The only way is to go up.

December 24, 2021

Happy birthday Kunj! December is packed with birthdays of people who are close to me. Mom’s birthday and brother’s birthday is back to back. I often go on self reflection mode on these special days and today I went back to childhood days I spent with my brother Kunj.

I feel immensely grateful to the life that I have right now.

Growing up in a remote tribal village in India, I have always felt that the life I was living at any point is the best I could live and cannot be topped. After climbing so many steps over the years, I want to look back those steps and celebrate.

This post is a collection of those sweet memories.

Mom is a primary school teacher. Her school had this concept of annual educational travel where the school would take all students and teachers to places in Gujarat. This photo is from one of those trips.

I mentioned school in previous photo. We lived in a room that was allocated to mom in the school. This is where we spent most of our childhood years.
Monsoon season was fun to deal with every year. The water would always leak from the top and it was yearly ritual to place plastic sheet between the clay roof tiles and wooden structure.

In summer vacation at school, we’d go to our hometown, Kukeri. Nowadays if I want to drink coconut water, I’d go to grocery store and pick up packaged bottle of Vita Coco. Back in those times, we’d actually smash and cut open raw coconuts from coconut trees. Second photo is the time when we harvest rice.

The bicycle in the first photo is very very special to me. The bike had tires which couldn’t be punctured. It didn’t require air to be filled in, they were made of some composite material. Because of this we never had to worry about terrain. It didn’t go fast, but it did go everywhere!

2nd photo is the Maruti 800 in which we learned to drive. Now I drive Toyota RAV4 and Kunj drives Maruti Ertiga – which cannot even be compared to this 800. Writing this makes me smile huge! Just look at how far we have come dude!

Photos that make us so proud about parents’ profession. In the first one, Dad is taking blood samples of school students to identify their blood group. 2nd one is Mom in his well decorated classroom for which she got awarded as well.

Simple pleasure of life.
In Diwali time, it was tradition to fry “Chorafali”.
In summer time, it was tradition to go to our backyard farm, steal mangoes and eat them raw.

2014 is the time when I could see significant improvements in life. I was studying Computer Science and the people around me were pretty smart which inspired me to become better. This is the trip that started this very blog that I am writing on. Don Hill Station was my first ever blog post.

One, I learned how to smile with my teeth showing up haha. Second, I started traveling which expanded my horizons and thought process significantly. It is also during this timeframe that I learned how to take good photos which lead me into the world of photography. I wanted to take good photos to publish them along with my travel experiences on this blog.

Another turning point in life was starting full-time job after graduation. I moved to Hyderabad, which was my first experience living in a big metro city. Things worked a lot differently. Also, the financial improvements achieved via the Software Engineering job propelled horizons even further. During 2017-2019, I visited 7 countries. Count from 1994 – 2016 was 0.

Now its 2021 and I am here in Redmond, USA. Hammering keyboard from this nice apartment, sipping spinach banana protein shake. I look around and see 4 screens flashing at me. One, my laptop. Second, the monitor. Third, my phone. Fourth, my smartwatch. I turn back and see super comfortable bed waiting for me to rest on. Thinking about all these feels surreal.

…and the only way to go from here is up.



Seattle WA, USA

Hello 👋 I'm a Software Engineer based out of Seattle, WA. This is my internet backyard to share things that I do and stuff that I find interesting. I started this blog back in 2014 to share my travels stories. Glad to see you here, have a look around the website, you'll enjoy. Feel free to drop a comment or say hello. Have a beautiful day! :)