I was born in San Diego, California to parents from South India and was infected with the travel bug at the age of of two months, when my mom took me halfway across the world to meet our family. 30 years and 44 countries later, I am now sure that there is no cure.
Thus, I took my international upbringing to the maximum, living and working in the United States, France, Spain, Nepal, and Indonesia. I believe that travel is a way to bring good to the world, by connecting people, issues, and building a global community. Travel is a lens to see the world – too often, we only see what we want to see. I hope to break barriers and show the world as it is, by connecting it to history, society, and our own selves.
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Ubiquitous, cheap, filling, and, most importantly, delicious. Street food and Indonesia are often seen as one and the same. They are outside the shopping malls of Jakarta, providing a cheap alternative to western-priced fare inside for mall staff, tucked into alleys in Denpasar, in specially designated areas in Solo, always within a few minutes walk in any city, amazing for a country where nearly everything requires you to drive. Street food is to Indonesia as boulangeries are to France. Unlike French bakeries, though, street food is...read more
Last year, after finals, I decided to take a break and attend the weekly Couchsurfing meetup in New York City. Though I was an active traveler before, Couchsurfing in Europe and Asia and hosting and organizing events in San Francisco, here, in New York, school and roommates kept me less involved than before. Before the event, I joined some surfers for dinner. Immediately, I noticed this was unlike any other Couchsurfing meetup I’d ever been to. One girl had never used the site as a guest or host, only to meet people to go drinking with....read more
It’s now been more than five years since I returned from my first great voyage, my around the world trip. It often feels like it was much further than that, mostly because of how much my perspective on traveling has changed. During that trip, I visited 28 countries. Of those 28, I spent more than a month in six. Of those six, none was an unexpected as Malaysia. I knew, beforehand, that I’d spend time in Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Thailand. Nepal beat out Sri Lanka due to instability in the latter. But Malaysia was unexpected, in...read more
Up, on the slopes of Signal Hill, in a picturesque neighborhood of colorful, old Cape Town homes, was an amazing neighborhood, Bo Kaap, the Malay quarter, home to the mostly Islamic descendants of slaves from modern-day Indonesia and Malaysia, who’s arrived here nearly 300 years ago. Indonesia was my home last summer, so up the hill I went, to see if anything here resembled what I’d seen then. Few here had even been to Southeast Asia, having been disconnected for generations. In some ways, I was a bridge, connecting two worlds....read more
From Marseille, France Agrandir le plan I promised this post – exposing some of the French stereotypes that pervade our (read: American) thinking about Europe. There’s a motto about traveling, especially when you go to a place with expectation, that you end up seeing what it is that you want to see. We go to places like France with certain expectations – perhaps, it’s bakeries on every corner, perhaps it’s something as simple as wine with every meal. Sometimes, it more, leading to disappointment. But more often,...read more
I’ve been living in San Francisco for over a year now, and in that year, I’ve made it a point to try to explore what San Francisco has to offer. I finally feel, after months and months of effort, that I know San Francisco, and that I know where to go, what to do. Obvious exception – I know nothing about high-class San Francisco life. But there are some places in this city that I absolutely love – and here, I’m going to share with you my top five “favorite places” in San Francisco. What makes something...read more