Expansion

Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are. We are often like rivers: careless and forceful, timid and dangerous, lucid and muddied, eddying, gleaming, still.

— Gretel Ehrlich

Through the storms of the weeks past, I have felt, noticeably, the need to again and again be in the presence of expanses bigger and larger than myself. The sea, many, many trees, amongst the fields and under an expansive sky.

The need, I think, has been to feel small and my size again because I felt very drawn out of my space, ballooning with the ongoing challenges and having them feel very, very insurmountable.

In the presence of something unmoving, larger, non-judgemental, I feel okay. I feel alright. I feel enough. And I feel alive and present again.

They call nature the ultimate witness because it stays, unchanging — the waves coming and going rhythmically, the sun setting and rising again and again, the trees going through their relentless lifecycles over and over — and un-opinionated. It speaks in silence, and reminds me often to just be, as I am. A quiet reassurance of being surrounded by and being in the presence of exactly that which is within me. Equanimity, sufficiency, calm.

It is an experience that I find hard to express in words, but is probably the closest thing to a spiritual experience I have ever had.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt this in a temple or any other religious space, but I felt it in Manali last year, in the giant wooded park we picniced in, in Paris. And I felt it again and again this time in Goa by the sea.

It induces a sense of expansion within my chest. And when I tune in and really feel it, it makes me want to sit up, puff my chest up, and feel my ribs part. Making space for that something. Expansion, I know now requires so much the ability to move beyond a dualistic bent of mind. It is such a struggle, but this is the invitation at this point in my life. To make room for a spacious, all-encompassing, gentle intuitive approach. To take my contemplations and inner knowing and allow it to flow into my life.

Silver linings

Of course now that the worst of the shittiness has passed, it’s been easier (and lighter) to reflect and look back on the silver linings in the shadows. The gifts amidst the tribulation.

Meeting myself in a deeper way, I’ve learnt yet again during this time, means encountering parts of myself I didn’t know I had, some that I thought I’d dealt with and dusted, some that I’d hidden away unconsciously, that make me hella uncomfortable to now see, leave alone embrace and sit with, will keep surfacing again and again. Until the work of looking it all in the eye without flinching, but with empathy, is done.

Making room for all those parts is harder than I imagined. Even after all these years, even with all the work put in. It has been humbling to remember yet again that this is not a big deal — just the human condition.

I’m flirting with the idea that meeting future versions of me may very well be surprising, sometimes just as discomforting. Can I look at this as training then? Preparing the muscles of courage, patience and acceptance for when I’ll really need to work them and do the heavy-lifting again?

Brain noodles (the beach edition)

Some thoughts I’ve got running about my mind and body today:

  1. is it possible that staying is sometimes a necessary act in moving “forward”?
  2. can I move on without necessarily running down/shitting all over/devaluing where I currently am
  3. does moving on always require some dissatisfaction to be the fire that fuels action
  4. is shame/anger about some aspect of the present a necessary ingredient in choosing something in the future
  5. sometimes moving on means coming back too
  6. perhaps there will be some golden opportunities in life where I won’t have to choose at all, and I can have two/multiple options available to switch between

Off colour

Still no laptop. No idea when or how I’ll have one again. Still very much in this tug of war between what I can’t and can (hah, I wish!) control. STL trying to not give a shit. Still kind of not always winning at it. Still getting on. Somehow.

The silver lining, and what has made it a touch easier? Many, many days at the beach.

All in a day

Today, after many weeks, I had a content, memorable, uniformly happy day that was blemish-free and without surprise chinks.

Woke up rested after 8+ hours of sleep. Had a killer workout (as I have this whole week) and relived the absolute joy that is working out in humidity levels of over 80%. With every passing day that I workout with R I realise I’ve missed this more than I realise. It’s not just the perfect kind form of exercise, but the addition of weather conducive to maximum sweating and the fact that nobody has ever pushed me the way they have (mentally for physical benefits).

Finally, today I had a breakthrough with the consistent string of things-not-working-out and a big, important thing that was causing significant stress, worked out. After much back and forth, painful paperwork, multiple trips to Panjim and what not — it got done.

I felt overwhelming relief. And so I allowed myself this.

Then wandered around previously unknown parts of my backyard in search of this divine chocolate cake we’ve been told was sourced in my neighborhood.

This short cycle of grinding down calories in the AM and using the entire day to build them back up has really worked for me through these particularly challenging emotional times haha.

Bheja noodles

The last straw in the camels back of recent challenges in the shitfest that has been the last few weeks of my life, was my laptop dying on me a week ago. Second time in two months, at what is probably the worst time ever to put me in a space where I need to consider another expensive purchase.

I was distraught and annoyed of course. But mostly, after being wrung thru the grinder in similar fashion for weeks now, I found myself oddly calm and numb when it happened. It was like I’d forgotten what to feel. A switch inside my brain went off. And I decided to just give it up, stop trying to fix anything anymore and just give in to what’s being asked of me.

My work and my workout are pretty much the only two essential things I need my laptop for, both of which can be serviced on my phone. And so I just packed my laptop away and decided I’ll be without one. (hence the lack of posts)

Until a viable solution makes itself known, I decided I wasn’t not going to break my head or throw any more money at this. And I told VC to do the same. In the interim we’ve been to the beach three evenings (so far, I’m making good on this intention) in the last week. So of course I have had ample time to sit back and ponder. To churn up a cocktail of thoughts about this strange strange few weeks in what is anyway one of the strangest years of all time.

2020 is really giving 2016 (the last truly shitty year I had) some time stiff competition.

***

How is it that we want to succeed and reach great milestones, but we’re also afraid we’ll fail?

How is it that we crave intimacy and long for deeper connection, but we’re also afraid of being let down by people?

How is it that we seek heartful vulnerability and honesty, but we’re also guarding ourselves against shame and heartbreak?

Maybe the goal shouldn’t be to want to move from one to the other, in a way that casts away the old, but navigate the in-betweens and know that experiencing both (sometimes simultaneously) is 100% true for all of our lives.

***

A thing I’ve had to contend with lately, through the thick of these challenges: the notion that I have to “make it” on my own. The hardest part of it has been understanding that sometimes I need things that I can’t give myself, and I have the option to articulate my needs so that the people I depend on can show up and help me.

It begins with understanding the need. Beyond the physical, and digging a couple of layers below to see what situation from my past I am recreating, and how I can serve that in the present.

I have much work to do in this regard.

***

It does not strike me as a coincidence at all that in this most challenging month, I have had to in my my work with clients, keep reiterating the fact that growth involves coming apart, falling down, feeling undone, very often. Again and again.

It was clearly a message I needed to reopen force within must. It’s not an easy truth for anyone to embrace. And in the frequency with which I revisit this with clients, I found reaffirmation of the very nature of this process for myself. Timely reminders to handle myself with a little more allowance and kindness.

Over the years I’ve come to understand how much personal growth is non-linear, and I’m looking for a new word to replace Growth. One that doesn’t inherently imply upward/forward movement as a marker of success. One that doesn’t even infact look for a “marker” of “success”. One that is gentler and allows for flow in any direction. Because that is what the process has asked of me: gentleness, fluidity, and grace in picking myself up every time that I have fallen. All these years on, I am only just about learning this.

Missing

Do you sometimes miss (parts of) versions of yourself from long ago? Even when you’re happy and content with how far youveoved and grown?

Like missing fragments of a time that came before. A view from a phase, a kind of day from a season long gone? A street you once roamed? A city or home you once lived?

Specific days and moments? Events you would do over a hundred times again if you could?

Goa brings this longing back in me like little else has in recent times. I sometimes miss the carefree girl that I was in 2010 who threw all caution to wind and wrapped up my city life to move here. No prior experience living alone or outside of Bamgalore. Not a soul known in Goa. And how wide eyed and curious I was to figure it out.

I miss how easy and spontaneous life was. How fully and hungrily I went at that new life and all it threw at me — the joys and pains alike.

***

Some parts of September and all of October have been brutal. I use the word very consciously because I’ve been slowly but surely reaching the end of my tether with the general ups and downs of thispandemic year. I’ve been feeling worn out from the constant grief cycles and feeling all the feels. My personal work has taken me to the darkest depths that I have stayed away from. Cumulatively, it has been hard. It has been a lot. And yet I have had my periods of ebbs and flows and mostly I have gotten by. But lately I have been feeling like I can’t do this much longer.

The uncertainty has made me feel frail. The despair and darkness has made me afraid. I feel deep loneliness even just thinking about a life “after” because in my head every single person in my life from before has moved on. And there has been crippling aloneness, inwardness and wordlessness.

VC and I have had consistent life challenges throughout this year, but along came the last six odd weeks, throwing a jackpot of woes at us. Too fast and too thick for us to even keep up with. I’ve spent way too many days during this time feeling completely untethered and unmoored. Bringing to question many of the crucial changes that I have embraced lately. I’ve felt tested and stretched in many ways and much of it has been unpleasant to experience.

It was hard to kick back and enjoy the first few days of being in Goa too. Much as I wanted the break, getting here to terribly stormy weather while a whole other storm was raging in my was not fun.

But then that familiar longing came along. Thinking back to times past was good perspective on where I am and how far I’ve come.

There’s other fragments like that that stick out from all the years done and dusted. And I enjoy the experience of looking back with this semi-yearning-semi-content space where I’m not missing much else.

I realise the upgrades to my inner systems have worked out well. The ways in which I’ve strengthened my framework has stood the test of time and the growth plan I opted for has kept me moving ahead, through many a challenge. perhaps not exactly quite as I’d imagined, but definitely exactly as I have needed.

This is the bittersweet way of life I suppose. This constant up and down movement. A test of grace and delicacy, demanding softness even when facing the the most jagged edges.

***

The longing for parts of older versions of me from my life in Goa definitely feels regret for not going to the beach more often. This time, I’ll do better. And I’ll do justice to living closer to the beach now.

Out and about

It’s been a whole year since we left Goa last. This wasn’t the plan. The plan was to visit every couple of months. But then 2020 happened. And here we are a whole year later.

Strangely though, it doesn’t feel like such a long gap. Probably because it was pouring down even then, like it is now.

We came with plans for this trip. A lot of random odd and ends of pending paperwork to be closed, the house to be sorted one way or another, a visit (or three) to the beach and meeting our friends and THEIR DOGS.

But the rain has other plans, and we’re being forced to go with the flow. Much like it happened last year at around the same time, when we came with an agenda and ended up staying for nearly a month just waiting for things to clear up so we could get to work. Last yer we were stuck indoors because of the crazy rain. This year it’s the crazy rain layered over a pandemic. But I’m at that point where I feel my paranoia and my willpower both fading. I realise it’s a gamble, but life needs to now open up and get going. I’m also fully fed up of this limbo, it is making me all kinds of disoriented.

So today, I treated myself to my first solo lunch out at one of my favourite restaurants. Because it was the only place that met the two criteria I was looking for: safe and open. It was good to take my mask off and have that un-rushed feni cocktail, roast pork, and they even let me use their wifi on a day like today when my cell network went bust at 8 am, and they played the Buena Vista Social Club the whole time that I sat there.

I realised how much I have missed having time to myself. All to myself. All alone. Solo. As much as it has been lovely to be stuck at home with company I love, there is something about solo time, unencumbered and easy, when I’m not answerable to anyone, that I have missed. Without realising how much.

My fish thali joint will probably be out of bounds this time around, but I do hope we at least make it to the beach. For a sunset or two, if not a swim. And I hope that our list of to-dos gets knocked off.

This trip feels different from trips before. For one, neither of us lives here anymore. But so much has also changed in Goa in the year gone by. Some good, some not so good. I feel a strange sense of homeliness, but a whole lot of distance and like I’m a visitor again. I haven’t felt this since 2009, when I was last here on holiday.

One year ago: Milestone
Two years ago: All along this love was right in front of me

The rain, has come again

Like half the country and their mom burdening the rural health care system here, I am in Goa. It’s been pissing down so much more than I anticipated (or would have liked). And I’m wishing for some sunshine so I can at least get to the beach and sit (socially distant) in the sun. It took us a full day to get the home back to normal from typically Goan monsoon mildew. This morning I thrilled in visiting the neighbourhood supermarket I love and stocking up. We’re already having our first home-cooked meal. Home, so quick. It’s a small joy I’m super duper glad for.

One year ago: Like hitting reset
Four years ago: New eyes

Coke Studio love

Reliving old days. These ones, where Coke Studio madness made for perfect rainy night stay-ins in Goas madenning monsoons.

Our very own tunnel of nostalgia. Just with a brand new Rohail Hyatt season, in a different city, minus the rain.

Reliving old days, while also holding and rejoicing the many ways in which all the people in this room are grown and changed irrevocably and wonderfully.

Such bliss.

One year ago: Relax, take it easy

I’m eaassyyyy

Today was the first high-energy, productive, moving-around and-getting-shit-done kind of day we have had in over a month. It’s ridiculous, really. Considering we were to leave this morning, and yet even until late yesterday evening — with under 12 hours from proposed departure time — VC and I hadn’t begun actually packing up. I really don’t know what we were waiting for, except that neither of us seemed to be in a rush to get a move on.

Instead I went off early in the morning to spend a couple of hours with D, while VC got some work done. Then we met up at lunch — we managed to squeeze in another Thai meal like it needed to be done more than packing needed to be begun  — before we came home in time to catch the pest control fellows and packers who came two hours later than anticipated. Which meant more waiting around and more time being spent not packing.

We had a list of such random errands to finish, and odds and ends to tie up around the house before we leave. We came with every intention to get it done in a systematic way. In fact before we arrived VC had even said to me I’m going to start doing one thing everyday and tick it all off. But somehow, despite that, in what is now unsurprising, typical fashion we only got around to lining it up somewhere at the end of last week. And it took till yesterday for things to actually happen. In the mean time we traipsed about town, played a lot of taash, met up with friends, went out by ourselves, spent two days in Morjim, loafed around to escape power-cuts at home, and also spent an inordinate amount of time chilling at home.

So anyway you get the gist, yeah?

Finally, when the pest control fellows had done their thing and left, and the packers had packed and moved my plants back and forth around the house yesterday, it was past 8 pm. VC and I were left looking at cockroach carnage around a mud-streaked upside-down house to clean up. When I realised that neither of us was in the mood to do that or even begin packing VC’s stuff, and instead were had chosen to sit back in bed with our noses in our respective laptops, I just took a call.

Let’s leave on Thursday, I said.

And just like that VC agreed.

Then we laughed, and I said to VC, maybe it’s just time to embrace the fact that this is who we are — last minute people. Maybe this isn’t going to change. But I realised this is always how VC has been. He packs his suitcase before an early morning flight, even earlier in the morning, between waking up and leaving home. I’m the one that this is a whole new world for. This is not at all who I used to be — leaving everything to the very last minute, not panicking at all, changing plans on the fly, postponing departures at the nth hour, being okay with sudden change of plans.

I should’ve guessed this was where we were headed when we spent over 2 weeks in a state of ease and relaxation, when we could very well have easily and painlessly managed to finish all our tasks well ahead of time. Instead we somehow got them all done in the last 24 hours. It is fascinating me no end that there is suddenly such an allowance for this, in measures I have not known were possible. Even writing a post like this some months ago would have come with a sense of relief, tinged with regret at how last minute everything has been. But I feel none. I do not regret how much fun I’ve had, how much sleep I caught up on, how much we have eased up and relaxed over the last two weeks, and how much we have enjoyed this home and this unique time where neither of us had much else to do but be in each other’s company, in Goa. it felt serendipitous and I’m glad we just had the ability to go with it.

Anyhow, this morning, something kicked in. We woke up and swung straight into action and had an almost steroid-induced bout of work. We packed up in hyper-efficient manner, turned the house complete upside down, cleaned it out thoroughly, and readied it for it’s next interim occupant. So efficient were we, that we even had time to have a lazy lunch and catch a two hour nap. In the evening, because we had so much time to spare and nowhere to be, we even loaded up the car with all the many bags and boxes, so tomorrow we have to all but wake up, get ready and drive out.

It felt like a fitting day of movement and clearing, to be up and about like this, of productivity, after weeks of slowness. And I almost cannot believe how this has all worked out, but somewhere in all of this there has been a turning point in our beings, and a lesson for me going forward.

***

I’m leaving Goa feeling grateful that we found someone to take the house (even if for a short while) so it will be lived in and looked after until we visit next.

One year ago: It’s a lazy afternoon
Three years ago: Okay bye

Moving on

If I had ten bucks for every time someone confusedly asked me So what’s the plan, really? or some variant of that with regard to this moving back and forth between Goa and Bangalore life, I’d be able to buy myself a ticket to take yet another flight to Goa, I think. It’s been confusing as hell, I believe. Even now, a whole year later, I find I’m still explaining that I’m in Bangalore and VC has been in Goa, and sometimes I’m even explaining why we have this arrangement. Officially, I suppose what seems to everyone to be a precarious balance has ended. VC and I will now be in the same city. And if you really had to make me pick a side, it is Bangalore, for now.

But I guess it’s official now. Because our plants left for Bangalore today. The packers were a bit amused to see that the plants were literally all we’re shipping back to Bangalore. And judging by VC’s stance and expression, what he’s thinking is probably This is one of the stupidest things I’ve done in a while.

But that it how it is. The rest of the house remains, and I believe it is a not-so-subconscious attempt to keep the back door open, so we may keep coming back. Even with all my readiness to move on, the growing sense of an ending with this chapter, a feeling of having somewhat grown up to stepping into an all new phase in love and in life, I just can’t get myself to believe fully in my bones that we’re moving (yet again) on from Goa. I’ve been wondering if maybe this is one of the side-effects of having a home here? It makes a place never too far off? And this easy access is always just a flight or a day’s drive away. But today, after I spent a couple of hours this morning hanging with D, I realised it’s more than just the home. It’s connection and belonging that goes beyond physical limits. When I left Goa in 2017, it came with a lot of ties broken off with people here. I left feeling quite orphaned by the place, with little sense of belonging to salvage. And even though most of those people aren’t in my life today, others are. Others with whom I have significant, growing, constantly evolving relationships that seem to surpass time and distance in a way that was difficult for me to do even just two years ago.

I guess what I’m saying is Goa — even with all it’s befuddling changes that break my heart on a daily basis — will always be home in some form. It is after all, the place that gave me space to drop roots, sprout wings and fly in what was easily the most formative decade of my life thus far. It’s where I made friends with folks who have significantly impacted and shaped this very important phase of my life. And there is a sense of belonging in that, more than in the physical idea of Goa as a place. A part of me does feel like it belongs here.

What I’m also trying to say is, this feels like yet another short-term good-bye, and not at all like the heart-wrenching goodbye from moving lock stock and barrel, like it felt in 2017. This feels like a see-you-very-soon rather than an alvida!

***

Gratitude today for all the restful days I’ve had in Goa. It has rested something deeper within me, in a way that I couldn’t have done in my own home, smack in the middle of my regular life in Bangalore.

One year ago: The rest is up to you, you make the call

Ammama vs me

I had a regular Sunday yesterday, which, going by the last ten days was no different from any other day. I spent it in what is fast becoming the race to run out of content to consume online. But. There was one surprise event, that was easily the highlight of the day weekend. Actually, the entire week.

Ammama has just upgraded her old phone to a smart one some months ago and has started to use Whatsapp. Yesterday, she video-called me!

Ammama: What’s happening in Goa?

Me: Nothing much, I’m just…er…chilling.

I say the above sheepishly, because chilling idly for er, what – two weeks now? is kind of demonised in my family. Ammama would not be pleased and would have definitely frowned at me, if she had fully registered the extent to which chilling meant doing nothing.

First of all, look at her. Hair combed, bindi in place, in crisp clothes at 11 m on a Sunday morning, while I was clearly still in night clothes, still lazing about in bed.

I awaited the minor lecture about why I wasn’t up and about as yet and further questioning about “work” to come at me. But she totally sidestepped my reply and proceeded to unconsciously throw shade by telling allllll that she has been up to. Not just on that day, but the entire week. It included every little happening from what was cooked for dinner last night (vegetarian and non vegetarian menus in full detail, even though she’s vegetarian), what she ate and enjoyed, to where she went, whose boring company she had to endure at which unnecessary social gathering, what’s happening to various members of my extended family and who is up to what shenanigans.

And then she told me she was recovering from a bad sore throat and had fever until two days ago.

Man, way to make a lazyass girl who has done nothing for 14 days straight feel bad.

Nah, I kid. I was just thrilled and it literally gave me life listening to her ramble on and on excitedly, giving me all the scoop in such excruciating detail. To have that much zest for life at 84 is what I’ll aim for, and if I get to even half as much energy, I’ll be happy. But, truth be told, the prospect (going by current states of sloth) isn’t looking very promising bahahaha…

***

Speaking of sloth, it took about two weeks of not doing much by way of really making progress on packing up for the move, to finally getting going. And completely true to form, we’ve managed to get everything going on the last two days before we leave. I sorted out and tended to my plants a couple of days ago, finally emptied out the fridge today, took all our perishables over to D to use, figured out what else we’re taking and how much space it would need. Then, finally the movers arrived, and the pest control blokes promised to come tomorrow. It only took three calls to each of them and waiting over four days.

The good news is I get to take all my plants back home with me, and I’m over the moon at the thought. The bad news is there’s a suspected return of the cyclone, which might set us behind by a few days again.

This trip, like no other, has tested my capacity to throw well-laid plans to wind and see what happens. I have so far fared extremely well, if I may say so myself. But this last bit seems to really be testing me to the max.

One year ago: Ain’t it good to know, you’ve got a friend?
Two years ago: Hotel hangover
Three years ago: Invitation

Seaside blues

What you didn’t see in yesterday’s pictures, and what I missed to reflect on, given that I wrote the post in my post sea-swim bliss, was how strewn with trash and how awfully filthy the sea was. Thanks to the combined effects of the sea being in full churn, from ten days of cyclonic, stormy weather — many red alert days — and a full moon, there was trash just everywhere.

Not ideal, but one anticipates this sort of filth on the beaches more popular amongst tourists. When we moved here nearly ten years ago, local friends would tell us to go beyond Anjuna — which was something of a cut-off point — to find quiet, cleaner beaches. That imaginary point slowly moved up to Vagator. Few years down it went even further up north to Ashwem. I remember one summer, perhaps it was 2014 or 2015, we went up to Ashwem expecting to find some peace and quiet, and found literal busloads and hoards of picnicking tourists trashing the beach. For two years after, we went all the way up to Arambol whenever we needed a beach day. I was really shocked and deeply saddened yesterday, to find Morjim in much the same state.

It’s not just the filth on the beach. Something about the vibe up north has changed. The approach to the beaches, the streets, the stores and outlets, the quick and disturbingly unplanned way in which buildings and settlements are cropping up — everything feels different. And of course this means more people, more trash, more noise, more desensitisation towards the place around us.

I watched it with my own eyes when I accompanied VC down the beach where he wanted to take some sunset pictures. Morjim felt like Miramar, and if it wasn’t for the stunning sunset, I might have come back really sad. I was so tired of dodging piles of shit and rubbish. And VC was already clicking his tongue thinking about how much filth he’d have to clone out of his pictures. He said this on Instagram too, recently.

I know Goa’s garbage problem has almost touched the point of no return. And I feel a sense of helplessness when I think about where that will take us from here on. The load on the land isn’t reducing any time, systems don’t seem to be at all keeping up with where things stand today, or prepping for the future, and it just makes me wonder with worry about where this will end. And if there’s a way in which it will end even remotely prettily?

***

That aside, it was a wonderful getaway. The fact that somehow, I have spent the last three Diwalis — every one, since leaving Goa — not just back in Goa, but in close proximity to and in the company of D and UT, dawned on me earlier today. In another day it might have felt like a chance coincidence, but three consecutive years is a bit much to ignore. On our first trip back here since moving, at the same time of year, we came to Morjim to spend a day and a night. And it was only the first of oh so many, many trips back to Goa where we stayed with them for extended periods of time, ending in a whole month spent with them, babysitting the puppies, while we got our flat ready for VC’s move last year. I know I’ve always said this about sharing space with them, and having a sense of home here. But I think it is as much about a sense of home in them as people, as it is about having a space to come to.

Given the number of friendship lessons the past few years has thrown my way, the difficult realisations, the betrayal, the disappointments, the pleasant turns and coincidences, I am grateful for (and I don’t think I flip this around on it’s head to see the other side often enough) all the people who have remained.

We had a really chill 24 hours. Slowness, sessions for gabbing, silences, swimming, saltwater, squids, sleep — lots of sleep. VC and I might have gone away for a day somewhere on our own before we left, but we ended up staying only because it’s easy in the company of D and UT. Plans melt, have tos get bent, must dos are forgotten. I’m glad we made the trip away. It felt like a satisfying send off from Goa, for now, before we begin packing.

One year ago: Quiet movements where I can find

The sun. The sea.

The sun comes out. And we make it to the beach. A swim in the sea, a dip in the pool, a stunning #nofilterneeded sunset.

I’ve been thinking a lot about money lately. Specifically in context of earning my own again, and chasing some of the experiences I want. It’s easy, when one does that, to lose sight of the experiences one has, that one is in the midst of, the luxuries one already affords, all that is accessible and a privilege. Not to say, of course, that one must aspire for or dream of having more, but the luxury of coming from a holiday on the hills to a week of some more relaxation in a home in Goa, and being able to take off and check in to a resort for a night to be closer to the sea, hit me today. And while I set my eyes on future goals and targets, I want to also acknowledge all that’s in my present. I’m grateful for today. For the sunset. For the sea.

One year ago: The wild unknown