Day 10: Play a sport/game

Not just any sport or game. Pick one you haven’t touched for ages. It could be something from your childhood or a favourite sport you have neglected for lack of time.

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Give it a go once more and let your brain pump those endorphins! (happy chemicals when we exercise/do something we love)

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Let the merry threes begin

Done with the terrible twos and now to the next. No, this isn’t about a toddler. Not yet anyway.

Today, I celebrate two whole, adventure-filled years of moving to a new country -Hamburg, Germany. Perhaps this is what happens on the other side of 30, but I find myself increasingly taking stock of my life on days like today. It helps put my ever erratic thoughts in perspective.

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Hamburg’s beautiful Alster

To sum up the last 8 seasons of “Indian Hamburg-er”, here’s a recap:

  • Love-
    • my inconvenient marriage gets better everyday 😉
    • I’ve made and lost friends and grown at every step
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    An Indian and an American discovering Germany
    • my relationship with food has reached a dizzying new level; (my pants are not yet complaining though)
    • Yoga and West Coast Swing make up my favourite shake-a-leg moments of the day
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West Coast Swing-ing
  • Life-
    • my dearest father took his last breath in my arms. It still hurts like mad, but I’m coping.
    • I’m six months done with waiting. Three to go before my son is here.
    • I speak German fluently now and even lectured a whole day last week in my field of expertise- Homoeopathy. At the end of the day, I couldn’t talk in English anymore! My German husband found it hilarious.
    • Working with Homoeopaths Without Borders is both fulfilling and challenging
  • Travel-
    • I wrote a booklet on traveling tips in Hamburg.book cover
    • New year in Mirissa, Sri Lanka; with my parents
    • A weekend of camping and kayaking in the east German country side, with my in-laws.
    • Travelling home to Goa, India is always a pleasure. I added Bangalore on one of my three trips home.
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I would move to Italy just for the food
  • Travel contd..
    • Romancing Rome in fantastic Italy.
    • Kite-surfing in the Netherlands.
    • Backpacking through China– a crazy experience of culture, gastronomy, terrain and people.
    • Exploring Brussels, Belgium over a long weekend.
    • Discovering the many by-lanes and tantalizing surprises Hamburg hides at various corners.
Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Breath-taking Mirissa, Sri Lanka

I love my life with all its trials and tribulations. Although I would never trade my pani-puri and chai for a bratwurst and beer (well, for a GlĂŒhwein maybe); I love what living abroad has done for me.

  • it’s broadened my horizons like nothing else before.
  • I have learnt to accept that I’m different and to celebrate it. No more trying to fit in. That’s plain boring.
  • the cold is my bitter-sweet enemy-friend and I have new respect for the sun.
  • there’s always a way, you just have to find it. Of course it helps to have a friendly face or at least a chocolate croissant accompany you.

Will I live in Hamburg for the rest of my life? Maybe. Maybe not. It will however, always be the place that taught me life is so much more than everyday worries. There’s magic everywhere. Follow your nose and you’ll find it!

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GlĂŒhwein at a Christmas Market

Oh no, I just let out a mighty sneeze and from two years of experience, I know exactly what’s coming- a giant change of season cold. Well I’m off to follow my nose and celebrate in the comfort of my warm bed.

TschĂŒss! (sounds like a sneeze I know, but it actually means bye in German)

Day 15: Take a Walk

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Reconnecting with nature is always rejuvenating. Take a walk today- in the company of another or your beautiful self.

If the weather permits, walk bare feet. On sand or grass or mud or for brave hearts- on snow. Walking bare-footed  has astonishing results. Even in as little as 5 minutes.

As you connect with nature, disconnect from everything that beeps, pings, notifies, rings and reminds. You get my drift don’t you?

I wish you a Walk to remember…. Check this for a walk I will never forget…

 

Day 12: Put on your dancing shoes

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Movement and music combined, make magic. Ok, not always, but almost always. Either way, shouldn’t you be part of it?

It doesn’t matter if you have two left feet or three. Just get your groove on and shimmy on!

West Coast Swing is my hot favourite at the moment and I suggest you check it out.

Besides tons of super cool side-effects, dancing has proved to improve mood. So what are you waiting for? Get those shoes on and dance your way to happiness! No more Monday blues.

Oh, and if you live in either Hamburg, Halle, Mumbai or Goa; I have a list of kick-ass dance instructors you should say hello to:

Hamburg: Julian & Juliane 

Halle: Ronny Hörig

Mumbai: Reesha & Diago

Goa: Dr. Martin & Flossy

Disclaimer: None of these guys asked me to feature them. I only did so coz I find them fabulous! Your dancing will never be the same once you meet them.

Caution: Highly addictive.

Confused about why I’m so active this Advent? Here’s why. Ciao for now!

 

 

 

Day 11: Flex those hips

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Happy 3rd Advent beautiful people!

Today’s all about getting flexible and fit, the fun way. I love Yoga, so for me it’s trying my hands and feet and neck and hips at the “CROW” or Bakasana. Take to the mat, the bike or the track; and get those bodies flowing again.

It’s easy to get stressed, over-eat and out of shape, especially in the holiday season. No time you say? What if someone told you that you could be Fit in 5 Minutes?  I love this routine. Perfect for the lazy bum and the procrastinator- not to say that’s who we always are- just that the holiday season can have this effect on us.

If the suggestions above are no inspiration to you, how about the picture? Sketched by the brilliant cartoonist Mario Miranda, you see a traditional goan Toddy-tapper or Reindeiro doing what he does best.

Motivate yourself out of the no-exercise slump today and feel great about yourself!

Happy exercising today and happy muscle ache tomorrow! 😉

Day 7: Exercise those Lungs!

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Yes you read right. Let’s make our pair of breathers happy. Before you take off screaming – all in the name of exercise of course; let’s check our options.

For starters, there’s what we all did best the moment our tiny feet hit this sticky universe. We cried and screeched at the top of our lungs! What a wonder that did to us! And reduced the family around us to tears. Wanna give it a try? Maybe this time there’ll be tears too. I can’t promise they’ll be happy though.

With us breathing in more pollution than peace, it’s no wonder our lungs take a beating. How about showing them some love with Pranayama? Say, what?! To quickly explain this beautiful sounding tongue twister; it’s the art of controlled breathing. Look here to know more. Psst- it doesn’t just help your lungs, it can help reduce belly fat and lots more!

I got you at belly fat didn’t I?

Well if you’re still reading, we’ve come to my favourite option- to sing. Simply let those vocal cords lead the way. It’s simple, it’s free, it’s beautiful.

Ok, reality check. It may not always be beautiful. It could be glass-shattering, terrifying and simply painful. But that’s not the point. Lung exercise is.

Let the singing be all of the above and more. If you enjoy it, do it like every one is listening. Have a blast, at the top of your lungs!

Scream, breathe, sing.

Have a fantastic day!

 

My old first love

The rush of anticipation

When you come face to face

With your old first love

 Your hands know precisely

That familiar feel and tingle

Years apart mean nothing

The wind whips your hair

Your legs turn to wings

And you just feel home

Heart pounding you leap

And sink it right in

Sweet joy, oh what bliss!

My return to court

My first love

How I missed my sport

Dear old Basketball 💓

Wait a minute

What were you thinking?

-Nicola