Just kidding, I still don’t say y’all, despite living in the South for over a year now 🙂
I know it’s been a hot minute since I last posted, but I am happy to report that I am BACK with a new look and lots of new things to discuss in the coming days, weeks, months…you get the idea.
As you can tell, I’ve given my blog a bit of an aesthetic overhaul (Do you like it?! Let me know in the comments!), and in the process I’ve learned so many new skills with regard to web design, coding, hosting, the works. I am by no means an expert, but I am very proud of myself for tackling all that I have and learning something new in the process!
As I said, I have lots of new topics to cover and I really hope you find them interesting. Spoiler alert: some of them will involve speaking with you beautiful people, so keep your eyes pealed for a call to action! Additionally, I am always looking for feedback and suggestions, so don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts on how I can improve my blog! After all, it’s not here just for me 🙂
So here’s to the future!
And in the meantime, let’s take a look at the past so I can answer the question – where the heck have I been?
The answer is – a LOT of places.
I have been very fortunate to have done a lot of traveling since I last posted, and I’d love to briefly share some of those adventures here – as evidence that I haven’t just been slacking on my blog!
Outer Banks, NC
Last September we spent a weekend in the Outer Banks (OBX), off the coast of North Carolina. This was Vikram’s second trip and my third, but it was by far our favorite experience thus far!
If you’re not familiar, the Outer Banks is a thin strip of land along the North Carolina coast that separates the mainland from the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a beautiful, relaxed getaway that offers beautiful beaches, countless recreational activities, adorable shops, wild horses, and colorful seaside architecture. (If you’ve ever seen the movie Nights in Rodanthe, that was filmed in OBX!)
We spent two full days in the Outer Banks, and were able to cover nearly everything from Corolla in the north to Okracoke Island in the south. We covered a total of around 100 miles, but it never felt like too much.
Both Vikram’s and my birthday are in September, and our American wedding anniversary is in September as well. This was meant to be a weekend to celebrate all of our September holidays, except for the fact that…
Denver, Colorado and Rocky Mountains
…I surprised Vikram with a huge surprise party in Colorado for his 30th birthday!! He had absolutely no idea, and I plan on sharing the full story of how I pulled it off in a later post. (Hint: I didn’t do it alone!)
We were in Colorado for a long weekend, and were able to explore Colorado Springs and a bit of Denver just the two of us before our friends pulled the big surprise at a cabin nestled in the Rockies. We spent the weekend hiking, cooking group dinners, and making wonderful memories 🙂
Yes, we went to India!!! This was my third trip, and I must say that India gets better and better with every visit. It also helped that this was our first trip without any specific obligations – our first trip was filled with wedding festivities, and my second trip was short and filled with shopping/planning for our American wedding.
This time we were in India for three weeks, and in that time we were able to sink into everyday routines and simply live with Vikram’s family in Punjab – something I hadn’t really been able to do before, and something Vikram hadn’t done in far too long. We shopped, did chores, went to papa’s shop, and laughed over meals as a family. We spent a night in Shimla, a vacation city in the Himalayas (known as a “hill station” in India), and finally made it to the tech center that is Pune, where Vikram used to work and live before coming to the U.S. It was so nice to see a different version of India than the one that I’m used to in Punjab – Pune is a very cosmopolitan city, but without the crowds like you find in Mumbai or Delhi. Plus the shopping was top-notch 🙂
We planned our trip to coincide with some key holidays so that we could celebrate them in full Indian style with Vikram’s family. The first was Karva Chauth, which is a festival celebrated primarily in Punjab in which wives fast all day for their husbands – not even water is allowed! Our fast is broken once we see the moon through a special sieve. I celebrate Karva Chauth in the U.S., but it was nice to have my mother-in-law and sister-in-law’s company and support 🙂
Going through the markets was an amazing experience, as they were packed with extra vendors and special goods during festival season. I got my mehendi for Karva Chauth sitting in the market streets just like the locals, and the crowds only continued to grow as it got closer to Diwali. We celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, watching fireworks on the roof and setting off our own firecrackers in the street.
As always, our trip ended far too soon, and we are already itching to go back!
We spent Christmas and New Year’s in Minnesota, where we were able to spend time with our nearest and dearest during our favorite time of the year.
My favorite part of the holidays was spending time with my mom. We talk all the time – nearly every day, often multiple times per day – but ever since we moved to North Carolina we rarely get to see each other and spend time together. It was so nice to have time with my mom to bake holiday treats, go Christmas shopping, decorate the house, and watch cheesy rom-coms together!
I was very fortunate to be able to spend two weeks in Florida in February, which is the perfect mid-winter time for a tropical getaway if you ask me. I found an outrageously cheap one-way ticket into Orlando ($19.20 on Frontier, anyone??), where I met my mom. The original plan was to spend some time helping rebuild a family friend’s vacation home from damage sustained during Hurricane Matthew. Luckily for us, the rebuilding plans were cancelled and we were free to spend our first week relaxing and ocean-side shopping on the Space Coast. We visited New Smyrna Beach and St. Augustine, and whiled our days away in the sun (with lots of sunscreen for me).
Vikram drove down to meet us halfway through my stay, for the express purpose of going to DISNEY WORLD!! I’ve been going to Disney World since I was a baby, and it is easily one of my favorite places in the universe. I was thrilled to bring Vikram for his first time, and was even able to spend two of our four Disney days with my mom, who hadn’t been to Disney World for nearly 20 years. It was quite a magical trip, to say the least 🙂
As you can see, I’ve been a very busy bee the past 7 months, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Now I look forward to getting back into the swing of things with my blog and some other creative endeavors on the horizon. I can’t wait to share it all with you!
Once again, please share any and all feedback in the comments section below! I would love to hear your thoughts on my new blog design, and suggestions for any blog topics you would like me to write about. If you’re interested in keeping up with my blog, be sure to follow me on social media and sign up to receive email notifications when new posts are added!