personal growth and travel blog on my canvas homepage banner image

Cultural Differences, a Friend For Life, and a Diwali in Chile

in chile in cauquenes with friends teaching english in chile

It is Diwali and I’m reminded of a Diwali I spent with three crazy Chilean sisters in a country home of Chile five years ago. Damn! It has been five years. The narrative tells just how different two cultures can be.

 

In 2016, I had been volunteering as an English teacher with the English Open Doors program in Chile. I was in the south of Chile on the Chiloé island in its capital city Castro. Like other volunteers I stayed in a Chilean home. The house had my bubbly host mother, other Chilean borders, and two more volunteers from England and the US.

It was Diwali and also an extended weekend in Chile. My host mother was visiting her relatives. Other housemates were traveling.

I had made many friends by then but Gabriela, another English teacher on the island, had become a special one. She invited me to a countryside family get-together with her two elder sisters. They were going to their parental home in Cauquenes, a small town in Southern Chile, to celebrate Gabby’s daughter Javiera’s eighteenth birthday.

Either I could’ve gone with Gabriela or traveled with an English volunteer best friend and housemate (and his other friends) to another cool place. (This things to do in Chile travel blog from my experiences will help you plan your trip.)

But spending Diwali with three crazy Chilean sisters sounded much more fun than talking about foreign things with other foreign travelers. So I packed my bags, took a bus to Gabby’s house, and together we took another bus to Cauquenes.

READ MORE

42 Handpicked Marcel Proust Quotes On Habits, Love, Desire, Misery, Memory, and Little Joys

Corot.villedavray.750pix marcel proust quotes feature image

In Search of Lost Time Quotes By Proust That I Found Too Hard to Ignore – Collected from Volume One

 

Previously, I published the ethereal lines from Proust’s Swann’s Way (In Search of Lost Time Vol 1) underlining his understanding of human composition and admirable usage of precise words. Now I bring you quotes by Proust collected from the length of the same volume Swann’s Way (Book 1 of the 6-Volume collection In Search of Lost Time). 

The below Marcel Proust quotes tell us our griefs aren’t unique, that we aren’t the only ones miserable and despondent in love, that our minds and memories play tricks on us all, and that habits anchor us to the known. These collected words also emphasize the everlasting joy that nature brings, prove we all lie to ourselves, highlight the illusion of power, and tenderly sympathize with us for bearing the mundaneness of acceptance. 

Hope you enjoy these words pulled from the depths of Proust’s consciousness.

READ MORE

43 Times When Proust Blew Our Minds With His Understanding of Human Composition (In Search of Lost Time Vol 1)

edouard_vuillard_le_matin_au_jardin_clos_cezanne) swann's way in search of lost time article feature image

The Sunshine that Marcel Proust Spreads Through Swann’s Way, In Search of Lost Time Volume 1   I heard of the French author Marcel Proust for the first time in the compassionate visionary Alain De Botton’s book the School of Life: An Emotional Education. In the chapter The Importance of Sex, Botton talks about Marcel …

READ MORE

Life Lessons to Excel in Your 30s

feature image for article on in my 30s.jpeg

Rules to Live Your Thirties By.

On my 30th birthday three years ago, I had written 30 life lessons my twenties had taught me. From exercising regularly to fixing a hung laptop before anything else to not running after money but finding my calling and chasing experiences were the core learnings of my 20s.

As I’m about to turn 33 in less than two weeks, I found myself riding the life lesson wave again. “How am I managing life in the 30s” question stared at me.

Contrary to how it might look like, I always say that age is just a number(as many of my friends told me when I asked them to contribute to this article). Ignoring my steeping age that rushed towards my 30th birthday like a break-less ambassador car and blocking my parents who looked at me as if the time for me to do anything good had gone by, I shifted my life gears in my late 20s — changed my career, left my apartment to travel long-term, found the love of my life, took physical health sincerely, and finally chose life skills over money and ignored short-term gratification.

Though my late 20s lifestyle has poured over into my thirties, life feels different now. Personal awareness and growth have been the top priorities on my mind since I graduated into the 30s decade.

READ MORE

A Peruvian Grandmother’s Act of Kindness

near+Machu+Picchu++lost+city+incas+cusco+andes+mountains+peru+south+america.jpeg

 

A gray-haired lady entered the restaurant and turned her eyes to me instantly. Her gaze didn’t surprise me. During the eight months I had been traveling in South America, I visited indigenous Andean villages and remote islands where the locals had never met someone from India before. My earthy complexion and kohled eyes always raised a plethora of questions about my origin.

READ MORE

How My Chilean Host Mother Reciprocated to Cruelty With Kindness

my chilean host mother in her house in castro chiloe

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. 

READ MORE

What I Learned By Staying in Touch with My Ex-Boyfriend

a boy and a girl holding hands.jpeg

After struggling for a year, I broke up with the man I had wished to spend the rest of my life with. Then I flew to the other end of the world. In that foreign land, I picked up a million tiny parts of mine and weaved them again. Then I breathed life into that lifeless me. After a year, I returned to the old city and happened to run into him.

I thought I had moved on. And I had. I am with someone else now, and I love my current partner most earnestly.

READ MORE

Our Sedated Attention: Is Social Media the Drug?

a sprinkled face of a woman with light dots

The intent of social media was faster communication, information and opinion sharing, and to connect with people. Soon, social media took over, adding its own nuisances to the ones it had to fix, generating more need for social media — the worst vicious cycle.

Soon is basically 1997 to 2006 — from the world of Six Degrees, a social networking site to Facebook, which needs no description.

Facebook and Twitter bombed the internet in 2006. We have stayed on a data plan, since then.

READ MORE

Why Do I Travel and Live a Nomadic Life

in lake titicaca living a nomadic life solo traveler priyanka gupta

Since I started traveling relentlessly for the past few years, my friends, family, and everyone else started asking me that why do people travel so much, what did I do for six months in Chile traveling alone, what did I see, how did I feel in a country where I couldn’t even speak the language, how did I manage to travel for so long, and how did my family react?

They say that I am lucky that I get to travel so much.

I smile. I lecture everybody that they can travel, too. I ask them why don’t they take a sabbatical and go? I elaborate on why traveling is important even though no one might be listening.

People laugh. They shake their heads as if I had asked them to do the impossible. They say it is not easy. What would their parents say? Their boss won’t allow. They are settled with their partners. Traveling would be too expensive.

They think these are unique problems. And they don’t get that why do people travel so much.

As I travel a lot myself, I understand why people leave their homes and travel around the world. In this poetic essay, I will tell you why do I travel and why traveling is important.

Recommended Read: Backpacking through South America – Epic memories from a trip of 9 Months and 3 Countries.

 

why do people travel

READ MORE

Why Relationships are Important and How to Build Them

relationships are important

Once when I was in the sixth grade, I asked my sister to make sandwiches for my school picnic. A string of events occurred, and she declared I was selfish.

I realized that I was more interested in getting my work done, rather than the feelings and responses of other people (understanding emotions is a must read). The acknowledgment that I was a bad person and people knew about it was suffocating. I understood that I would be left alone if I did not change.

I consciously tried to become a better person by caring for other people and by showing that I cared.

 

Why are relationships important?

READ MORE