Reality check.

The Myth

There are people who are successful professionally while managing a food blog, volunteering at the animal shelter, and mastering ballroom dance. Assume you are not one of those people. Balance, in my view, is largely a myth when establishing your career. The slope of the trajectory for your career is (unfairly) set the first five years post-graduation. If you want the trajectory to be steep, you’ll need to burn a lot of fuel. The world is not yours for the taking, but for the trying.

Try hard, really hard.

I have a lot of balance now. It’s a function of the lack thereof in my twenties and thirties. Other than business school, from 22 to 34, I remember work and not much else. The world does not belong to the big, but to the fast. You want to cover more ground in less time than your peers. This is partially talent, but mostly endurance. My lack of balance as a young professional cost me my marriage, my hair, and arguably my twenties. And it was worth it.

Continue reading “Reality check.”

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Lessons from you.

Bubi,

It’s normal to be scared. You are going through a phase of your life where you start making decisions with an impact on yourself and the people around you autonomously.

This little monster is called adulthood and even though I am never going to admit it even when I will be 50, both of us are adults.

At the beginning it’s scary but later will become more and more normal and the choices we will make will be even bigger and more impactful.

Also with time passing, you are going to build your certainties and the foundation for future decisions. You are going to be more aware about what you want, you are going to have more clarity on your objectives and on the people surrounding you in your life.

It’s ok to be sad, but don’t let sadness take away from you the moments you spend with the people you love, live those to the fullest and enjoy them as much as it’s possible.

Bacini

Dread.

A week before my flight to Canada, my boyfriend asked me how excited I was.

I told him I was scared.

How was that possible? In two flights, I would be back in the house I grew up in, the city where I had most of my ‘firsts’, and most importantly, surrounded by the people I love the most – some I hadn’t seen for over two years.

That scared me.

It scared me to think about the wash of emotions walking through my neighborhood, sleeping in my own bed, eating my mom’s home cooked food. It’s even scarier to think about what will happen when I have to say goodbye to it all over again. Will I be able to?

How can I leave? How can I return to a place where my core support system is not present?

I made the choice two years ago. I made the commitment to challenge myself because I was fed up with the ‘me’ of 2015, I wasn’t improving and I felt stagnant. And in order to better myself, I had to leave my comfort zone – by about 11,628 km.

And now here I am, staying up because I know once I close my eyes, there will only be one more day left. 24 hours left in a place where my best friends party on weekends, where my mother patiently practices oil painting on Fridays and nags me to wear slippers, where my brother eats junk food and where my sweet childhood memories linger.

This place is my foundation and there is comfort in knowing that this won’t change.

See you later Toronto, I promise I’ll be back before you realize I’m gone and I’ll be bringing back some goodies.

All aboard the Manta Queen

For Thai New Year 2017, I left the soon to be water drenched Bangkok to…the underwater world at the famous Similan Islands south of Thailand. So, not really escaping a ‘wet’ fate.

Similan Islands

tl;dr

Aboard the Manta Queen #1, you can expect good spirits and a lot of diving. The staff are friendly and make an effort to answer any questions guests may have – feel free to joke around and grab a beer together after dives. Shout out to Isma for being an enormous ball of good energy – really spruces up the 6AM mornings 🙂

These were our beautiful dive sites: Anita’s Reef, West of Eden, Deep Six, Elephant Head Rock, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rocks and Bonsoon Rocks.

This was a list of the ocean’s wonderful creatures we saw: manta ray, cuttlefish, blacktip shark, turtle, school of barracuda, murray eel, lion fish, scorpion fish, puffer fish, box fix, boxing shrimp, seahorse, tons of nudies!

All equipment was in good shape except my suit was a bit tattered – gotta rock that grunge diver look. Meals were timely and average tasting. I recommend making friends with the Thai staff and they might slip you some Southern Thai goodies.

As always, the adventure is mostly about the company, not necessarily having to see big things underwater. All the guests were considerate and friendly and Khao Lak staff, although probably have done this a million times, made a great effort to keep things fresh.

I recommend this liveaboard, not for the food (bring your own snacks!), but because these sites are memorable for anyone who enjoys diving.


Our four day, four night dive trip was arranged with Khao Lak Scuba Adventures. For those looking for a dive school, I’ll quickly sum up the basics:

Staff: experienced, friendly, introduced us to different creatures underwater and made an effort to chat even though they’ve probably answered the same questions 100X and definitely working some crazy shifts but they truly love what they do.

Dive Equipment: My full body suit was tattered and shredded at the knees but it was the last of my size, so I was rocking the ‘grunge diver’ look each dive. All other equipment was in good shape (BCD, dive watch, flashlight, fins, mask, etc.).

Process: Like most administrative tasks in Thailand, there was a bit of shuffling around but it was relatively quick to pay, select and pack all of our equipment into the van before setting off to the pier.

Safety: Air was checked (L was my group’s dive master so he was very attentive), my buoyancy was corrected if my dive master noticed I was too heavy and in general, I was in good hands.

Price: The price is average, similar to all the other liveaboards available. I do think they take safety more seriously here than other schools.

 

Boat: All aboard the Manta Queen #1! Briefings were great, very detailed. Food was mediocre, they typically make Westernized-Thai food to cater to the mix of foreigners and Thais onboard so I understand the lack of spice.

The Chinese group with us brought their own spicy chilli to give the food some kick. I would recommend bringing your own snacks if you’re picky with food.

Facilities were clean, dishes were always cleared and fresh water was always available.

Disclaimer: I didn’t take a full shower until after the last dive – what was the point if I was going to be in the salty ocean four times a day?

Overall, the water is unbelievably stunning and the biodiversity of the dive sites are excellent. Tons of sea fans, nudies, a variety of fish and

We were lucky to see manta rays, a blacktip shark, a turtle, schools of barracuda, glassfish, cuttlefish (probably my favourite siting), a large crab and a group of porcupine puffer fish during our 15 dives.

Some shout outs: 

Thank you Isma for your enormous energy! I would gladly climb out of bed at 5:50AM again to hear one of your briefs – I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard at such childish jokes, you’re a natural 😉

Thank you Koen for saving my ass during an upwelling. Big thank you to the boat crew for taking care of us and sneaking us some spicy Southern Thai food to quench our cravings.

 

Why do people get married?

I have a friend in office, a very philosophical guy, he never married.
He is still single. Though he fell in love once, he couldn’t commit to the girl. She finally left him.

He once said, ”Aditya, if she really loved me, she would not need an invisible string of marriage to hold on to me. The fact that she needed one suggests that she couldn’t love me enough to make it work without one.”

I thought about this, not for hours but for days, just when I was on the verge of believing this theory, something happened, something very bad. Continue reading “Why do people get married?”