Back in Action

diana

{Diana looking over sunset in Kathmandu Valley}

After a month and a half of some serious juggling with moving continents; saying goodbye to Delhi, DC and the World Bank; traveling up and down the east coast; and moving into our new home in Seattle – I had to take a break from the blog completely. But as much as I needed the time off, I missed the structure blogging offers for creating for myself. So let’s go people, no more breaks!

Before I get into what’s happened, I’d love to ask for feedback on what you’d like the blog to focus on now that I’ve relocated. Continuing the blog with a completely different city and career trajectory (but, luckily, still with the same hubby 😉 has been a little daunting for me, so suggestions are very much welcome.

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{Last minute afternoon boat cruise in the Dominican Republic}

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{Touring Miami’s artsy-up-and-coming Wynwood}

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{One last weekend trip to NYC for celebrations and to see my new nephew}

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{Great light in Central Park}

I’ll be posting snippets of some of travels this week, and hopefully start integrating more Seattle Living and career development thoughts as this blog continues. To start – *BREAKING NEWS* – it is currently raining in Seattle, but the coffee and beer are great.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates.

Fall Break

Yesterday was my final day of work at the World Bank in Washington. I have a lot of things to say about it. I’m really excited with all the new things and transition ahead, but and have realized that with all this transition, I just won’t be able to keep up with the blog until I am settled in Seattle. In addition to not physically having time (and realizing I’m only human), I think I need to reflect on what the blog will be about in Seattle.

I’ll try to do some brief posts in the meantime, but come back sometime in November, 2013 for more regular posts again. See you soon!

Blur

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I don’t know whether to be impressed or concerned with my newfound capacity to ignore that I’m really leaving India. Tonight is my last night in Delhi, and I’m squeezing in some last minute packing, drinks, and errands to endure and enjoy. My last week of moving tends to involve one part packing, one part sulking, and one part enjoying local favorites I’ll miss the most. I wanted to quickly give a shout out again to my aunt who bought me a small luggage scale (similar style here) which I can’t imagine moving without anymore. It’s also a nice small reminder to feel loved, even in the midst of moving.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

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With a heavy heart I tell you that this will be my last week in Delhi. My 2-year contract with the World Bank is ending, and I will be heading back to the US to wrap things up and say goodbye. Delhi has definitely come to feel like home more than ever, and like I do with every city I leave, I feel like I’m betraying it by loving it and then leaving it. I’ve been loading up on gifts and mementos of our time here (really pushing each checked bag to the limit) and eating all my favorites (again, pushing limits) to try and distract myself from my impending departure.

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Taking a moment to think about how full this past year has been, I can’t help but feel pretty darn good. I know it will sound cliche, but saying, “I learned a lot about myself,” “I learned a lot about development,” or, “I learned a lot about India,” sound like pretty incomplete statements apart. The two were constantly intertwined in the chaos that was my experience this past year. After having worked in development for the past five years, I had a lot of preconceptions of what working abroad full time would be like. Yes, I could not have better understood my programs or my clients; yes, I have a much better sense of impacts on the ground; and yes, Evan looks absolutely ridiculous in any crowd in Asia no longer how long you stay here.

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But I also learned a lot about myself while trying to accomplish so much professionally in the midst of just figuring out how to feed and clothe myself. It was hard to not feel like a big, overgrown baby at times, but it also made me a lot more patient with myself and others, and made everyday accomplishments both personally and professionally have new meaning. I am surprised to look back at what accomplishments felt substantial, and what in hindsight now seems so trivial.

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Over the next few weeks I’ll still be posting about India adventures I haven’t had a chance to share. I’m sad to think that my India posts will begin to thin and eventually be crowded out by wherever life takes us next. This blog truly serves as a small marker of where I’ve been and where I’m going. While I am so excited to see what lies ahead with Evan back stateside, I can’t help but grieve the fact that places, where you learned a whole new life, are the one thing you can’t take with you. Happy last week Delhi.

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Trek Snacks

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{Hot lemon honey and stovetop popcorn}

First off, let me apologize for the lapse in posts last week – I am apparently have not mastered the art of time released posts. I was annoyed to realize this when I came back, but was quickly relieved when I found out that my blog has been featured on InterNations as a expat-Delhi resource. They asked me a bunch of questions and put up a picture of me, so if you’re into that you should check it out!

Anyways, here are some delicious highlights of the insane calorie intake that was the past week of trekking. The dozens and dozens of snickers bars consumed by us (you can buy them along the trail for about US$2.50) and one snicker momo (a deep fried snickers-filled empanada) are not pictured.

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{Breakfast of champions: Chiapati and fried eggs}

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{Fried cabbage and carrot pakora on the drive up}

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{Staying hydrated!  I am sure Evan appreciates me putting up this pic}

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{Delicious buckwheat everywhere}

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{Local fresh berry juice – tasted like passion fruit}

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{Yak everything: yak cheese (mmmmmm…), yak milk, yak tea, yak curd…}

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{Chocolate cake served with cleaver, naturally}

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{To get chocoloate cake we had to order a whole chocolate cake; we assured them this wouldn’t be a problem}

Post-Trek Blues

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When stomping down the mountain from our week-long trekking journey to Lang Tang last week I couldn’t stop thinking about pizza, cold beer, and clean clothes. I thought about how happy those things would make me, and how I couldn’t wait to conquer the mental to-do list I’d been managing in my head for the past seven days. It reminded me of all the times I’d gone out to Evan’s family’s cabin on a remote coast of Washington State. We’d enjoy being unplugged for days, but as soon as we started making city plans we couldn’t pack up the car fast enough. It felt like the city was running away from us, and we had to race alongside to jump on.

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This time though it was different. I had the same sensation on the final day of the trek as I began to feel closer to the city. I distinctly didn’t miss these things during the trek, but was excited to embrace them as we descended and began to see signs of roads being within reach.

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But when I got back I didn’t feel as I had expected. After a long, hot shower I sulked while putting on make up and my nicest clothes I’d packed. I binged on internet, organized my trip pictures, ate pizza, and drank wine. But it all just made me cranky. I was cranky because it was really over.

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On the trek I knew I was having a blast – I loved the physical challenge, basically laughed non-stop, and saw some of the most distant and beautiful scenery and life I’ve ever seen. But I didn’t even realize that the absence of much of my life was also so special. To spend all day for 6 days just worrying about my physical performance – where the only deadline I had was sunset, the only clothes I could wear were the ones that smelled the least gross (I can hear my sister saying, “Eww,” right now), and the only calorie counting I did was to make sure I didn’t run out of steam (thank you emergency snickers). I got a solid break from juggling the logistical reality of some big changes I’m about to go through (more on that later), and just enjoy conquering the mountains with my best of friends.

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After a couple of days of being back in Delhi I’ve settled into my urban existance happily again. Hailing autos, ordering delivery, and catching up on email. Enjoying the chaos and juggling that is my life, but still holding onto some peices of solitude from the Himalayas that didn’t get washed out with the laundry. Happy Monday friends.