celebrating my 2014!

The year has just whizzed by, and while I am still getting used to saying 2015, I thought I could journey back into what 2014 meant for me… When days are slow and frustrating, I find it a good exercise to write down all that’s gone my way, so that I step away from the gloom and think about the light. 2014 has been a good year for me. Ironically, I didn’t realise how good until I finished this post. That’s a good reason why you should write down all the good stuff that happened.

WARNING: This is an egoistic post. It is full of extreme narcissism as I look into the mirror of my writing career. If you aren’t up to that, read no further. Wish you a FUNtastic 2014!

2014 has been a year of lesser travel than 2013. Instead of hazaar small trips we did a few big trips. And there were some firsts… Started the year at Coorg at a beautiful organic farm with so many life lessons. I travelled to Kochi on work and ambled around those streets, and fell in love with it all over again. I wrote many posts about it, read them all here and it translated into a walking tour for Audio Compass. Later I went on a long trip all over Karnataka which covered 6 towns/cities and quite a few funny stories. You can also read about the Devaraja Market of Mysore here. Later, we went off to Panchgani and plucked strawberries directly from the farm. We came back with kilos and kilos of strawberries till we were sick of it. The short trip to Lonvala went terribly wrong; we actually got a refund for it. Then the tigers happened, and I cannot get enough of those memories and those majestic creatures. I can only think about when I am going next! Bordi, near Mumbai, crept up upon us. It was charming, beautiful and simple. I wrote about it here and here. We then went on a long trip to Karnataka… partially to show A the ancient trio of Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole and then to explore Hampi. We also strayed by Bijapur on our way back. It was a long road trip and just the two of us driving; awesome fun. Want to do it again, soon. I am still trying to pitch stories about that trip, so nothing up on the blog as yet (sigh!). We managed two trips to Goa this year too, and I cannot get enough of that state (physically and of the mind). The latest trip lent itself to an article on where to eat in North Goa (Esp. for a vegetarian!). Post that we stayed put in Mumbai for the New Year and this was after more than 5-6 years, so much so that when the firecrackers burst at 12, I was shocked that firecrackers are burst on New Year’s. And then quickly upset at the waste of money and pollution that has crept into our New Year celebrations too. Isn’t Diwali enough? Yeah, I’m becoming quite a kill-joy, don’t you think? So didn’t comment on it to anyone, but saying it aloud here, to you.

I had challenged myself to read 100 books from August 2013 to August 2014. I ended August 2014 having read 65 books, a tad disappointed but also extremely happy. Check out the list of books I read here. In 2015, I will challenge myself again, still to figure out the challenge.

During the first few months of 2014, writing slowed down, with my hand still healing from the RSI bout but then it picked up. I crafted five tours for Audio Compass, and wrote a lot of other articles for Lonely Planet and The Alernative. I also had my first article in print this year, Indian Express (6 articles so far) and then later, the cherry on the icing on the cake, National Geographic Traveller. Read more here. I think this article on graffiti in India for The Alternative is one of my most well-researched articles, and I am very proud of it.

I got two fiction stories published, Maragoo’s World and Flighty Thoughts, which was a huge high, and that win also gave me two Flipkart vouchers with which I promptly bought more books. I am also HuffPost India’s Blogger. Read my first article at HuffPost.

Towards the end of the year, I got a brilliant offer to be the Editor of the travel magazine for a start-up called Happy Tripping; click here to get to the magazine. I also got interviewed once and featured in the 2014 round-up of Talking Cranes. They asked me to talk about what I learnt this year from travel, and I wrote about it here!

I stopped working with three of my first editors at Audio Compass, Lonely Planet and The Alternative, not because there was a fall-out, but because they all moved on. I owe a lot of my journey to them, but then again maybe the paths will cross again.

I got multiple rejections, many silent-treatments, and also some weird excuses from editors this year…but this post is about the light, so steering clear of the fog.

Exercise came back into my life in 2014, and that is probably the best thing I’ve done. Guess the RSI scare helped! I went back to yoga, after a 4 year hiatus, and I learnt how to swim, finally, phew. I absolutely love being in water. I feel fitter, though not yet leaner, but that should happen slowly, and I definitely feel stronger. There is still the niggling hand pain that surfaces once in a while, almost to remind me that my hands might never be perfect, but I now believe I can exercise the pain away. I like being in that space… its more positive.

Thanks to you reader, merry to go around, had a few achievements too! From the post that has gotten more than 2000 views, to getting more than double the number of page views this year than last (~30000) and to more than 1000 followers of my blog, it’s been a great year right here. Thanks and do stick around. I’m honoured!

I end with a feeling that I am inching closer to my dream. I am excited about the future, nervous too, but I believe that 2015 will be what I make of it, and I better get cracking. Hope you are out there living your dreams and wish each of you more power and more faith, in yourself! Dream a little dream today.

light. creating. light.
light. creating. light.
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