I was born and raised in a small town in Connecticut into a unique family for my predominately white town. My father immigrated to the United States from India in the 1970s, with only eight dollars in his pocket and a scholarship to Bridgeport University for his bachelor’s degree. My mother was born in the same town I grew up in; however, her grandparents (who were escaping Russian control) immigrated from Lithuania and the Ukraine in the early 1900s with hopes to start a new life in the United States.
I felt really awkward growing up as a mixed race child; I never felt like I belonged. In grammar school I was teased about my racial background, and I used to come home from school crying—wishing I could have blonde hair and fair skin like my mother.
It wasn’t just my racial background that made me feel so awkward; in addition, it was also the lifestyle my parents had. Summer holidays for most kids in my school consisted of BBQs on their perfectly manicured lawns and swimming in their backyard pools. But I spent my summer holidays summarizing New York Times articles, and attended dinner parties hosted by my parents where they cooked international cuisine, discussed great writers and listened to classical music. I guess once you’ve read that it should be no surprise to you that as a child I was enrolled in different kinds of classes: ceramics, violin, voice, and dance. Back then, all I wanted was to be like everyone else.
Growing up, I didn’t realize that my upbringing made me unique; in fact, I just saw it as something negative. It wasn’t until way later that I could fully appreciate the risks that my family took, and realize that everything my parents did for me as a child was crucial for me finding a life towards happiness and fulfillment.
Leaps into the unknown: leaving for college and going abroad
When I was eighteen I left for college in Washington, D.C., where I majored in psychology. The mind, the emotions and the human brain always intrigued me. I was super happy in Washington, D.C. not only because I finally left my small town, but also because it was the first time I had friends from literally all over the world. I totally felt like I belonged there.
I was really successful with studying psychology and had plans to eventually get my PhD. In order to get research experience (which you need for your psychology PhD), I did a psychology internship at the University of Oregon in summer 2008 and 2009.
Oregon is a place full of artists, free spirited wanderers and is a mecca for nature lovers. For me, it was paradise. I was able to connect with so many of my childhood activities I had forgotten about: dancing, singing, and making clay ceramics. It was then that I realized that these activities my parents made me do as a child were actually passions of mine. It was the first time I could truly appreciate and value the artistic gifts that my parents had given me.
I also realized that during my studies, I was so focused on my academics that I didn’t pay much attention to my artistic side at all. So after that summer, I made a promise to myself that I would eventually find a way to incorporate all my passions into my life.
I left Oregon in August 2009 and was headed for another new adventure, this time to do a semester abroad in London, England. While in London, I struggled to find balance dealing with a long distance relationship with my then boyfriend and exploring Europe for the first time. Time there went by so quickly, and before I knew it I was back in America.
When I went back to D.C. for my final semester, I was twenty-two and all the questions came pouring in about what I was going to do when I graduated. The truth was this–I literally had no idea. Deep in my heart I knew I didn’t want to live a conventional life and get a 9-5 like most of my friends were doing. All I wanted back then was a life of travel and to find a balance between work and my artistic self. Somehow my wish came true.
Towards the very end of my time at college, my ex-boyfriend was accepted to go to Germany to do his PhD. He asked me if I wanted join, and I irrationally jumped at the opportunity of living with him in a foreign country where neither of us spoke the language. I really pictured being in Germany as a wonderful one—learning a foreign language, gaining international work experience, developing my artistic passions and exploring Europe. But it so didn’t turn out like that!
We really struggled to find our footing in Germany, and started to see major cracks in the foundation of our relationship as well. We thought that moving back to Oregon (where we met) would change things for us. But our relationship was doomed to fail—which eventually happened in the beginning of 2012. That breakup took me to one of my lowest points in my life.
Finding a way to my passions
I thought by twenty-four I would have my life together. The last place I imagined myself being at that age was at my parents’ house in Connecticut. I had spent six years on my own, and now felt like I was reverting back in time. The whole world seemed black to me. But, sometimes in our darkest moments are where the right paths appear.
Everyone had an idea of what I should be doing: going to networking events, joining LinkedIn, applying for my master’s or PhD in Psychology. I listened to them speaking, but in my gut, I knew I had to take my life into my own hands.
Deep introspection gave me the answers I needed then. During this time, I was finally able to redevelop my interests in artistic passions of mine, particularly in dancing and singing. I did a lot of yoga and meditated. This was really the first time in my life I started to develop balance in my life in all areas, which helped me to focus my energy on figuring out what I really wanted in my life.
I was ready to take my life into my own hands now, and I had a major goal in my mind back then which was to travel the whole world, particularly to my father’s home state–Kerala, India. For many months, I struggled to figure out a way to do so, but eventually was accepted to go to work in Dubai, UAE for Emirates airlines as a flight attendant. Not only was I going to live in Dubai, but I was going to travel all over the world. I was ecstatic for the opportunity to get paid to travel!
After my acceptance to Emirates in July, I had three months to prepare for my relocation to Dubai. I wasn’t interested in being in a romantic relationship or meeting anyone new since I would be leaving so soon. But, somehow it seems whenever we aren’t looking for something, it just turns up.
Love always finds a way
In August my closest friend from Germany, Debbie, came to visit America with her friend, Christoph. They were doing an East Coast road trip and since I was in Connecticut I was able to join them. I don’t know whether or not you believe in soul mates, but I definitely do. I’m so sure that Christoph and I were destined to meet and after an interesting chain of events during our trip, we realized we were both falling for each other.
Christoph and I had our farewell at Grand Central in New York City. A few days later via Skype we mutually decided not to see other people until we could meet in person again, not knowing when that day would actually come. Over the next few months we got to know each other through our Skype “dates”.
My first month of flying was in December 2012, and luckily enough I had a flight scheduled to Munich, Germany. Christoph and I finally saw each other again, after about four months of being apart. We decided no matter how difficult it would be that we would find a way to stay together. We did this for nearly two years.
Those two years were a complete whirlwind. There were so many new adventures, places, emotions and of course a relationship that developed in quite crazy circumstances. Living in Dubai was an experience itself, a place full of contrasting cultures and traditions, while being one of the most modern day cities in the world. Also, travelling the entire world was glamorous, but at the same time very exhausting due to the hours and demands of working as a flight attendant. It’s during this time I realized all the glitz and glamour of travel can’t outweigh certain things in life–especially love.
There were a lot of contributing factors that lead me to leave Dubai, and I knew when it was time to go. That day came in June 2014. I was going to Connecticut for a month, and then I’d be leaving to live in Germany again with Christoph. Most people thought I was ludicrous for making such a decision. I was leaving a job of travelling around the world to move to Germany (again) where I couldn’t speak the language, and without a job lined up. But, I knew I was making the right decision and I wouldn’t regret it. My past few years of travel and experience made me realize I had little to fear, and sometimes, you just have to jump head first.
A full circle journey
Coming back to Germany completed my full circle journey. I honestly never thought I would live in the same place twice, but sometimes life brings you where you need to be! My time in Germany—from 2014 to 2016—gave me the chance to find balance in my life again after living the hectic lifestyle as an international flight attendant. I had time to work on things I was passionate about and discover new things I was good at.
While living in Germany, I started to become aware of the fact that our dreams are constantly evolving. When I left Emirates I had fulfilled my dream of traveling the world. After accomplishing that goal, I realized I still had many more dreams that I wanted to achieve. One of those dreams was to help people develop in all aspects of their life in order for them to reach their greatest potential. From that desire this blog was born. I hope that someday this blog will come together into a book to help on their journey through life. I definitely feel that I am on the road to reaching that goal. Now we will have to see what the future brings!
Our next adventure together
In early 2016 Christoph and I decided to take a leap and move to the USA together. He always wanted to live abroad, and I wanted to live in my home country again. Christoph is being transferred within his company to a position based out of NYC. I have found several freelance writing engagements, so I plan in sitting in many cafes in the Big Apple with my computer! I must admit, it is nice to have someone else to take this risk with—all the times before I was on my own!
Christoph and I are in the midst of creating the next chapter of our life. So, if you are curious as to where the next few years will take us, make sure to follow along on my blog!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Whew! That was a lot to read, wasn’t it? Well, if you are still reading I totally appreciate it. As you get to know me through my blog you’ll realize that I can’t just scratch the surface of things. So it was super important for me to include all of that information so you could get to know me a bit more! I would love to know about you as well, so if you haven’t already, make sure you connect with me!