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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

[Adaptated into an essay in my book Thrive! Falling in Love with Life, published Nov 1, 2011.]

After a significant hiatus from writing, perhaps the best excuse I can offer is that … “I was traveling.” Some literally, some metaphorically, for what is life but a journey?

On that note, I have observed that most people, whether on a holiday journey or life journey, adopt one of two roles: tourist or traveler. I don’t, of course, mean to suggest that only these binary states (should) exist with nothing in-between, but for the sake of exposition and discourse, let’s move with that assumption for a moment.

As a tourist, one is primarily focused on the destination, on “getting somewhere.” Milestones are mapped out: the Major Museum, the Ancient Monument, the Best Restaurant, the Famous Lake, the Tallest Mountain. The time in between getting to these wonderful places is an interval to recuperate from the last destination, (more…)

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[Adaptated into an essay in my book Thrive! Falling in Love with Life, published Nov 1, 2011.]

Exactly three years ago, in late June 2006, my childhood best friend Amrita came to visit me in Seattle from New Delhi. It was her first visit to the United States, and we had talked about it for years and years, ever since the inseparable two were separated with my move to America in 1997, but it had never happened. Of course that’s because it was meant to happen right then – my childhood friend, coming out to share in my re-birth, and spend time with me in my new home and new post-divorce life!

As you might imagine, there was much excitement about what all we might do in her 20-day stay. I wanted of course, that she spend enough time in glorious, summertime Seattle, and then I also wanted her to get a taste of the spirit of America. Being architects and design-lovers, it was tempting to zip around to international design hubs like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles … or, as I finally proposed to her: we could experience one of America’s biggest assets – her natural wonders. And we could do this using her biggest symbol of freedom – the great big automobile! (more…)

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Long international flights, like the ones I just did from Seattle to London and back, are great times to nap, watch movies, read a book … and well, for me, often ponder important thoughts. This time, besides making considerable headway on Roger Martin’s Opposable Mind: Winning Through Integrative Thinking, and watching 3 movies, I thought quite a bit about … secularity, and what it really means. (Side Note: Amazingly, British Airways is now showing Bollywood and serving rajma-chawal even on Pacific flights!)

One of the pertinent childhood memories that floated back to me, was of our family acquiring its first ever car. I was about 5 years old, (more…)

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In the summer of 2008, my boyfriend and I were in Halibut cove, a tiny island of about 100 residents off the fishing town of Homer. In the late afternoon, our hosts took us out on the beautiful still water in the cove, in kayaks. Both of us had minimal previous experience in kayaking, and I was still nervous, so I insisted on being in a tandem – a 2-person kayak. So our hosts, who only had single-person kayaks, borrowed a tandem from their willing and kind neighbors, a beautiful bright yellow, sleek long thing with two spots for bottoms to fit snugly into.

With some effort I managed to fit into the front as my boyfriend took the back spot, all the time feeling as if we would tip over. I took one of the paddles while he had the other, and I began to move the paddle awkwardly – it seemed that I had completely forgotten everything from the previous time I had been kayaking in Seattle’s Lake Union several years ago. Kathryn, our host, showed me how to paddle in the right motion, and then, seeing us not making much headway, she said, “You know, the principle of rowing a tandem is that the person in the back steers the boat while the person in the front sets the pace. Both people cannot do both things!” (more…)

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