Browsing Category life choices

My Chilean Host Mother Took Her Broken Heart and Said to Life Vamos (Let’s Go).

We were in September, and the sun had been hiding away for many days from Chiloé, a southern island of petite Chile. Rain thudded the brick-tiled roof unabashedly. I shivered after a shower on a cold evening in Castro. To avoid getting scolded by my host mother for not drying my hair well, I walked down to warm my head near the kitchen fire.

My host mother, who was already sitting at the round, wooden dining and sipping mate from her cup, called me to join her while patting the thick sofa cushion on her left. Perched on her right, the British volunteer, who was also teaching English to Chilean students with English Open Doors, rolled his eyes as he saw me accepting her invitation and approaching them. Respecting our usual friendly banter and rekindling the Indo-British feud, I threw some bad words in his direction. 

Then as the three of us huddled at the dining and sipped tea in the cozy kitchen of our uninsulated home, my host mother told us that her brother had just come home to request some wine, and then she warned us not to trust him as he was an alcoholic. 

Though I had seen her brother visit us every day, eat bread and cheese at the dining, drink wine, of which she kept a big bottle in her kitchen especially for him, I never realized that he was an alcoholic. Maybe I was focusing on cracking the heavy Spanish that darted to and fro between the siblings.

But his alcoholism was not the devastating part of the story. 

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100 Days of My Nomadic Life – Highs and Lows of Living While Traveling

I haven’t gone out of my partner’s home, where I sit and write here in Bangalore, for three days, apart from a small walk that I did to the grocery store because I wanted to eat something better than lifeless noodles with invisible vegetables. Ironically, today I am writing about my 100 days of nomadic life.

I thought that being nomadic means staying on the road 24×7, and maybe, you feel that way, too. I will get to that, but first, let us go back in time a little bit to understand how my digital nomad journey started.

I chose this life for I wanted to be location independent. I wanted to be able to travel whenever I yearned to see a new place or live in a jungle where I could only hear the crickets whistle and the leaves rustle instead of the incessant blasting traffic of Bangalore or any other metropolitan. But having a rented apartment was sort of becoming a hindrance to free movement and adding up costs without adding any value, apart from providing me with a quiet writing space with a balcony.

I thought that I better spend the money which I paid for the apartment where people shut doors on each other as if they were enemies on gorgeous Airbnb’s or friendly homestays or rustic hotels in the hidden corners of the world. At least I would explore, meet interesting people and have some meaningful conversations, and live life at my own pace.

So I gave up my room in the Bangalore flat and packed my bags to wander freely while working online. The whole idea was to move slowly; I have never found any joy in visiting a place for a weekend or two days and then leaving it, while I didn’t even know what lay in my backyard though I saw all the famous attractions of that destination. And while exploring the world one place at a time, I could afford the lifestyle of a digital nomad because of my writing portfolio.

But I have come to realize that not having a permanent location is not about traveling all the time. It is about moving with a choice.

This nomadic life has put up all sorts of choices in front of me and let me be honest with how I feel about them.

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Indian Marriage Conundrum – How I Hold My Ground as an Unmarried 30–Year–Old Woman.

My mother called me thrice at 8 in the night. Editing an article, I thought something had happened and picked up the third call. And then after some small talk about my writing and if I was ever going to take up a job, she said she wanted to talk about something.

As a thirty-year-old unmarried woman in India, I recognize this something, like dogs can sense tsunamis, for at least five years now. This something — without any exception — is marriage.

To humor her, I asked what did she want to talk about. She said she always worried about me and often cried because she cannot do anything else. That she didn’t know what my life plans were. That nothing made sense. That I must have been lonely. Didn’t I like having a family? Was there anybody? That why couldn’t we — mother and daughter —share everything with each other.

These sentences stumbled out of her mouth as she choked.

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15 Things We Care Too Much About

In today’s noisy world, choosing what to care about is essential.

Our brain neurons still keep sending messages even when we want to stop thinking. Sometimes, we cannot control our thoughts.

We hang out with our friends on a Wednesday evening or a Saturday night. We listen to music or Netflix and drink — to take our mind off things we do not want to think about, anymore.

Imagine — if we could be in that chill phase all the time. If we could block the redundant noise.

We think about two kinds of things:

  1. The ones that are important
  2. And the ones that are not

Unimportant things cloud our mind like the winter fog. Except that they never clear out even when the sun shines out our window.

Let us look at some of the fog that can be lifted.

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20 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin needs no introduction.

We all have heard about him, but I am not sure how much we really know about his life and activities.

A thinker, inventor, scientist, publisher, writer, diplomat, advisory, soldier, founder of hospitals and libraries, designer of bills, member of the assembly, and more.

You might have skimmed through these words without actually reading them.

I do the same when I read about someone great on Wikipedia — they always seem to have accomplished so much in different areas.

But when you read about their personal life, sometimes their autobiography, you understand that they were also humans like us. You start relating to them.

Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography was one such read.

His disciplines and manners — if practiced — can shake up the current world and our restless generations.

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Why Starting Over is the Answer Sometimes and How to Do it?

I went to Chile in July 2016, and going to South America was the best decision of my life. That vibrant continent added an additional layer to my personality. It was like discovering rosemary suddenly.

I learned so much in those nine months that I would not have in many years in my home country India.

I started speaking a new language — Spanish, made friends from all over the world, taught English, lived with complete strangers from different continents, ended up loving them, experienced the Latin American culture closely, traveled to places that I had no idea existed, and met people who continue to love me.

The Spanish accent in Orange is the New Black was the initial pull but there is a difference between the fictional world and the real one. In fiction, everything looks glamorous. In reality, it is not.

Except that it was.

South America gave me a new energy and a new outlook.

I did not know all of this when I left. Then why did I leave?

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