Noodle market in Sydney

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Food from various parts of Asia and music makes anything else looks less tempting in noodle market in Hyde Park in Sydney.

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Spices and their benefits

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Very often I get this question – What is this spice useful for? Being Indian we do use a lot of different kind of spices for taste and health benifits but most of the times I used to remember the taste and not the other reasons I would use them. Hence I have come up with a list of spices and their benifits so that if you like then you can try them and change the quality and taste of the food.

 Enjoy a spicy day my friends 🙂

Black pepper Improve Digestion and Promote Intestinal Health
Basil DNA Protection Plus Anti-Bacterial Properties
Tumeric It helps deal with skin problems. Turmeric powder can be used for healing cuts and wounds. It also makes coping with diabetes easier.
Chile Pepper Fight Inflammation, Natural Pain Relief, Cardiovascular Benefits, Clear Congestion, Boost Immunity, Help Stop the Spread of Prostate Cancer, Prevent Stomach Ulcers, Lose Weight, Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes 
Cayenne Pepper Fight Inflammation, Natural Pain Relief, Cardiovascular Benefits, Clear Congestion, Boost Immunity, Help Stop the Spread of Prostate Cancer, Prevent Stomach Ulcers, Lose Weight, Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes 
Asafoetida (Hing) Remedy for whooping cough and stomach ache caused due to gas.
Bay leaf (Tez Patta) Bay leaf oil possesses antifungal and anti bacterial
Cardamom (Elaichi) Helps to control bad breath and digestive disorder. A whole cardamom chewed is good for coping with diabetes.
Chilli (Lal Mirch) The antioxidants present in chilli help to cope with cholesterol. It also helps burning calories
Cinnamon (Dalchini) It supports natural production of insulin and reduces blood cholesterol, the highest anti-oxidant strength of all the food sources in nature
Clove (Laung) Clove oil is beneficial for coping with tooth ache and sore gums. It is also beneficial remedy for chest pains, fever, digestive problems, cough and cold.
Coriander (Dhaniya) It can be used externally on aching joints and rheumatism. It is also good for coping with soar throat, allergies, digestion problems, hay fever etc
Cumin (Zeera) It is a good source or iron and keeps immune system healthy. Water boiled with cumin seeds is good for coping with dysentery.
Curry leaves(Curry Patta) These leaves are beneficial for reducing blood sugar. Each part of the plant provides some benefit or the other. The dried leaves are extensively used in herbal medicines.
Fenugreek (Methi) Fenugreek seed tea or sweet fudge is good for increasing breast milk. It also helpful for treating diabetes and lowering cholesterol
Garlic (Lassan) It is useful for coping with cough and cold. It also has antibiotic properties.
Ginger (Adrak) Helps to avoid digestive problems. It is beneficial for coping with cough and cold.
Mustard (Rye) Mustard oil is good for body massage and even for getting good hair. It consists of omega-3 fatty acids. It is an excellent source of iron, zinc, manganese, calcium, protein etc.
Nutmeg (Jaiphal) It is beneficial for the treatments of asthma, heart disorder and bad breath.
Pepper (Kaali Mirch) It helps coping with cold, cough, infections etc. It helps to deal with muscle pains and digestive problems
Saffron (Zaffran/Kesar) It helps to cope with skin diseases. It is a good remedy for cough, cold and asthma.
Star anise (Chakra Phool) Star anise oil is beneficial for rheumatism. It is helpful for digestion and avoiding bad breath
Nutmeg anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties, vital B-complex vitamins, including vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A and many flavonoid anti-oxidants like beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin
Mustard seeds rich in phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants, B-complex vitamins, niacin (vitamin B-3), vitamin E, gamma tocopherol, minerals. Calcium, manganese, copper, iron, selenium and zinc

Workout makes you feel tired? What to eat pre-workout, post-workout and during the workout

 

Most of you would know and if don’t then I am a part time personal trainer as well. And I keep getting questions around health and nutritions. So here is some information that I have compiled for about what you can eat or drink before, during and after your workout. Hope this is useful.

 

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This is my favourite sweet (fruit crumble with ice cream) just for the weekend 🙂

 

Imp: Exercising in a fasted state (8 hours since the last meal) results in a greater proportion of fat being used as the exercise fuel compared to doing the same workload after a carbohydrate-containing meal or snack.

The following foods are suitable to eat 3-4 hours before exercise: The following snacks are suitable to eat 1-2 hours before exercise:

 

The following foods are suitable to eat if there is less than 1 hour before exercise:
•crumpets with jam or honey + flavoured milk

•baked potato + cottage cheese filling + glass of milk

•baked beans on toast

•breakfast cereal with milk

•bread roll with cheese/meat filling + banana

•fruit salad with fruit-flavoured yoghurt

•pasta or rice with a sauce based on low-fat ingredients (e.g. tomato, vegetables, lean meat)

•liquid meal supplement

•milk shake or fruit smoothie

•sports bars (check labels for carbohydrate and protein content)

•breakfast cereal with milk

•cereal bars, Energy/ Granola bars

•fruit-flavoured yoghurt

• Bananas or other fresh fruit

 

•sports drink

•carbohydrate gel

•cordial

•sports bars

•jelly lollies

 

 Tip:

  • A general guide is to have a meal about 3-4 hours before exercise or a lighter snack about 1-2 hours before exercise. You need to experiment to find the timing, amount and make up that best suits your individual needs.
  • If you need to eat close to exercise, opt for a snack that provides at least 70 g of carbohydrate.  There is some evidence to suggest that small amounts of carbohydrate (<50 g) are more likely to cause problems in sensitive individuals than larger amounts.  This is probably because the small intake of carbohydrate is swamped by the carbohydrate use.  Larger intakes will compensate for a greater rate of use, leaving the athlete with a net gain in available carbohydrate.
  • Exercising in a fasted state (8 hours since the last meal) results in a greater proportion of fat being used as the exercise fuel compared to doing the same workload after a carbohydrate-containing meal or snack

 Drinks:

  • During Workout
    Unless you are running hard for extending periods of time, gatorade is completely unnecessary and can actually hamper your workouts. Stick with water, about 6-8 ounces every 30 minutes.
  • Post-Workout
    Within 10 minutes of finishing your workout, you should again be having some form of complex carb or carb shake. Don’t miss this window.
  • After 1 hour
    Lean meat or fish with light veggie and more water.

French, Cajun and Portugese Week – Bucket-List 2013 Week 8 filled with joy and tasty dishes

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Item Number #13 – Try at least 10 different cuisines

It was amazing to have French Tomato-ey Ratatouille on Friday afternoon in Sydney with a friend of mine and Creole Jumbalaya with Voodooz Conrbread with my buddy in diving on Sunday night in Cairns. Different cusines in different places was something I enjoyed the most last week I must admit and this bucket list of mine made sure that I remember to try something new when I was on my diving trip to north of Australia in Cairns. Cafe Nice in Circular Quay, Sydney, not only provides you with taste but a very nice ambience with price that fits in budget. Sounds very delicious right, I know. Also Voodooz in Cairns has a very traditional Cajun (New Orleans Style) food. Also I did try Portuguese burger and it was very yumm

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Here is the list of food that I have already tried so far and I am pretty close to complete my list it seems as I was able to add 3 more cusines last week. One more to go and this is complete as well 🙂
1.Belgian Cuisine
2.Lebanese Cuisine
3.Vietnemese
4.Italian
5.Spanish
6. Turkish

How to save money to travel

 

  1. Cut back on the movie night outs and get a DVD with friends and family and enjoy at home.
  2. Try to prepare healthy meals more at home – saves the cost and you might get into more cooking and that will really help when travelling for long and guess what it will also help you make new friends as people love good food 😉
  3. Make sure that you check your wardrobe before going for shopping as most of the times you might already have enough clothes or other stuff that you might be thinking to buy. So better give the existing stuff a try.
  4. Subscriptions – So many times we subscribe for magazines or other things and pay for them month after month that we never even use. Try to find out if you are paying for something every month and not really using it as much. It’s better to buy it once or twice when you really want it then a monthly or weekly supply in that case.
  5. Party – Many of us love partying, but it is always possible to throw some economic ones where everyone can bring their own booze and something to share. More variety to share and no one has the burden to do a lot.
  6. Alcohol – This used to make a big hole in my pocket every time I used to go out as this used to deduct a good amount from my budget while travelling. Now it wouldn’t be the case as I quit drinking, but you can also save some money by making sure that you do not drink too much outside as it is far more expensive to drink in the pub or bar, even better if you can get your friends at home and buy from the wholesale shop as that’s cheaper as well. Dry July in Australia is also a good way to stop drinking for a month as it will immensely motivate you to save and then once you know how much you can save by not drinking, you might be tempted to do it more often.  Just keep a jar in the kitchen or a place where you can see it regularly and put the money in the jar whenever you think of drinking and label it a picture of your dream destination – mine is Greece 🙂
  7. Try to take a walk every now and then instead of warming your car every time you get out of house as this will do some good to you health wise and also will save you some bucks.
  8. Make a list of things that you do on regular basis – hobbies, outing with friends or family and try see the activities where you might be spending more money and see if you can reduce the frequency of those activities and replace them with less expensive activities. Example: Go outdoor rock-climbing than indoor that way you can save the cost for entry every time you go for rock climbing and will get more experience in the real world.
  9. Many times when we are free then we tend to spend more money without realizing at times so my advice would be to take upon some hobbies like hiking, cycling or running as this will give something to utilize your time and will be good for your health at the same time.
  10. Make new friends with the similar objectives to save money either for travelling or house or something else. As this will help you to get motivated and also you wouldn’t be forced to spend more money each time you go out.
  11. Many creative activities are not so expensive as writing, photography or painting etc. This way you can still live a fun life without getting bored and still saving for your travel.
  12. Make sure you are staying in reasonably priced place as this can be a big part of your weekly/monthly expenses whereas you need a place to sleep every night and relax really. I myself live in a place which is comfortable enough but not very expensive on the other side. At times I get tempted to get my own place but that means easily three times the expenses and when I travel I live in backpackers anyways so why spoil the habit way too much. So it is very important that you choose carefully where you live.
  13. Make sure your phone plan is according to your usage as sometimes we hardly use the credit we pay for or we get a plan for everything but we never even use much of it. This seems like small thing but we have number of such expenditure that accumulates into big money.
  14. Also because you are planning to travel so make sure you do not buy anything extra unnecessary that you might have to get rid of soon.  If you can cut back on any new expenses then do that. I have not bought even a single piece of furniture other than a single bed since I moved to Australia for last 2.5 years. No TV not evens a heater. People think I am rich but I would say that I am really good with savings as I have no support but myself to do all the things I have been done in my life since a very early age so I would give credit to my ability to save and know my priorities well.
  15. Use online banking often to see how much money have you got in your account and try not to use credit card too much as it makes you lose account of the money you owe very easily and next thing you know – you are in big debt and that becomes another reason not to be able to travel. Also if you do use credit card then sign up for rewards on credit cards.
  16. If you put your heart on travelling then it’s a good advice to be extremely cautious before taking any loan as that can restrict you with time and money both. Go for house loan only when you are sure you can rent it out for good amount of money when you go away and still pay the mortgage as that is one of the biggest reason people can’t travel many times. Once you are done travelling there will be plenty of opportunity to think about such long time commitments but till then it’s better to keep an eye on your ambitious plans about owning things.
  17. Make a list of things you might like to do before you travel and then prioritise them as many times there are things that make you happier and are less expensive to do so this will give you a clear picture as to what you might like to do to save money and still stay happy.
  18. Open a saving account and transfer some money to that account when you get your salary and forget about it as this will make sure that you are saving some money every month no matter what. And then either you can contribute to it more or take out from it in case of emergency.
  19. Take up another job if you can and also think of starting something new that can help you support while you are travelling. Example: online business, travel blog etc.
  20. Keep an eye on the flight deals for the various destinations. Also few airlines give cheap tickets on certain days of the week so better plan accordingly as it can easily make difference of 10% to 50% sometimes.
  21. See if you can do without the gym membership as sometimes a good gym can cost quite a bit. And if you are already doing hiking or running outside then you can keep some weights and few other things at home and make a mini gym to work out for no fee at all.
  22. Buying used stuff can sound not so good but at times it is worth considering for furniture and other stuff if you really need it. Also make sure you can differentiate between the things you may want and things that you need. As many times we have huge expenses over things that we want and not really need.
  23. Deals and coupons’ are a great way to save money. Since I have moved to Australia I myself have done so many things with some very good deals. And if you are flexible enough then you can get yourself a very good deal for the things you want to do or for food outlets.
  24. Sometimes we have so many things that we can use so go for a garage sale and try to get rid of the stuff you don’t need. This is a win-win as you make money and also get rid of extra stuff.
  25. Make a diary if you can with some pictures of various places you want to go in the front few pages and write down the inflow and outflow of money every month. You can do it with the online banking and see how much you are earning, how much you are saving and how much you are spending. Once you make this habit then you will start thinking in the direction of saving money and you will be able to come up with new ideas to save money as a way to go to these dream destinations. Think how much fun it would be to sit in one of the most beautiful locations in the world and think about all the smart thinking you put in all this planning that successfully got you there. It is worth doing I promise.

Food with Faces

 

This image got my attention and I had to observe it for may be few minutes to make sure that its not a funny looking man looking directly at me but a creative attempt by Alex J. Jefferies.

Don’t Drink before Diving with Great White Sharks – Bucket-List 2013 Week 5

Finally with a cup of ginger and lemon tea I am gaining my senses back. It’s been quiet a long period I would say since I had left for Adelaide and from a simple weekend away gateway it turned into a roller coaster adventure with a lot of things packed into very few days.

Item Number #23 – Swim with White Sharks and Item Number #10 – Try couch surfing in Australia

Eyeballing the cage

I left for the Airport to complete another item on my bucket list and it was couch surfing and visit one of the 7 new city/town in next 7 months. It was a cloudy day in Adelaide and I was not sure what I will be doing in this part of South Australia looking at the weather. All I had planned was to book a return ticket and arranged to couch surf there. Other than this I had no clue what I am supposed to do in this new place. I am getting used to of this now – going to a new place with no plan and do stuff there accordingly. Only if I knew I will end up encountering a dozen sharks after no sleep and few drinks one of these nights I was about to spend in South Australia. Yes right, it is not a good idea to drink if you are going to dive with great white sharks my dear friends. And this is coming from my personal experience.

I arrived at the place I was supposed to stay and there was a surprise waiting for me there. I realized that I was about to meet few fellow couch surfers and talk all day about life and philosophy and learn a lot of new things today. I didn’t have much sleep the day before the flight so I was a bit tired and cloudy weather seemed perfect to relax and wind down after 16 very busy days of my life (including sailing lesson and attending many social events other than trying to come up with many ideas to finish few bucket list items and not to say full time work with two night time deployments). I was feeling so happy to finally get this weekend for myself. I was at the door of my host in Adelaide and Sebastian, fellow German couch surfer welcomed me in this new place. It was a different feeling to be in this house. Something spiritual about the house and peaceful environment. I felt so happy instantly and started to relish the beauty of this new place with a garden, a pet cat and few chicken in the backyard. The lady who was hosting me wasn’t around so Sebastian, who was also couch surfing there gave me a quick run of the place and offered me some Jasmine tea. It was quiet refreshing. We talked about a lot of things including bin diving or so called dumpster diving. The people here were doing some bin diving which I had no clue what it was so I really enjoyed learning about it. And guess what here is a complete guide about it as well – Dumpster-Dive

Then I met another girl named Ariana, who was living there with the host (lady). She is a brilliant and charming 19 years old Indian girl. I enjoyed my conversation with her about India, social problems in India and a lot more. I already felt that I am going to miss staying here once I am back. Marion, the lady who was hosting me here, also arrived from Victoria as she was gone to attend a retreat and we discussed her experience there. Another couch surfer Nick joined us towards the night. Marion is a great lady and an awesome host. Last year she hosted more than 200 people at her place. Amazing right. Here I was enjoying my first couch surfing experience with such an amazement.

Next day I prepared cheesy egg frittata with Nick for three of use (Nick, Sebastian and myself) as Marion already had her breakfast and Ariana had left for her Art school workshop. And guess what it was the best meal I ate after a while, may be because I was cooking 😉 Anyways I felt home at that place and we started making plans for the day when I started checking about Shark Diving in the area as mentioned by Ariana a day before. I am not sure what came over me and I booked the returned ticket to Port Lincoln in another two house for the dive as it was one of the things on my bucket list. I was lucky when I called the tour company and they say the tour is being operated everyday and there are quiet good chances to see shark these days. Only issue was my return flight was around 6:30 PM and the tour doesn’t usually end till late evening. I was a bit in mess now as I had to be back somehow to be back at work on Monday morning. Here I was sitting in-front of the chair and wanted to bang my head against the wall thinking of my hastiness at times. But any ways I saw this as an opportunity to complete the task on my bucket list and felt quiet enthusiastic and somehow I felt I can make it and things will be alright. So I booked a night in Port Lincoln and early morning (6 AM) tour for cage diving with the great white dangerous sharks. I left Adelaide with a note that if they don’t hear back from me then I might be in some shark’s stomach 😉

I arrived at the hostel where I was staying for the night – YHA. I already started meeting people who were going for the dive or who had done it. I was so excited that I can’t put it into words. I met this group of English guys and had my dinner talking to them about their experience with the sharks and sharing my experience of my bucket list so far. More people joined us and here I was playing different weirdly named card games (one of them was shithead, I wasn’t sure if it was the right name really). I was enjoying the game when everyone started drinking wine and I was offered some as well. I thought for a moment but then joined everyone else. I am not sure what was I thinking really as after few drinks I was not sure how am I going to make it for the early morning departure to the port. And on top of that I agreed to go to the pub with others. Here I was feeling all uneasy with the constant reminder of the tour so I went outside the pub to get some air. The worst was still waiting though. When I wanted to go back the bouncer didn’t allow me in saying that after 1 AM no one is allowed back into the pub. It was one of the most stupid thing I had ever heard whereas the group I came with was still inside. I called a taxi and made my home to get some sleep then. Only when I arrived at the hostel I realized that someone from the group had borrowed my key as they didn’t have their key handy. This was not looking good anymore. Fun time seemed to be over. I had two choices – Try to sleep in the living area in the couch. But then I had to get my key back to check out in the morning. I tried to knock on the door but no one opened the room I was staying. I was already regretting over the decision of drinking tonight. I decided to stay awake till others come back and get my key back to let myself into my room. It was so hard to keep my eyes open. I made my way to the kitchen and made some tea for myself. There was some free food in the fridge and I got some munchies from the shelf to make sure that I am fully awake this night no matter what. It was getting really hard to manage things at this stage now. I was partially awake when after few hours may be around 3 AM when two guys came from the group and asked me what I am doing here. I explained that I do not have the key. They felt sad for me after knowing the whole story and stayed with me in the living room to wait for others to be back so that I can get my key back. I was more assured now that I might be able to make it to the port tomorrow morning.

Finally I got my key around 4 AM and let myself in the room and got ready to sleep for two hours as the tour bus was supposed to be there by 6:30 AM. It was going to be the most ridiculous thing I had ever done I felt. But anyways I was in the flow making my journey more adventurous then it could be I thought. But it was still not that easy. There were many knocks on the door all night as there were quiet a few people drinking from my room and none of them had key. Yes it was a day of loosing key I felt. 6 AM – Someone’s alarm went off. I woke up quickly and saw others getting ready to leave. And I ran after them and realized that they didn’t bother to ask the driver to wait for few minutes. Here I was all ready but had missed my bus. I called the tour company and thankfully they send me another cab. I was finally able to catch the boat.

We all were welcomed with some early morning snacks. And I got introduced to this couple from Perth who were here to celebrate their second anniversary. What a great way to celebrate, although people were making jokes around wife to have a insurance for the husband. I didn’t take much time to drift to deep sleep when we left for a 3 hour journey to Neptune Island for our dive.

Finally some one from the crew woke me up and asked if I can go with the first group. Wow, this was quiet a wake up call now as my stomach was hurting with this bumpy ride till here and I still was suffering from the hangover. Really, Do I look so keen? I felt that it’s better to just go so I accepted to be the part of the first group. And they gave me all the gears to get ready.

It was quiet a relief when I came to know that we do not have to carry cylinder as they had tubes to supply oxygen in the cage. We were soon getting interviewed about how excited we were to see the sharks. To be honest I couldn’t be more dazed doing something like this after a really big night. But I had to smile on the camera no matter what as it was going to be my big moment, if only I survive and not get eaten by any shark interested in me. I finally got into water and felt a surge of excitement in me. My inside diver was coming out full of curiosity. I soon was a normal diver with my brain functioning quiet well now under water. And I started looking for the sharks around. It wasn’t long that we started spotting few of them swimming around. Soon we were a bit shaken in the cage by their excitement to catch the food thrown from the boat. One of them even hit the cage so hard that I had to hold myself back not to swim out the gap in the cage. It was mind blowing to see them so close where I had an eye on the gap as there are stories of small sharks entering the cage through it.

Finally after an hour we went out the cage which was good as I was freezing by then and was done with shark seeing. We had our lunch once we got changed after a shower. I was tired and happy and excited all at the same time. I felt as if I was mesmerized by these beautiful but dangerous creatures. I was so lucky in terms of timing as today it was a small group of people and we got to see shark soon as compared to other days. Hence we headed back way too early – 2 PM. And got back by 4:30 PM and I had enough time to catch my flight back to Adelaide.

With Dan, Skipper

With Dan, Skipper

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Posing with Dani, the host in the tour – she is just awesome 🙂

I am lucky when it comes to meet people I guess as on my way to Airport I got to share the taxi with this another amazing group of Tennis players who shared their experience of traveling around the world and it didn’t let me feel bore on the way to airport or another hour spent there. I was over the moon now after everything was falling in place. When I got back to Adelaide, I went back to the same place I was couch surfing. I met Marion and Sebastian there. I offered to cook some Indian curry and rice. We all shared the meal and it was the perfect way to end this trip really. Next morning my flight was very early (6 AM). Yes, this is early for me usually as I had to be there by 5 AM and that meant I had to get up by 4:30 at least. Marion was so helpful that she offered me lift to the airport in the morning. We enjoyed music – Santana by Carlos Augusto Alves Santana, a Mexican and American musician. I loved it. I was able to catch my flight to Sydney and went to work straight from the airport. I have done it few other times last year so it was OK to see people staring at me thinking I might have lost my way to enter with my big backpack.

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Back in Adelaide airport

So this was my adventure for this weekend. I hope you enjoyed it with me 😉

See you soon with more updates on my bucket list dear friends. Till then have fun 🙂

Bucket-List 2013 Week 3 – Aroma and taste with a glass of wine

There is some more update that I had to put for last week as I do have one item #50 that says – ‘Each Week’ and anther one on trying different cuisines. Here is also a link for my bucket list for 2013 if you don’t remember or haven’t had a look yet. My Promise to live life – My BucketList 2013

A little bit different and also another post about the fears I have in my life with a reflection of other reader’s experiences along with it. My Fears. One items already finished earlier this week: One item crossed off the list with an awesome day

Also another post on the week before since I have started this bucket list of mine.https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/bucket-list-2013-week-1-belgian-beer-and-a-girl-with-a-hood/

Now time for the weekly item #50 – Do one thing new each week

Last week new thing was to attend a social party at my own and it might not be different for you but for me it was a big thing.  I was a bit confused but then I paid $15 AUD for the party and that kind of made sure that I have a ticket and now I need to make sure I go there, after all I have paid for it. I was a bit confused about this whole thing initially and few times I also got a bit nervous to be honest. But since I have started my bucket list, I have done so many things that I guess my fear about meeting people or strangers is going away. And also I organized an event myself for a meetup group that I own now last week so each time I think it’s getting easier for me to just walk in and start talking to people there. After all we all are there for the same purpose – meet people. It was on Friday and when I arrived there I saw many Indian guys around and as per the invite it was supposed to be for Sydney Expats (may be that includes many Indians these days). Not that I have any problem with that but I was expecting more of a mixed crowd really to get to know more about different culture but then I realized that the organizer himself is Indian so this might not be a co-incident after all.

Any ways I met two girls at first, both from New Zealand. It was a delight to talk to them and we all get along very well. The girls were impressed by me as I showed up there by myself and that gave me a boost to get more confident although I kind of stayed around the same table half of the time. See I just couldn’t think of leaving the table and move around the room and talk to more people. So I still need to work on my skills or may be it was a evening event and involved drinks so I didn’t find myself too comfortable talking to many people just randomly. Later that evening I met many people as although I had fixed my position but many others were moving so it made my job less hectic. I met a Persian lady after some time who realized that I am a bit nervous about moving across the room so she took me by hand literally and got into as many groups as possible so that I meet more people. It was fun as we were more of a team now and it made it easier to approach groups and introduce ourselves than going all by myself. I enjoyed this process in her company but as I had to start my sailing course the next day so I took my leave around 10 PM. It was an eventful night talking to many people from various industries and backgrounds.

Item Number #30 – Try at least 10 different cuisines

Last week I tried the below cuisines:

  1. Vietnemese – I tried famous Vietnamese soup ‘Pho’ with chicken. It was so delicious and healthy as well.

20130521_213527 20130521_213532 20130521_2135412. Italian – ‘Gnocchi con pecorino al tartufo’ potato gnocchi, butter, truffled pecorino  in ‘Uccello’ at Ivy, Sydney

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So that makes it total four cuisines so far  including Belgian and Lebanese (see the link below for the same. Six more to go to complete item number #30

https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/bucket-list-2013-week-2-bridge-climb-social-event-and-a-lot-more/

https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/bucket-list-2013-week-1-belgian-beer-and-a-girl-with-a-hood/

Alright, I will come back soon for this week’s update as we are in week 4 now and I am hoping to bring you some really exciting news next week as the next item on my list is very new to me and it might change the way I travel even. Till then keep smiling and stay happy my dear friend.

Regards,

Kavita

Why do you travel?

Hi My Dear Friends,

How was your day so far? I have been thinking about the various reasons why people travel or why they would like to travel in their life and have been intrigued by the myths around not travelling and the reasons for the as well. Here is a very basic image that I created in order to understand the advantages and disadvantages of travelling. On the left hand side are some of the reasons to travel and right hand side are the fears or reasons not to travel. Please share your insight in this as most of you do travel or want to travel so give me 5 reasons for travelling and few for not travelling. I would love to hear from you on this 🙂

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Travel Myths

We call them myths because we ourselves are creating them.

  • Its expensive
  • I would not have any job if I travel
  • Danger – I may get killed or robbed
  • I have kids
  • It’s not safe to travel
  • I am alone
  • It’s irresponsible
  • Its a stupid risk to leave your job and travel
  • I am vegeterian
  • It’s bad economy so can’t leave job
  • I have a husband and he doesn’t want to travel / I have a wife and she doesn’t want to travel
  • I have a house and stuff here
  • I am planning to travel in future
  • I don’t want to be called crazy

Let’s share some insight and experiences that you had around this as many of us might have some issues while starting on their various travel expeditions.

World’s End is here, what you are going to do? Please don’t Jump at least – Part 4 (Travel faster or Fast Travel – Sri Lanka in 7 crazy days)

Yes I really mean it – don’t jump when you see World’ end. You will see what I mean. So in continuation of my last three posts here is the fourth one and hopefully we will finish with the journey soon. Here are the links to my old posts in the series in case you are interested, although there is no as such dependency hence you can enjoy just this post as well.

Part 1: https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/travel-faster-or-fast-travel-sri-lanka-in-7-crazy-
days
Part 2: https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/go-go-go-rest-of-sri-lanka-is-waiting-part-2-travel-faster-or-fast-travel-sri-lanka-in-7-crazy-days/
Part 3: https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/time-to-slow-down-wait-one-more-day-to-go-before-that-part-3-travel-faster-or-fast-travel-sri-lanka-in-7-crazy-days/

And now that we have enjoyed one of the most amazing train ride to Nuwara Eliya, time to explore this city located at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) and one of the most important location for tea production. So do remember to drink tea here 🙂

It was almost 3 AM when I got here so first thing I wanted to do was to find a place to live. As always I depended upon the local expert advice and got a home stay after some research around the area – close enough to be able to walk to the main market and far enough to get it in budget. But it’s a very expensive place to live as compared to other towns as most of the things are imported in this town. But after talking to locals they feel it’s worth as the water here is purified and tap water is drinkable as compared to the other towns and many other good things about the town in spite of high taxes. After arranging my stay in a small lodge, owned by a very friendly family, I headed to find my favorite Sri Lankan food – Kottu (roti/bread made with various vegetables). I try to look for places where locals eat as such places have got more authentic food and also you get to meet locals at times. I end up meeting few people who could speak Hindi (my native language) in one of such local restaurant. They treated me like a VIP, and to be honest after such a long and tiring day I just loved it. They also told me a little bit about how to get around and places worth visiting here. I was lucky to witness a festival, a Hindu procession, that they were celebrating that day in the town as well. And then I visited a local temple.

I bid goodbye to my new local friends in the restaurant and it was time to mingle with the family where I was staying. I had a really nice conversation with them and they told me about a place called – ‘World’s End’. I listened to the name and that’s it. It was something I had to see as the name was so fascinating that I had to see what’s it all about. Now to remind you, in Sri Lanka there is entrance fees on most of the things. And the this was one of the most expensive places to visit. As there is no public transport to get here so you have a choice from hiring a car to an Auto-rickshaw. Also it takes at least 3 hours (with speed) to visit this place and 1.5 hours to get here. So in total at least 6 hours time is needed. One more tip: This is actually a very high place (you will see the details soon), and the weather here is clear mostly in the mornings only so the earlier you start, the better it is. Also if you can get some locals to show you around then it is awesome because the fees for local is lot less than foreigners (4500 Sri Lankan Rupee) and 3500 Rupee for Auto-rickshaw hire. So here I was, about to start my journey to the world’s end and was about to find out the truth. Is it really the end of the world? I was so excited and it reminded me of movie 2012. Is it going to be more adventurous than that. Lol, lets find out.

There are two main places here – World’s End (870 m) and Mini World’s End (270 m). Depending upon which way you choose, you will arrive at one of them first and then another 0.5 KM will take you to the another spot. Its about 8 KM walk that also includes a waterfall called – Baker’s Fall. A very beautiful and scenic place but requires some climbing down to it. Although locals makes it looks simple even in their floaters but be careful as it might be slippery and steep so keep your stuff in a bag and good shoes will help as well. And do not worry about getting dirty in the mud as it is also a possibility. Weather wise this place is amazing as every half kilometer the weather changes and you might get a chance to see sun, rain and fog all in few hours. So keep a jumper and a rain jacket with you in case you prefer to stay warm and cozy.

Now that I am running out of space in this post so I will continue in next post with the closing of this series. But next destination is full of natural places that you can visit for free. And also a very heart warming story is waiting for you that melted my heart as I was about to get a bit frustrated of being treated like a tourist (money spending machine) all the time. So hold on as I will be back soon. Till then Stay healthy and keep smiling 🙂

See Gurgaon, India from a common man’s eyes

Awe

Awesome ‘Parathe’ made by Monika…She is an expert when it comes to food…Loving it 🙂

Another bright day in Delhi - View from Balcony

Another bright day in Delhi – View from Balcony

Street view in Delhi - Pahar Ganj, where my friend from Australia is staying

Street view in Delhi – Pahar Ganj, where my friend from Australia is staying

Ready to start the day - Lets roll

Ready to start the day – Lets roll

"Who

I would take the Auto-Rickshaw now - True Indian....lol

I would take the Auto-Rickshaw now – True Indian….lol

Waiting at the crossing - Road shared by the rich and the poor

Waiting at the crossing – Road shared by the rich and the poor

All dressed in suit but traveling by Auto - Unique combination

All dressed in suit but traveling by Auto Rickshaw – Unique combination

Rising city - Gurgaon

Rising city – Gurgaon

Now that's a bit difficult to cross but I will try any ways

Now that’s a bit difficult to cross but I will try any ways

What else could give my day a finishing touch - Delicious food by Monika dear again, she is a pro

What else could give my day a finishing touch – Delicious food by Monika dear again, she is a pro

I am enjoying my stay with Monika so much...Thank you Monika and Avdhesh for making  my visit to India so much fun

I am enjoying my stay with Monika so much…Thank you Monika and Avdhesh for making my visit to India so much fun

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Sweet-tooth….I can Understand

Who doesn’t like a candy or a lolly? At least most of us have some time in our life have savored an ice-cream or desert. I have taken a picture of my plate in Sydney Tower restaurant. I know this is too many but being a sweet tooth I could not resist but try all kinds of deserts available. Have you ever wondered how the custom of sugar started? There is almost 100 pounds of sugar consumption in United States every year. It was also called ‘White Gold’ once and the recipe was a well-preserved secret. It is a native product of Southeast Asia. Brazil produces the most today although Portuguese had brought it there in 16th century.

It was very interesting how Sugar played a major role in slavery as well. It was like a three-step cycle. Slaves would be sent to work for it, once the product is made it will be sold to Europe and then more products would be brought to Africa and slaves would be bought with them.

Britain is also argued to have lost their colonies to independence because the military was protecting the sugar islands. So the same sugars we eat almost every day in various food products have made its way to different culture and nation with a lot of stories. It was identified and used in the form of sugarcane very early in India. No wonder I have so many deserts to enjoy the evening today being an Indian 🙂

Let Go – Gift for yourself (Part 1)

We hold on to things since we are born. We clutch our hands on whatever things we can as a baby. May be because we leave a world where we felt safe and secure for almost 9 months and then we came to this world full of people and new scenery. It’s the feeling of belonging that we all want. Although sometimes we mix that with things and emotions and memories. We are good with sticking to habits but not very good in choosing them consciously first. And since childhood we start to see the change in everything around us. If we can make ourselves flexible to do that then it is ideal. But not all of us can cope with changes that take place around us all the time and we try to hold on to different things, emotions, memories to keep ourselves in an impression that things are the same and we are living the similar life as we used to.

It hurts when we start holding on to negative emotions like anger or feeling of revenge. Any such emotions leads to frustration and as found by science that emotions work as “on-off switch” for learning. And every day we have to learn or use our brain productively most of the time. Once we have the negative feelings then our brain interpret any information as negative and we lose interest quickly. And if we are happy then the brain interprets the same information as positive and sends a message of purpose and excitement that in turn directs the behaviour towards a goal.

Just like food, it is very important what we feed our brain as well. And we are not referring to the information but rather talking about the emotions as they are the key drivers of how we are going to perceive that information and how effectively we are going to make use of it. You must have observed when we are sad or grumpy we tend to miss bits and pieces of information that we either read or watch in television. Whereas when we are emotionally light or I would say emotionally available then we are more focused on what we are reading/watching.

Let go of such emotions. Holding on to old things is not as bad as holding on to the old grudges. Every time someone either treat us bad or make us do things forcefully, we get angry and if we hold on to that anger then it stirs the negative energy in us from time to time. Also if we have fear in us about failure in life or work then again that emotion drives our behaviour. We will have to first learn what emotions we might be holding on to. We can do some exercises like writing down the past memories that still makes us feel bad and observe how we feel when we think about it. Most of the emotions can be related to fear and anger. Now I understand that process of let go is not as easy as we say. But I would say that take it as a decision you make. We never harm anyone else by hating them or fearing them but we are our own enemy when we do that. It hurts us and no one else. So why not give yourself a gift and let go of such emotions. Forgiveness is the best way to do it. Decide that you want to forgive people who hurt you. Decide that you want to change the association of your fear to certain situations and see them in new light.

It’s just a start and I am going to write more about how we can use various techniques to let go as we move on. I would like to hear your perspective and problems that you face when you try to let go. As I am no expert but I am trying to let go as well. Why not we do it together as we all need support when we try to become a better and happy person.