot about my own feelings.
I don’t believe you should have to suffer through a job you dislike for money, it’s as simple as that. I’ve experienced that feeling of being unhappy in a career first hand for years! I just had to ask myself, is it really worth it? Sure, having money and living comfortably (there’s that word again) is a plus, but what are money and comfort if you’re unhappy? I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy for thinking this or quitting my job, to each their own. I just believe we have one life to live, so why waste time being unhappy? So, with that said, I quit my job and decided to travel and pursue Manifest Movement.
Do you think you always knew you wanted to practice yoga, explore new places, and create Manifest Movement?
I knew I wanted to practice yoga after I took my first class 12 years ago. Walking out of class I remember feeling so full of joy like, this is totally for me, I belong here. For the first few years, I wasn’t very consistent with my practice. Then, I stumbled upon my home studio, Citizen Yoga in Royal Oak, MI. This place is my second home, and I am constantly growing and developing my practice there. I recently started working there full time, managing three different studios.
And I have always had an interest in traveling and exploring new places but again, never thought it was in the cards for me. Manifest Movement wasn’t something I had dreamt of starting, but I’m glad it all came to fruition one step at a time. The digital world is growing at such a rapid pace, who knows what will come next.
How did you learn to do all you do?
For travel, my friend and I learned as we went. We did quite a bit of research ahead of time while we were planning our destinations and where to stay. I swear I could be a travel agent now. To me, planning travel is fun and exciting, especially when it’s your own! Outside of Google, I got a lot of travel and destination information from other blogs via Pinterest and a Facebook group called Girls Love Travel. The FB group has over 700,000 members from all over the world sharing tips, experiences, pictures, etc.
With the help of my little sister, I learned how to make my website, which I had so much fun doing. Very recently, I actually started taking on some freelance work designing websites. My older sister helped create my amazing logo. I’d be lost without them. As for blogging, I didn’t spend too much time focusing on what I was “supposed” to write. Instead, I just wrote from the heart. I’m not out here trying to impress anyone. Just me being me.
What about yoga?
As for yoga, I practiced, regularly. The only way to learn yoga is to just start, regardless if you’re flexible or not. I promise that doesn’t matter! I have always been fascinated by the human body and anatomy, so I decided to further my education by enrolling in a teacher training program. This was hands down, the best decision I have ever made! The training program was more than just learning poses. It included philosophy, messaging, anatomy, finding my voice, and self-discovery. I guess you could say, yoga is my drug.
How long do you work for? What’s a typical day for Manifest Movement like?
Manifest Movement isn’t a full-time thing for me like Citizen Yoga is. My most recent focus was on travel blogging while I was away for four months. From start to finish, a blog post takes me about 4-5 hours total typically. Now that I am back in Michigan, I want to focus more on creating yoga related content in hopes of inspiring others to develop their practice.
What’s your favorite thing about Manifest Movement?
It’s a creative outlet for me to share a part of my life with my readers in hopes of impacting them in some way. One of my family members recently moved to Florida, and on her drive down she called me to tell me I inspired her to move and make a change in her life. I don’t care if she’s family, she is someone that I had an impact on. That’s my purpose and what I love about this.
What have been some obstacles you’ve had to overcome while pursuing Manifest Movement?
Getting caught up in the digital/blogger world can be overwhelming. There are a million little things that you could do to grow your business, but for me, it’s still just something fun that I do on the side. My biggest challenge was making time to write while still traveling and having the motivation to do so. The last thing I wanted to do was get stuck behind a screen instead of exploring. I started to utilize the hours I had in the airplanes to write my blogs. Throughout the day, I would take notes quickly on my phone of things I wanted to include later in my blogs. I wanted to stay committed to writing and sharing, so when I finished a blog, it gave me a sense of accomplishment.
Who do you hope to inspire?
Anyone who has been thinking about traveling and is afraid of taking the leap. I am super open to answering any questions regarding traveling. I don’t want people to be afraid to ask me anything. I’m an open book. I would love to inspire people to practice yoga. I know studios can be intimidating, but I am here to stand by your side. Literally, I will hold your hand and go with you. Yoga has changed my life in so many ways and my hope is that the practice impacts others lives too. I am always looking for new yoga buddies.
What can your followers expect from you in the future?
All things yoga and wellness. Hopefully still some travel here and there. I plan to continue my yoga education and would love to share what I learn with them.
You can check out Manifest Movement here and follow Anayat’s personal journey on Instagram here! She’s an excellent resource, not to mention pretty to look at. Whatever your journey may be, we hope you are left feeling inspired to manifest something of your own.