Two years and one MBA later

June 6, 2012 - One Response

It has been a lifetime since I wrote here. Since my last post, I have moved to NY, lived in a tiny shoebox which had all the NY apartment nightmares you hear of – mice, messy room mates blah blah and I have survived to tell the tale, I have completed my 2 year long masters which came with its highs and lows but was on the whole an amazing experience. I have left the last 2 years a stronger, more independent person with many new experiences, more
stamps on my passport and several amazing friends.

Now I am on a 3 month hiatus before I start working. I have quite the whirlwind of a travel planned. I will be in Africa (specifically Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia) for 40 days! It promises to be quite an adventure with safaris, beaches, camping and overlands. I cannot wait.

Before starting that, I thought it would be nice to get some solo introspective time. So I am in London for 2 weeks. London is as lovely as only London can be. It is hard for me to explain why I love London as much as I do. Compared to NY, London is a much softer city. I am staying in Brick Lane and the East end is a neighborhood I have never explored. It reminds me of Lower East Side and Williamsburg rolled into one. Immigrants and hipsters walking hand in hand. Curry houses and avant garde art galleries standing side by side. It is quite amazing. I love it. I have found my very own coffee house with amazing cappuccino and a wonderfully quirky crowd, and I hang out there, read, people watch and go for long walks. 🙂 it has been fun.




Hello from New York!!

September 9, 2010 - Leave a Response

After months and months of unexcusable silence, I have finally gotten my act together and am putting down the words that have been circling around in my head on paper! As my title reads, I have made my big move to New York – all 10,000 miles of it! I have a shoebox I can call my own and I love it. It is small, but it is cozy. It comes with its problems, but nothing that I can’t deal with. And I have not had a breakdown.. just yet. 🙂 So on the whole, a big plus. Becoming a student again – gosh what a paradigm shift. Can’t believe I thought that was the easy part!

It is perhaps fortunate that I moved to New York from a city. The city life and speed of the city does not intimidate me as much. Having said that though, New York has a hustle that cannot be seen in any other city. People are always so hungry, trying to get bigger and better – and this is everyone from the men and women of wall street, to the kids working in grocery shops. The hustle is probably what makes New York addictive.

Of course, it is so easy to get jaded here. When you are thrown in a city with so much promise, so much drive, so much shopping, so much food – something’s gotta give. It was hard for me to stop thinking ” The subways make me feel icky and the homeless people make me nervous.”

But when I got past that, what impressed me about New York is how much you can do, and how it is a place for everyone. Often when you are in a city, you will sense that it has a uniform character – perhaps the fashion is very similar, the types of housing, the general feel of the people. With New York, all such generalisations go right out of the window. You can wear what you like, be whom you want to be, stay wherever you feel like. It is a place where 7 figure salaried Armani clad bankers and broke artists live hand in hand.

I am yet to discover the city as fully as I would like, and save for many trips to many bars around the city and the usual suspects of shopping in Soho and Times Square and running in Central Park, I am yet to get the real feel for this city. But that will be my challenge over the next 2 years. I will figure this place out! Keep reading for (hopefully) more exciting posts!

Basking in Barcelona!

June 4, 2010 - Leave a Response

Everyone tells you Barcelona’s a fantastic city. Everyone talks about its liveliness, its culture, its Gaudi-ness, its art, its people, its shopping and its nightlife. But until you’ve actually been to Barca, it’s hard to understand or appreciate its splendour!

It is a city that is always buzzing and stays awake well into the night. It isn’t uncommon to see throngs of people heading out only at ten. It is the true definition of a city that doesn’t sleep.

What I love most about barca is its compactness. Almost everything is walkable and by walking you’ll see far more than you expect. The tiny lanes are mind boggling-ly similar and I have never once taken the same route back to my hostel. Which in itself is an adventure as I always see something new.

With its lovely people, delightful Cava, wonderful atmosphere and general vibrance, it’s a city I vow to return to!

Stockholm Syndrome

May 28, 2010 - Leave a Response

Yesterday marked my last day of work at B. After 5 long years, it really feels like the end of an era. I have gone from a wide-eyed clueless fresh grad to a jaded corporate zombie to a renewedly wide-eyed MBA student. After months of counting down to this very day, excitedly looking forward to it, dreaming of it, I find myself feeling strangely nostalgic and sad.

All through my University years and my 5 years in B, I have spent most of my time dreaming of living abroad. Of doing something different for a living. Of making a difference in the world. Now that opportunity is sitting on the palm of my hands and I suddenly find myself feeling something I never thought I would – a strange fear. a strange longing to want to hold on to familiar settings. a strange fondness and love for all things Singapore and a deep passion for my current job.

Leaving my job means to enter the world of unemployment, something I have been blessed to never have experienced before.  To leave this utopian island and to move to the jungle of Manhattan would mean I need to give up all presently known comforts (big spacious house, cab rides at whim, mum’s cooking, safety etc).

The fear of the uncertainty is manifesting its ugly head in the form of Stockholm Syndrome, although admittedly neither Singapore nor B are as bad as being held prisoner.

I am aware that this is just the initial apprehension and excitement will soon take over. And in all honesty, I am really looking forward to living alone, having my own space, being able to discover a new city and call it my home, meet people of totally varied backgrounds to my own, explore new ideas, be challenged etc. But maybe just today I am allowed to mope and miss the things that now belong to my past.

On a Muse high!

February 4, 2010 - Leave a Response

Lately Singapore has become a hot spot for bands and we have been lucky enough to catch some pretty awesome acts live – Coldplay, Oasis, Greenday, Yeah yeah yeah and now… MUSE, which I went to watch last night. They were the headlining act in a night with 3 acts playing – Saosin, Rise against and Muse. They gave us 90 minutes of pure unadulterated head banging, feet thumping rock which I can’t get out of my head!!! You know you’ve had a great night when 12 hours later you are still listening to theirs songs on repeat!

My plug in babyyyyyyy crucifies my enemiessssssssss!!!!!

This is confusion, am I confusing you?

January 27, 2010 - Leave a Response

So I am trying to figure out my life plan over the next few months. The initial plan was to travel. Spain and possibly parts of SEA. But lately another idea got planted into my head. The possibility of doing something good for the community. I was looking through a few options – building houses in villages, teaching English etc. But none of them called out to me, primarily because I only have 2 months or so at my disposal and I didn’t think I would be able to make any kind of an impact during that time, and it will be more for my own satisfaction to massage my altruism bone as opposed to actually helping the people in need (cos seriously, how much English can I teach in a month and I’d probably be more of a nuisance than help, over the first few weeks atleast, in my housebuilding attempts).  

Last weekend when I was in Toba, my friend Smita told me about an organization called Embrace (, where they have created an alternative to incubators to aid premature babies born in 3rd world countries to survive sans 10s of thousands of dollars in medical care and are working on improving and marketing this product. 

Oh and did I mention this was started by a bunch of Stanford grads all of whom have passed up on the opportunity to mint money and have instead decided to make their NGO a success?

This idea really spoke to me, and after speaking to some of the team members,  I identified that there were so many ways in which I could help, albeit indirectly. And I am happy with indirect impact. Atleast I know during the 2 months the experience I gained in my corporate life could be used in some ways to help someone down the line.  This would mean a 2 month internship of sorts in Bangalore. But it would also mean – no Spain and probably no other trips as well. But hey so what? Barcelona will always be there and these trips can always be made. But how often do you get to take a significant portion of time out of your career to do something that would actually help someone other than you?

So yeap – here I am trying to make a decision..

raola – if you are reading this, please don’t panic/ kill me. I am still trying to figure things out. I am confusedddd. Case of too many options.

A slice of heaven!

January 25, 2010 - One Response

So you’d probably think a night’s stay under the stars with a gorgeous mountain view set on the bank of an immensely gorgeous lake, pleasant 20 degrees C weather and the most incredible home cooked Indonesian food would set you back a few hundred dollars. How about if I told you that you could get all that and more for US $15 a night? This includes a stay in a cozy cottage with attached bathroom with hot water and cozy beds. That’s just what Mama and Papa Thyesza of the Flower of Samosir guesthouse ( in Lake Toba offer you.

A family-run guesthouse, with the feel of a homestay and the comforts of a lush guest house, this is now my new favourite getaway from Singapore.

The on-site restaurant offers amazing Indonesian fare (and German fare due to the popularity of this place amongst German tourists) that Mama Thyesza lovingly whips up. The nasi goreng and vegetable soup have me salivating at their mere memory. Not to mention the best french toast I have ever eaten.

Papa Thyesza is happy to take you on a sightseeing visit around the town, which includes famed tombs and a visit to the cannibal tribes. But frankly, while experiencing what feels like a “stay in a postcard”, why would you want to leave that and do anything else? It is an amazing place to go for some reprieve from the soul sucking numbness of city living to catch up on some soul searching and reading while drinking some chilled Bintang.

Getting to Lake Toba may seem like a chore. You need to fly into Medan (direct flights from Jakarta, Singapore, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru) and then suffer a 4 hour winding and stomach churning drive to reach Lake Toba (which Mama Thyesza is happy to sort out for you, including an airport pick up at Polonia Airport in Medan). But believe me, it’s worth it.

The selfish part of me wants to keep this place well hidden since its specialness is in the remoteness of this place, and I’m already beginning to regret sharing it on the world wide web.

Hello 2010!

January 18, 2010 - Leave a Response

I thought long and hard as to what should be my first blog post of 2010. I finally decided to address the first of my 2010 resolutions – Take better photos! I started that resolution off by signing up for a photography workshop over the weekend of 9th to 11th January. It was 3 days of internsive beginner’s 101 on photography.

The workshop was conducted by John Arifin, a free lance nature photographer with loads of his works featured in Asian Geographic etc. It was a very interesting workshop and really got me excited about pushing the limits with my camera. I am hoping to try out some of the new techniques I have learnt in my upcoming Medan trip.

This trip couldn’t come sooner. Having been stable for a month, I am feeling rather edgy and am dying to go away! 🙂 Despite this being a short trip, I think it’ll be a good break!

Of years gone and years to come..

December 28, 2009 - Leave a Response

No year is the same, but at the end of each year the one constant feeling I have is that the year flew by too soon! 2009 really flew by! It was a year of growing up, self-discovery, travel, forging of new friendships, renewal of old friendships, new hobbies (blogging, rock climbing), renewed enthusiasm for old hobbies (photography, running) and all-in-all a foundation year for a greater 2010. As far as years go, 2009 was a good one. It had the right balance of laughters and tears, of adventures and monotony.. I know for a fact 2010 is going to be much much better. I am drooling at the prospect of all the wonderful things it promises to bring and all the unknowns it probably will bring. In preparation for a greater more fulfilling year ahead, I once again made a list of resolutions:

1. Take better photos.
2. Learn to cook more than just one dish.
3. Work on my presently very broken Spanish.
4. Improve my half marathon timing ( I am not telling you by how much :P)
5. Visit atleast 3 countries.
6. Blog more diligently about more interesting things.
7. Be a better person, a better daughter and a better friend.

And in that spirit, I wish all my 5 readers a very Happy New Year! Here’s to an amazing year! 🙂

Itchy feet!

December 16, 2009 - 3 Responses

So I am getting desperately wanderlusty again and I keep looking up budget flights to go somewhere – anywhere and all this has to happen REALLY soon cos I am just getting positively edgy staying put for as long as I have (3 months!!! oh my god!) So yes, I am off to Chennai in 2 days’ time and I have a trip to Medan, Indonesia coming up in a month’s time. But I need more and this is just too few!

These are my options so far:

1. Sapa, Vietnam
2. Jogjakarta, Indonesia
3. Mysore, India
4. Barcelona, Granada, Sevilla (Spain!)
5. Flores Island, Indonesia

So I am happy to travel alone, but it would always be lovely to have some company. I want to go somewhere in the Jan or Feb period and again in March and i wanna do some long travels in June. So please raise your hand and say aye if you are keen on joining me on any of these trips!