#wontEatWillTravel Roy, WA

Date: 01/26/2019 to 01/27/2019

Venue: Roy, Wa

Fire is now married and moves out of Seattle soon. We are trying to make the most of our time with her and so a few weekends ago we airbnb’d a YURT! And it was lovely.

The yurt we rented was in Roy, WA, an hour away from Seattle downtown. It is 35-40 miles before Mt. Rainier. Saturday was a perfectly sunny day to start our trip.

Do more of what makes you happy. Especially when it’s sunny.

We started at around 11 AM and stopped at Punjab Sweets, Kent, for brunch. I highly recommend the kadhi chaawal. Once we hit the road again we shook up our plans a little. Paradise, Mt. Rainier, was started as a stop. It was an hour’s worth of detour. We hoped to make it till the sunset. The sunny weather promised a beautiful sunset – and i was dying for some colors.

As we approached the Mt. Rainier national park, Fire realized that she had forgotten her national park annual pass. However, that did not seem to matter because the entrances were unmanned owing to the government shut down. Also, the road was open only up to a certain point owing to the snow. Paradise was a bad idea. We took a U-turn.

Rainier looked splendid from wherever it could be spotted. Snowy, reflective, beautiful… plain beautiful. We caught only the glimpse of the sunset on our way to the yurt. There is nothing like a little dash of pink to the blue sky.

The yurt was a part of a larger property. The property had a main house, 2 yurts, a tent cabin… and I am sure we missed something. It was shortly after the sunset that we were escorted to the yurt by the owners. There it was… our yurt… in the backdrop of a pretty dense forest… decorated by Christmas lights. The interiors were absolutely classic, and handmade.

The property
The yurt at day time
The beautifully lit yurt at night fall

Catch: There was no legit heater in the room and only 2 beds. The beds would be fine since they had heated mattress pads. The windstorm had sabotaged the pipes and so the water from the sink in the kitchen had no outlet. The windstorm had also sabotaged the common restrooms. We had a compostable toilet though – which meant we could hear each other pee. The hosts were gracious enough to let us use the restroom and shower from the main house.

The compostable toilet. Pee much?

The hosts invited us to keep warm around the fireplace. We graciously accepted the offer. We stayed by the fire till dinner. Oh yes, girls can talk non-stop.

Dinner was Maggie. As the tradition goes, we slept off gossiping.

Sunday was a new day. Being the first one to wake up i decided to go on a walk by myself. It was a foggy foggy morning.

It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.

We joined the hosts for an organic breakfast. It was going to be a lovely morning. I settled on the chair on the front porch of the yurt comprehending how not to give a f***. I occasionally looked around and felt grateful; how lucky I was to be strong, free, independent and happy. I turned back to look inside the yurt – Fire and Water were chilling on their beds – Fire laughing hysterically over Mrs. Funnybones. We left soon to come back home.

A few candids..

A few things to remember if you’re traveling to new formats of airbnbs –

  1. If you look forward to booking a yurt/cabin/airbnb for the summer make sure you do it at least a couple months in advance. The good places go pretty fast.
  2. Carry enough food and alcohol. We fell short.
  3. Carry a hand sanitizer and extra toiler paper just in case.
  4. Carry warm clothes so that you are prepared in case of adverse weather conditions. Socks.Slippers are very important.
  5. Carry comforters just in case.
  6. Carry board games if you like.
  7. Carry bottles of water.

Safe Travels!

#lessonsOfLife #happyRealization 2018

I’ve had an opportunity of listing the things I’ve learnt these past few years. However, I have had a tough time jogging down the memory lane for the past year. I do remember a few things I realized this year though. Please find below a list of things I realized –

  1. I can be a part of a show – Life has been happening ever since I have become a part of Live2DanceSeattle productions. This year we stepped it up a notch and had a show of our own – Desi Detour. It was a beautiful and sweaty journey that ended with a rad evening. It was definitely a proud moment.
  2. Cleanliness maybe next to Godliness – Desi Detour was tough. Juggling work and the dance schedule was impossible. There used to be ‘wait list’ for dishes to go into the sink (because the sink was already full with soiled dishes). But nothing bothered me. Soiled dishes and messy apartment failed to steal my sleep. Me so much chill.
  3. I love my bed – I think it is the only thing that cares about my comfort and sleep.
  4. I love my couch – As do my friends. My couch recognizes my needs. It swallows me when I am exhausted. It’s big enough to accommodate all my friends (all 4 of them). Also, it does not complain when it is messy.
  5. Money is tough – Earning, investing, saving, spending… everything about money is tough.
  6. Travel is wisdom – In hindsight, I have learnt a lot from my #travelDiaries. The rich experiences have made me wiser, more organized, and given me excellent stories to tell!
  7. Try to be a minimalist – One fine day I realized that I was a pretty small for all this baggage in life. So, I got up and donated 2 bags worth of clothes to Good Will and threw away 3 trash bags worth of unwanted items. I couldn’t believe I had so much to let go.
  8. Let go and Move on – My ‘let go and move on‘ game is at it’s strongest right now. It’s amazing how people walking in and out of my life has ceased to matter to me. It’s sad really. But Oh well!
  9. Mental health – I’ve realized the importance of mental health. As Indians we don’t really learn about mental health awareness at school. Mental problems are considered to be first world since real world problems are aplenty. Any discussion about mental health or even consulting a psychiatrist/psychologist is a taboo. However, I have realized that sometimes mental health is more important than physical health. Wrong attitude reflects poorly on you and shows at work and home. Definitely not a good place to be.
  10. What’s your contingency plan? – Everything was hunky dory until we received an email from our CEO about impending layoffs. The world stood still. It forced me to think about my contingency plan – and there was none. My career was everything I have ever worked for and so this experience was a little scary. You start working with a company and you work for it till the end of time or till you decide to go for something better. It is always your choice. You never think about getting laid off. That thought had never crossed my mind until that one email. I obviously did not receive it well. The experience did teach me to make contingency plans and plan better. You know what else I realized? – Nothing is permanent.
  11. Never take anything for granted – In this day, age, country, visa status take nothing, nothing for granted at all. It’s surreal how situations change every minute. That makes me wonder whether or not we should even have loyalty towards a city, state, organization or people. Life is beautiful and you’re living your dream. Shoot me if I take my life for granted.

Hope you remember your 2018 better than I do. And Happy New Year!

#wontEatWillTravel Crystal Mountain, WA

08/18/2018: Day trip to Crystal Mountain.

Crystal mountain, Pierce County, is a ski area. Nevertheless, it is a good place for a short day-trip during summers as well. It is a beautiful 2-hour drive from Seattle. The view is ecstatic.

The view!!

The most amazing time-lapse I’ve ever captured. I swear my head spun after watching this the first time.

Someone was actually getting married there. I thought it was brilliant!! Pretty #Sherpa I must say.

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Plandids/Candids – 

#wontEatWillTravel New Orleans 2017

I have been a big fan of ‘The Originals’. #Netflix rocks. This trip to New Orleans was totally dedicated to The Originals. I secretly hoped to spot Niklaus somewhere. A few pictures from the attempt.

I had conveniently forgotten my phone charger. So I googled the nearest retailer to buy a new one. The street signs looked really pretty so I decided to click pictures on my way around New Orleans. Fortunately, my shoes matched the street signs.

‘The Originals’ has quite a few shots from the cemeteries. We decided to take a tour of St. Louise’s cemetery. Didn’t know cemeteries could be so crowded and cool.

‘The Bayou’ is where all werewolves reside according to the ‘The Originals’. So we decided to take a tour of the bayou. It was raining heavily and we were all wet by the time the tour started. The bayou was beautiful. Also, the alligators ate marshmallows. IKR! And…we got to hold them! It was a scary experience and took a couple takes to get a good shot.

Random things and places in New Orleans. This city does have a weird and wonderful vibe and the most delicious beignets!

A few selfies and pictures of all of us!

Date: August 2017

#wontEatWillTravel San Francisco

A few pictures from my first trip to the bay area. Many more to come –

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Always wanted a picture of my reflection
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Happyness
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One for the yellow kurta
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Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
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Hazy…
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The world-famous golden gate bridge
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A click from the front-seat of the car while waiting at the red light.
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Another picture from the front seat.
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The restaurant we had lunch at.
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The beautiful ceiling of palace of fine arts …
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STANFORD baby!
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How i wish i was smart enough to study here!
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Little lake by Mountain View, maybe?
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Selfie with my fav people – The Kulkarnis

Date: January 2017

Of Moh and Maya

Flashback: From a long time ago… 

2:30 AM – It was a random morning. I had unexpectedly scored exceptionally well on a test that I thought I would have to take again. I had sneezed 20 times already and the day had not even started. Everything was weird about the situation – the place, my unexpected trip to Mumbai, the time, the weather (very cold; something that I never get to experience). I was abnormally laid back about my early morning flight. I hadn’t even packed yet. Today, I wanted life to take its course.

4:00 AM – We left for the airport. We were obviously running late. My family always takes the pain to drop me off at the airport and waits till I check in, be it any time of the day. Yes, I have been that lucky! Our ride to the airport was supposed to cover all the serious topics on the agenda for this trip. The family meeting began. Thoughts were aligned. Priorities were refined. We reached a consensus. Everything was resolved. Everyone was happy. It is unusual for your priorities to align with those of your parents. None of us compromise on anything. And it was never about ego. Ego does not really exist in my family (Touchwood).

The last month had been terrible for me personally. Life had forced me to take a series of desperate decisions. Desperate times desperate measures. I detested evenings. My parents were worried. My decisions were questioned. I stood alone. All I wanted was to realize my dreams. Every little disagreement killed me a little. I could not settle.

5:00 AM – I checked in and swiftly moved around the airport. Mumbai airport always feels like home. It is as if I belong there. My brain feels and thinks brilliantly every time I am at an airport. I should have taken all my exams at the airport. Who knows I would have aced every one of them!  Mumbai airport is also shopping paradise for me. I checked in at Foursquare, tweeted on twitter and hopped on to the bus that led us the plane. Early morning flights are lovely (read: complimentary breakfast).

6:00 AM: I found my seat, and made a small talk to the Saudi based south Indian seated beside me. I was so engrossed in the movie that I did not realize the plane taking off. I did not realize the turbulence maybe because a- I had grown used to flights or b- the movie was awesome.

And it struck me…how much I was used to the pleasures of my life. Frequent flying, chauffeur driven cars, eating at the best restaurants in the city, staying at the best places, buying the most expensive things impulsively – and not thinking about anything while doing any of these and more. I realized how material-driven life was/is. But how long can a Gucci bag make us happy? Desire is real. Everyone wears brands, every kid wants the best of the toys, every girl wants a diamond, every man wants a Roland…the list is endless. Personally, I am drowned. And I see no signs of recovering.

8:30 AM – While I tried to define ‘simple living’ in my mind the pilot spoke in his supremely sensuous voice. I had never paid attention to announcements but his voice too compelling. We landed. The sunny weather awaited me. I politely left thanking the flight attendant and hoping that my luggage had traveled back with me.

I wonder if material pleasure equals happiness! It certainly means a lot though. The pleasure is way over-rated. I am not really sure why the world has turned materialistic- peer pressure maybe. Everyone believes in ‘If you’ve got it…Flaunt it!’. It is a vicious cycle. ‘Simple living and high thinking’ said someone zillion years ago. I wonder if it holds true in this world and age. I wonder if we can denounce the pleasures and live a really simple life. Probably not.