Can we be friends again :D

Hi guys,

Hope some of you still remember me. It’s been years since I wrote here! It’s the usual story of being busy and then never getting the motivation back as the shame of not having posted so long takes over! 😦

But I am back again 🙂 This time with much more motivation than before to pick myself up when I fall. Aaaand so I registered for a website! I would love to have your love and support for me there :

http://www.spreadthewings.com

For those of you interested, a small update on what happened with me in the last 3 years.

I finished my Masters after an exchange semester in Hong Kong and got my dream job in Singapore, where I work in Sales & Marketing for an amazing firm. I traveled around for projects to Taiwan and Liechtenstein spending months together in these countries. I also got married to my sweetheart in a typical South Indian style wedding. He is now my official photographer for the new blog 😉

Love birds ;)

This is us from our wedding 2 years back 🙂

Hope to see you in my new blog and pick up from where we left off.

Love,

Smithy.

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Do I really have a writing “process”? Oh dear lord!

I have been trying and trying for the past few days to find answers for the 4 seemingly simple questions that my dear blogger friend Sha had nudged me to answer! It lead to a lot of deep thinking but nothing good ever came out of that. So after 2 days of my scheduled date ( sorry Sha 😦 ) I finally decided to put the pen to paper ( or rather my fingers to the keyboard ). I haven’t been spending time on the blog as much as I want to, owing to my never-dwindling work especially as it’s coming to the end of my term, a serious case of addiction to the Game of Thrones books and travel weariness. So yes, I did squeeze travel quite a bit in the mean time ;). You are gonna get an overload of travel stories once I’m done with my internship 😀

Coming back to the actual purpose of this post, Sha of ” Live to my fullest” was so kind to invite me to participate in this writing process blog tour which lets other bloggers know more about “why-you-write-what-you-write and how”. And in the same week, Irene of Reflections and Nightmares also put me up for this! So I definitely neeed to share my answers and here they go:

1. What am I working on?

I am right now dabbling in a multitude of things. I am still a “student” and have one more year left to graduate from my Masters degree in Business Management. So I’m heading back to Paris this September. In my gap year, I took up a couple of internships (currently on my last leg of the internship journey) and trying to figure out which career path I want to pursue. I am still indecisive though some of them have been ruled out. During the time away from my home country, I realized my affinity towards travel and hence this blog was born! I guess I was always looking out for something to write about and this is served as the perfect platform! I am also trying to do some writing outside of travel, through some freelancing gigs, primarily as a hobby and also to fund my travels. Oflate, this has left me with lesser and lesser time for blogging and more money for travelling 😉 There are tons of drafts, pictures and travel tips that I want to share – in less than a month, my internship gets over! Be ready guys 😉

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Most of the travel bloggers do it full-time. They hit the road and keep moving! For some of us, this may not be possible. So my travel tales are the ones that I squeeze in between my weekends and official holidays. And I was brought up in a traditional Indian society with not much flair for travel before I flew out of my country, so I guess you can feel the excitement in my words when I embark on every new journey 🙂

3. Why do I write what I do?

Cos I love it! Most of the posts that I have written are accounts of my fun moments. When I do something I have never done before I want to write about it – that has become a part of my excitement. I also love to write about the local culture as I perceive it, since interacting with the locals is one of my favorite things to do on a trip. I have traveled solo in Asia for the first time in my life and if I can encourage more girls to give it a shot, there can be nothing more sweeter than that. 🙂

4. How does your writing process work?

It is all in my mind. Whenever I travel or experience something different, my mind immediately conjures up words. A title or a sentence or a theme – and I immediately note it down, most often in a piece of paper (I have been meaning to carry a journal every time but never do! ). Then whenever I have access to my computer, I create a draft in WordPress so that I don’t forget it. The harder task is the pictures. I generally structure my post with meaningful or interesting pictures that I take! So combining the words and pictures (and editing them) takes up most of my time.

So voila, I “do” have a process after all. I never thought I did. Thank you Sha for bringing this out and making me write this post 🙂

Now I pass it on to some fabulous bloggers that I admire and would love to know more:

Sheth’s perspective – Sheth writes about a variety of insightful topics and I love his take on some of the random yet insightful topics.

Getaway Journal – This couple’s travel dairy has made me add a new more places to my bucket list. Would love to read more from them!

Distracting Details – Amanda is amazing with the camera and I love her unique frames. Haven’t seen a lot from her recently though and I definitely want more 🙂

Thanks for all the love and support, my blogging friends! Much appreciated :*

When you don’t know Swimming and still go Canyoning!

I am back to my room with muddy shoes, wet clothes, my legs bruised and my calves  killing me, but I swear this was the most AMAZING day of my life. I have never felt so alive and kicking. So let me set the clock back and tell you the story from the very beginning. This is one of the rare long weekends in Vietnam, so I grabbed my stuff and headed out to the central highlands of Vietnam, the mesmerizing Dalat. It’s cool and pleasant weather is such a welcome relief from the sweltering heat of Saigon and I fell in love with the city at first sight. When I was looking at stuff to do here, I came across different companies advertising “Canyoning in Dalat”. Overcoming fears and inhibitions is apparently in the top of my list now, so I looked it up and found that Canyoning is actually a mix of hiking, abseiling and swimming while treading through a canyon. And wikipedia says “Emphasis in the sport is usually on aesthetics and fun rather than pure difficulty“. So I decided to give it a go, but there was just this tiny problem. I don’t swim!

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My Color Me Run experience, the Ups and Downs!

The last time I played Holi and got dunked in so much color was a long time ago, in the North Indian neighborhood of my tiny hometown while growing up. This Saturday I relived this experience in the streets of Saigon with 6,853 other people in the widely popular Color Me Run event!! It was incredibly refreshing and fun to be like kids for a day and enjoy creating a mess 😀 Though the heat was a bit too much in the afternoon and most of us resorted to walking after an initial run, it was a great evening with friends doing a healthy activity for a change 😉 Continue reading

I am officially a liebster Blogger ;)

Yeyyy, I got my very first blogging award from my dear friendly Salmon, Sara 😉  Unlike many other bloggers who have absolutely no clue when they receive their first award, I am quite knowledgeable in this area. You see, I am a bit of an obsessive, compulsive person whenever I begin to undertake any task, so when I first started blogging I spent hours and hours going through blogs learning about Freshly Pressed, Blogger Awards, Monetizing blogs, etc., etc., And I wanted them all to happen 😀 Then slowly reality hit me; I sort of forgot about them all and just tried to keep doing what I love. So this award was a pleasant surprise and thank you Sara for considering me as one of your dearest friendly neighbors. It’s definitely an honor 🙂

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A come-back post with Writerly Reflections

When I saw Daily Post’s this week’s writing challenge, I knew this would make the right come-back post. I have been away from the blogging world for a while now. Having started taking up paid writing gigs apart from my full-time internship, I find 24 hours and 7 days a week extremely constricting. Historically, I haven’t been very good at the balancing act (literally and figuratively) and blogging took the backseat. I feel terrible. So with this writing challenge, sharing my origin story on how I discovered the writer in me, I wish to reinforce a more consistent blogging habit in myself.  (Amen to that!)

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Ingenious bamboo trains in Battambang , Cambodia

One of my spontaneous, on-the-fly decision when in Cambodia was to visit a small river-side town called Battambang, around 5 hours journey from Siem Reap.  I will highly recommend Battambang to anyone who wants to experience a real slice of the rural Cambodia. Considerably less touristic than Siem Reap (which is literally flooding with tourists in every nook and corner), quieter and beautiful in a subtle way – Battambang was absolutely the right way to finish my 7 day Cambodia trip. I spent one day there and will share one of the highlights of my visit.

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