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16 and Counting!

Oh Sweet 16th… I still remember it like it was yesterday – not that it was very far behind. But every  birthday marks a milestone. Ever since I was a kid, it was celebrated as soon as the month began, yearly. My little celebration of me that was peppered with shopping sprees (amidst exams) bustle of daily life, full of food indulgences and lots more. 

Clearly in love with cake from a very young age

Clearly in love with cake from a very young age

To the best of my memory – from pictures and tales by my nearest and dearest – my 1st was celebrated amidst animals. Not in the Amazon nor a tropical safari in Africa, but in a Zoo. Pictures of me holding a chick brought about a chain of thought…When did the carefree sense of birthdays turn into a 16th birthday that I would consider, a turning point in my life?!

1 year old mini me

Celebrated at the Hard Rock Cafe after a day of school/classes and extracurricular activities, a choice was made for me to venture to the land down under and experience life. I’m guessing it was a tough decision that was made on my behalf, but that, has taught me more about life and independence than anything else.

For a self-declared spoilt brat who had almost everything I wanted, while having being disciplined/ reasoned with when the need arose, being left to my own devices could have been a hit/miss. I left home to pursue my adventures and continue my education alone in a new country, with the inner fire that I’d make the effort count.

“Give it my all, or nothing at all & Make the sacrifice of being away from special occasions, family, friends and all things amazing matter”. I came to that realisation and left a note for both my folks on the day that I left and made good of my personal aim.  Having a good support system available within technological reach definitely did help. It certainly wasn’t an easy walk in the park, but I got to come back home every 10 weeks, after each term. Leaving each time was harder than the previous, but I survived it.

At a Vineyard in Sydney/ Blue Mountains

At a Vineyard in Sydney/ Blue Mountains

The beginning of sitting on a plane every 2-3 months was something that I did not expect and It lasted quite a few years, well into adulthood. Yay for frequent flier miles and occasional free flight that came about! Eventually, I had to get creative with figuring out how to maximise my baggage allowances – 40kgs on a student ticket somehow never seemed enough. Add a bulky laptop to the mix (This was before thin and light notebooks were all the rage, by the way) and I barely had any hand carry to max out. Oh the joys!

Someone needs to come up with a magical portable wardrobe or something for people like me, STAT. Inventors/Wizards/Magicians, your new project awaits and I’ll gladly do a trial run – if I have a guarantee that my stuff wouldn’t be lost in transit or an alternate realm.

When faced with tough choices these days, the 1st thought that comes up…. “If I thrived alone at 16, I can do it again when I’m much older and more sensible (or so, I’d like to think). And so, the road to adulthood began, subconsciously and unknowingly. I’m glad it did, and this is one never-ending road trip that I’m all buckled up for!!


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