Dec 31, 2013

2013 and a 2014 look ahead…

It has been a good year, all in all. Can’t complain on any front since life’s been good. Did a couple of things, some personal achievements, some holidays and a lot of activity. And am thankful to Providence for each of these things!

For starters, we did what I never thought we would. We sold the apartment which I initially thought was our dream house, and had never intended to leave for anything in the world. Turns out our feelings weren't strong enough, and we fell out of love with the house , sold it , and moved on from it physically , emotionally and mentally, all in no time at all. The pretext was to buy a bigger apartment, which we didn’t in the end, but I guess we were both ready to move on from that old apartment. One of the most impulsive yet very well turned out decision of our lives, I must say! I thought I’d be insecure without my own house, but the bigger realization was that we were both nomads deep inside, and the obligation of not paying an EMI made us realize that we like this life better than anything else. It makes me feel free, unattached and gives me the independence to do anything I want, which I wouldn’t trade for anything! We rented a larger apartment which brings us closer to our goal of having a better social life, we spent a bomb in doing up this apartment, and are happy! That’s what matters, right!

We, the husband and I, took a hard look at how close we are to our target-retirement-assets, during the whole real estate transactions and figured out that we were both close and yet far from it, which was a good revelation to have. That makes the money goals quite clear, and we both know what we are working for, and towards. A good place to be in!

Work has been good. There is a very welcome job change, something that teaches me something new every day. And am more clear in what I want to do with my work life – To work for passion, not for money. On that note, here’s one of the most impactful lines I read this year, something that made me change quite a few things in my work life, and is currently my work signature -

When you look back at yourself six months from today and don’t feel embarrassed by your naivetĂ©, there’s a problem. That means you’re not learning, growing.

Nov 12, 2013

A Grecian Holiday!

This September, we went on a dream vacation... a full 10 day hiking holiday in Greece. We ate great food, walked a lot and had loads of fun during these 10 days. It was like a trip down the history books lane, what with every corner of Greece reminding us of a little something we read back in school. Pythagoras, Delphi, Parthenon were just some of the historical aspects that we enjoyed while in Greece!

God, I need to backup a bit and go from the beginning... I've been like this ever since I got back from Greece. You ask me a question, and I start rambling about how nice a holiday it was there.
Sometime ago, I read an article on The Hindu Metro edition about someone's cycling holiday in Tuscany. I read the entire holiday, took note of the website given in the article and mentioned to a friend sitting beside me that someday I'd like to go on a holiday like that. She laughed at yet another item being added to my travel-wish-list, and said I could do all that if I find someone who can plan it all for me. Obviously, I couldnt do it all by myself, she said. As discouraging as they might be, I saw value in what she said, and decided to go with someone experienced. Thats when I realized I had taken note of the company mentioned in the article - The Active Holiday Company, and decided to get in touch with them, when I was ready for a holiday.

After searching through their list of holidays for over a month, and mulling on leave dates with the husband, I finally narrowed down on a hiking holiday to Greece, and got in touch with folks at The Active Holiday Company. Gauri & Uday , the founders of this company, promptly got in touch with me, read my zillion emails patiently, gave me all the suggestions they could, gave me an itinerary that I loved and even helped me through the visa process.
You see, I did not want to go with a pre-decided holiday, and had a list of other places that I wanted to visit in Greece, all of which were addressed in this new custom-made itinerary. And since this was an activity holiday, 5 hikes were baked into the itinerary.

Sep 29, 2013

Wise enough to be foolish

By now, its common knowledge that I am wary of books by Indian authors. My dislike for Chetan Bhagat is well documented, I could not finish Jhumpa Lahiri's last book, I have read only one book by Aravind Adiga and have never even read Amitav Ghosh. Vikram Seth is different, he doesn't get into this league of writers at all!

So when I picked up this book, I was sceptical. I had attended the book launch and heard some great things about the book by people there, I saw the author speak, I also read the quotes behind the book cover. But the book snob in me was still a bit sceptic. Then, I read the booklet that came along with the book, something like a sort of introduction to the book and the author's style, and noticed myself getting excited.