Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 10.36.41 AM

Eat. Pray. Work. My life in India revisited

globe-india_i-11“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”– Neal Donald Walsch

Namaste friends!

When I was offered an opportunity to work abroad in India, I remember desperately searching for any information/stories about American women working there, and all I could find was a downloadable 10-page brochure about how Expat wives could adjust (obviously, not helpful).

Bad news was, I had to learn the hard way, good news is, if you happen to be offered a similar opportunity, you don’t have to.

Eat, Pray, Work … A Single Woman’s Guide to Working Abroad in India is a collection of posts from my time in India from my blog Going with the Flow

Although this is a way for me to share my work-related/personal experiences from my perspective (as someone that moved to India alone, as a single woman), regardless of whether you work in India or not, are a man or a woman, single or married, my hope is that you will not only enjoy these stories, but they will somehow encourage you to be open to experiences that take you out of your comfort zone, force you to live in the moment, or do something that not everyone else is doing. Trust me, it’s not as scary as it initially seems. 

Eat. Pray. Work… My life in India, a different kind of love story:

From the “WTF am I doing here” stage, to the “my hair is falling out” stage, to the moment India and I feel in love (December 2009 – March 2011) 

An Insider’s Guide to Doing Business in India via Executive Travel Magazine

Bryan Adams is extremely popular in India and a few random things you may not know about this fascinating country

  • It is totally acceptable and common for guys to hold hands and rub each other (however it’s a huge no no for guys and girls).
  • Guys can pee where ever they want. It’s totally fine.
  • You don’t ever pay full price for anything; or at least you don’t have to. Even at department stores you can ask for a discount and most of the time you will get it (ask for 10%-20%).
  • As crazy as the traffic is in India, if a black cat crosses the road everything comes to a halt until someone comes along that didn’t see the cat and is the first to “cross the path”.
  • If someone invites you over to their house at 9pm, you would never dare show up before 10pm.
  • At parties, dinner is the last thing to be served (usually around 11pm or 12am) and once you’re done eating, it’s time to go home.
  • It’s common for your co-workers or customers to call you at 11pm, even on the weekends.
  • When you order a beer in India it will be presented to you before they serve it … your job is to touch it to ensure the temperature is to your liking and then say yes (or theek hai if you want to be fancy and speak in Hindi) to accept, or no to get another colder one.
  • If it’s your birthday, not only do you bake sweets (or buy them) for everyone (and feed everyone by hand – really) you also have to pay for everyone if you go out for dinner or drinks. Happy Birthday?

Incredible India

Go there! Love it or hate it, India is nothing less than incredible.

My Love Affair with Delhi (Eat/Shop/Run/Yoga/Play)

Eat 

  • Buddha Xpress in Vasant KunjWe serve nourishment for the body, the mind and the soul. The creations we offer are a gateway to enliven the senses that lead to fulfilment of the purpose of living and the desire to nourish our being continuously.” – what more can you say than that?
  • Travel Cafe in Haus Kaus Village. Tip: Just sit down anywhere … The seat by the window is the best; someone will come over and ask you if you want coffee or tea, (and really good cookies!).  When you are ready to leave, just get up and leave a “donation” in the box by the door. They have basically every travel book you can imagine and you can stay here all day if you want. It’s an actual live chat room for travelers. Very comfortable and chill place.
  • The Living Room in Haus Kaus Village. If the weather is good, go all the way to the top floor! Good live music most nights and excellent food! I highly recommend the The Kous Kous with veggies and the Bubba’s Shrimp appetizer is my favorite! This is basically Expat central. 
  • The Good Earth (Latitude) Cafe  @ Khan Market (Shopping too!) Have the Vietnamese Spring Rolls! Getting there: Just go into the Good Earth store and go all the way up to the top floor to reach the cafe.
  • Amici @ Khan Market (Margarita Pizza and Pineapple/pomegranate Juice!)
  • Lodi Garden Restaurant @ Lodi Garden (Beautiful Garden setting)
  • Wasabi @ The Taj (Super expensive, but some of the best sushi I have ever had in my life!)

Shop – Stores 

  • Joss – Khan Market (They get new stuff in almost every week! LOVE this store!)
  • Good Earth in Khan Market (lots of fun stuff for the home)

Shop – Markets & Malls 

  • Khan Market – The place to be seen in Delhi … it’s also where the tourists go. Lots of great shops/restaurants/coffee shops/people watching.
  • Galleria Market in Gurgaon (great place to get all of your groceries & misc. items in one place)
  • Select City Walk in Delhi
  • Promenade in Vasant Kunj
  • Ambiance Mall (a.k.a. Ambi Mall) in Gurgaon
  • Emporio Mall Vasant Kunj – The Rodeo Drive of New Delhi
  • Sarojini Market – Most things are 150 Rps (about $3 USD). You can find all brands here and really nice things if you have the patience to look through everything and fight the crowds. In my experience, I can only handle this market for about an hour … but some of my favorite shirts are from here.

Hair (Blonde Hair Friendly Salons) 

  • Naresh @ Looks in Khan Market 
  • Barbara at Levo in Gurgaon (Behind Ibis)

Yoga

Run

  • Lodi GardenThis is my favorite place in Delhi! Enjoy a great run around the perimeter of the park.

 

lodi-015

Springtime in my favorite place in Delhi

Today I took a camera along with me on my run at Lodi Garden (which along with the Yoga Studio, is my sanctuary) to show you the beauty that I am so lucky to experience everyday. I know that this place will always be one of the most special places in the world to me because of what it provided for me at a time that I desperately needed it … space from everything and connection to myself … and I am happy to share this place with you.

Today in Old Delhi

Last night my friends and I decided we were going to go to Old Delhi today and have a photography contest. Here are my entries from our five hour excursion. Seriously, India has to be one of the most photogenic places on the planet.  As far as the contest goes, we ended up calling it a tie (which, btw is actually a very uncommon thing to do in India)  since our friend Abby is actually a professional photographer and we were using Coolpix. Enjoy! 

Old Delhi

Me & Abby (the professional photographer)

First Week (Feels like it was a month!)

India Gate - Delhi

I am sitting at the airport on my way back to Delhi (feels weird to be on a domestic flight; should be International right?!) after by far the craziest weeks of my life. I seriously could sleep for 3 days straight if I could but I just found out that I may have to travel again next week. Has anyone ever died of exhaustion? Seriously. So, here is a little glimpse into my first week in India. I have so many stories but I haven’t had time to write. I had to write out what I did this week because last Sunday feels like a month ago (hopefully this is not an indication of how this year is going to go) and I wouldn’t be able to remember anything without doing this. As you read this please remember that all of these experiences came as a result of a 30 second conversation 3 months ago at the end of a meeting that I almost cancelled. Crazy!

Typical scene in Delhi/Gurgaon - Can you spot the camel?

Sunday – Arrived in Delhi at 9:30 pm from San Diego via Newark. Culture shock not so bad this time since I had a colleague/friend traveling with me. Monday – (Delhi) Meeting with Events team in Delhi from 9am-7pm to finalize upcoming events. 1 hour of traffic, Dinner. Tuesday – (Delhi) Set up all day. Press Conference. Launch Event in Delhi. Wednesday – (Bangalore) 10am Flight to Bangalore, set up and Launch Event in Bangalore Thursday – (Mumbai) Meeting with golf course developers, Mani/Pedi (for $12!), Curry Mojito and Flight to Mumbai Friday – (Delhi) Retailer Meeting, Event set-up, Photo Shoot, Launch Event in Mumbai, Bollywood Party. Tonight – Flight back to Delhi, Move into my apartment, Retailer Launch Event in Gurgaon. Sunday – Sleep all day! So many stories to tell in just the first week. This is kind of fun!

Castle in Bangalore

Mumbai

Just arrived in Mumbai

Gateway of India - Mumbai