what's my life like now?
A number of years have now passed from when the last chapter in my book drew to a close.
What’s my life like now? Where am I and what am I doing?
Actually, not much has changed in that regard. Writing a book is a mammoth task that took up more than a year of my life! I’m still living in Mumbai, and still writing about India travel for About.com (now Tripsavvy) in the US. My husband and I have moved into an apartment we own in Mumbai, and it’s been completely renovated to our requirements.
However, there have been a number of personal changes, changes inside me.
I liken moving to a foreign country to having a relationship with someone. First, there’s the falling in love stage, where everything is interesting and wonderful. Then, there comes the criticisms. And, after that (hopefully) the acceptance.
I feel like I’ve finally reached the acceptance stage. I feel a sense of balance. I’ve realised that I can’t ever really be Indian, no matter how much I try to blend in and adapt. I know that when needs be, I can slip into behaving in a culturally Indian way. Yet, other times, I can just be myself. I guess I’ve started taking the pressure off myself to belong.
Along with this, I’ve mellowed out but at the same time have become more confident in how to deal with situations. (A bout of malaria, and an invasion of rats and bedbugs, during one of the wettest monsoons on record did wonders for my survival skills)! I’ve also started to unravel the mysteries of India, which has allowed me to stop questioning why things are the way they are.
India feels like a second home to me now. Living in a neighbourhood where I’m not viewed as a novelty makes all the difference, especially in regards to my interactions with people. I feel like I can go between India and Australia with certain ease now, slipping to the ways of life in each country and appreciating what each one has to offer.
There are plenty of changes going on within India as well. There’s been an uprising against corruption, forcing the government into finally introducing legislation that provides for offenders to be punished. Hopefully, a major corner is being turned. It’s an exciting time to be in India, as the country throws off the encumbrances of the past and develops.
Although India continually pushes me to be out of my comfort zone, I’m also very grateful to India for just being India and presenting me with the option to learn, grow, have faith, and become a better person. Mumbai really is a cultural mishmash, where there’s something for everyone and a place for everyone. I’m very blessed that that has included me.
Our most satisfying dreams are the ones we create, not the ones we cling to. ~ Source unknown.