My Indian Adventure

I recently wrote about the Laws of Attraction and the overwhelming desire I have to visit India.

Well, I am beyond excited to let you, my readers, know, that I am making that dream a reality.

This Christmas, I fly out to Delhi for a 15 day trip to India.

Whilst there, I will visit Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur, Mumbai, and last but certainly not least, Goa.

I am travelling with a company who came highly recommended by a friend, and will meet my fellow travel companions on the day I arrive in Delhi.

The trip is basic, so rather than staying in modern westernised hotels, I wanted to do things the Indian way, to get a real sense of the country and Indian life. This means I’ll be staying in traditional Indian hotels (some without hot water!), taking traditional transport (including the odd rickshaw or two!) as well as eating with the locals.

In order to visit Mumbai and Goa, I’ll also be getting two overnight trains! What better way to mix with the locals and to get a real feel for Indian life!

Why am I going at Christmas I hear you ask?

I love Christmas. Or at least I used to. I loved the magic of it. Yet, the last couple of years, I feel as though I’ve lost my Christmas spirit. Part of me hopes that by escaping the chaos of a traditional western Christmas, my festive spirit will return home with me.

It’s also a great time to go from a work point of view. Our office closes down over the Christmas period, which means that for a 15 day trip I will only need to take around 5 days annual leave…

It’s also much cooler throughout India in December and January. With temperatures currently peaking at 48 degrees Celsius in parts of India, there is no way this gingernut would survive in those temperatures!

Although the trip feels a long way off with just over 6 months until I fly out there, I have a lot to organise before I leave.

With visa’s to arrange, travel insurance to buy, vaccinations to brave, a suitable Indian wardrobe to buy, and a home for my furry four legged friend whilst I am away (which isn’t going to be easy over Christmas!), there will be plenty to keep me busy over the next few months.

I still have another flight to book too! Whilst flying to Delhi is easy (a 8.5 hr direct flight from Heathrow), flying back from Goa is looking slightly more challenging, with no direct flights back to the UK.

Whilst I should probably get the return flight booked soon, there is a part of me that is far too excited about the thought of having a one way ticket to India…

This is by far the biggest adventure I will have been on.

It will certainly be a trip of firsts:

    My first group travel trip (there could be up to 15 other people on my trip)
    My first long haul flight on my own
    My first trip to India
    My first overnight train
    My first authentic Indian curry (I can’t wait for this!)
    The first time I will be sharing a room with a stranger (it was much cheaper to risk sharing with someone else on the trip than paying the single person supplement…and anyhow, part of the experience is about making new friends…)
    My first Christmas in another country, as well as my first New Year on foreign soil

I’m sure these won’t be the only firsts either.

My only hope is that I don’t become an India bore over the next few months (please tell me if I do!).

I’m looking forward to gaining a better understanding as to why India is pulling at me, and why everything seems to be leading me down this particular path…

I can’t wait to take you all on this Indian adventure with me 💕🇮🇳✨✈️

My Blogging Rituals

A couple of months ago, my blogging rituals were posted on bloggersrequired.com.

For an insight into what my blogging process looks like, why not take a look at:

https://bloggersrequired.com/my-blogging-rituals-by-cherryredgirl/

Huge thanks to bloggersrequired.com for posting my rituals 💕✨

Active Relaxation

After reading an article the other day on active relaxation, it got me thinking.

I’m not always very good at slowing down and relaxing, even at weekends. I tend to think that days sitting around not doing much are wasted days. In a world where there is so much to explore, why would I want to spend a day or two a week, not doing anything?

Although I have to admit, this afternoon has been one of those rare times I haven’t moved far from the sofa…and I haven’t felt guilty or frustrated by this in the slightest. It’s been another incredibly busy week. I crawled my way to the weekend. It’s as if my body and mind have turned and looked at each other and said, do you know what, this weekend she needs to re-charge and rest. It’s a rare thing, but for a change I’m not ignoring what my body and mind are telling me.

So despite not being very good at relaxing, I do seem to be pretty good at active relaxation. Sometimes we need to move around to feel better. Sometimes we need to get outside for a walk or some exercise to feel good, taking in some fresh air, taking in our surroundings, and watching the seasons change.

Other times, we may chose to cook to make ourselves feel better. Since I have been adjusting to living alone, I am throwing myself into cooking new and exciting dishes. Nothing overly complicated, especially during the week, as I simply don’t have the time or the energy. Even cooking simple, quick recipes for the first time helps the mind to switch off from the day to day and to concentrate on the task at hand. It’s why I love to bake too. I lose myself in the recipe (and have to admit, that whilst I like to cook new things, even the oldest dishes in my repertoire, I still need to follow a recipe to get it right 🙈), allowing me to free my mind.

Writing is also another great way to practice active relaxation. Transferring my thoughts from my mind into my blog for example, helps to clear my mind, and really helps me to process the information in a more constructive way. It makes me question my thoughts and helps me to process them, freeing up my mind, and making my mind a much more happier and relaxed place.

So, as much as I find it difficult to sit and do nothing, active relaxation appears to be something I practice a lot, without even realising it.

Are you good at relaxing? Have you tried active relaxation to help free your mind?

Homemade Harissa Paste
Harissa Chicken
Enjoying the great outdoors
Writing helps to clear my mind

Patience, Fate & Saying Things Out Loud

One of the reasons I started The Mindful Musings of a Gingernut, was to offload some of the things in my mind, in the hope that it would free up some space, and in turn, help me to process some of my musings in a more productive way.

Since creating the blog, writing things down has certainly helped me to reflect and understand some of the jumbled chaos in my noddle.

However, I increasingly find that when my mind is in overdrive, I become too scared to put pen to paper.

Sometimes there are things going on in life that I so badly want to write about, but I fear that my openness will offend or upset people.

Yet, I know writing about them would help me to process what is going on and to move forwards with a much free’er, clearer mind.

I found a great quote the other day. I’m not sure who it’s by but it’s message really resonated with me:

IMG_0515

This message feels so close to my heart and soul right now. I have so much I want to say, but writing things down, or saying them out loud, that’s another story.

In some cases, it feels like the wrong time to say or do things.

But is there ever a right time?

One of my lovely Blogging friends, The Wellbeing Blogger, posted on Instagram this week about ‘Patience’ as part of her Free 7 day Mindfulness Training programme. Her words really struck me. “Sometimes things don’t go as we wish them too. Other times they happen in a different timeline…we need to have patience and we need to let things unfold in their own time…All that is meant to be will be”

Whilst in my mind, I know this to be true, it also made my heart thump against my chest in a moment of panic. What if whilst being patient, we miss an opportunity? What if the opportunity to say things out loud has been and gone? What if we were so busy being patient and waiting for the right moment, that we missed the moment?

Or, is that moment out of our hands? Maybe we don’t need to wait for the right moment to say something. Maybe other things will happen that will naturally lead us onto the right path?

That seems to put quite a lot in the hands of fate.

However, right now, taking a chance on fate, might just be the right thing to do.

Early Riser

I love being the first to wake up in my household, especially at the weekend.

That makes it sound as though there are more than two of us living here. There isn’t. It’s just me and Ali.

When we first moved in together, I would lie in bed reading or checking my social media on my phone until he woke up. He’s not an early morning person, so that would often mean I would vegetate in bed until midday waiting for him to wake.

Just thinking about this gives me a fuzzy head.

We would get up until around midday. We’d then get up, shower, eat and wouldn’t be out enjoying the weekend until perhaps 3pm in the afternoon. If we were night owls this might be more understandable. But we were going out for a couple of hours in the afternoon to grab what was left of the day, going home, eating, watching tv and then going back to bed again.

I soon became frustrated at the chunk of the day I was missing out on for not getting up early.

So I started to get up more or less when I woke. I might give myself half an hour extra in bed just to make sure I’m fully awake and to let my body and mind catch up with each other. But after that, I’m up.

There are so many things I love about being the first to get up.

I love that the flat is quiet, except for the creaking of the radiators as they warm up and, the sound of the early morning London traffic outside.

I love the short walk across my flat to the living room blinds, and being the first to let the daylight pour into the flat, come rain or shine.

I love to be the first to walk into the kitchen to switch the kettle on, followed by the first smells of either peppermint tea or as is the case this morning, camomile and spiced apple.

I love to hear the rest of the world stirring. The sound of people starting to go about their business just outside our flat. The local shopkeepers starting to arrive to open up there businesses for the day, the sound of the flats around us waking too.

Yet, despite the sound of the city coming to life, my morning world feels calm, allowing me time to think if I chose to, giving me the opportunity to reflect on the working week thats just come to an end, or to contemplate the opportunities that may arise from the day ahead.

I also find it the best time to write. I will quite often sit and write a couple of blogs before Ali even begins to stir.

It would be nice to wake up together sometimes, but I just can’t lie in bed all morning waiting for that to happen.

Happy Saturday all x

My Notebook

I have been carrying a notebook with me for a while now.

Even pre-blog.

I have always loved writing, but I’ve never known what direction to take this in.

Fresh out of university I dabbled with the idea of becoming a travel writer.

I loved the thought of travelling the world and writing about the places I visited. However, I quickly stumbled across a few set backs. Firstly, I didn’t have the money to travel, therefore limiting the places I could write about (although the new adventurous me probably would’ve found local places to visit and write about, rather than looking to jump straight into travelling the more distant world). Secondly, I holidayed in the French Alps one winter, came home, wrote about my experiences and sent my work to a Snowboard Magazine. I heard nothing…

The younger, less confident me, decided to park that idea there and then, and I haven’t written about travel since.

Even during university I loved to write. Whether it was essays or my dissertation, I could write thousands of words about the most mundane subject, because once I start writing, I just can’t stop. Exams on the other hand are a whole other issue. If I could’ve completed all my education in essay form, I am certain I would’ve come away with more than average grades.

I have always wondered whether I have a book in me somewhere. I love romance. One of my favourite authors is Freya North. But how could I ever compete with someone as inspiring as Freya? She writes so brilliantly and makes the reader feel as though they are there, in the room her characters, silently watching, not daring to breath for fear of being caught or seen. I have this romantic image of sitting in a weather battered cottage by the sea, with a couple of four legged friends by my side while I write my bestseller…

It was only recently that Ali suggested I started to write a blog. And the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. As I sat through my coaching sessions with Beth from Transforment, I realised that my head was quite muddled, and I started to wonder whether I needed to offload some of this into properly constructed written words, sentences and paragraphs. I also started to wonder whether it would help me to write about the loss of my friend, as I wasn’t able to grieve properly at the time, perhaps writing down some of my thoughts and feelings would help.

So back to my notebook…

I carry this with me everywhere. It comes to work with me, it travels between London and Northampton in my bag, it comes with me to see friends, as I take walks around London, as I visit the fabulous sites London has to offer.

Why?

Because when I am feeling inspired by something I have seen, something I am feeling, or something else I have experienced, I have to write it down. Many of the musings I have written so far, have started from a couple of words jotted on a page when I have been on my lunch break, or as was the case this week, on a train to visit a friend.

The notes I write rarely become the full story, and as with Change (part 2), the words that finally appeared in my blog were quite different to those I had written on the train. But they do form the backbone of my ideas and help to build the story I want to tell.

I still have no idea where my writing will take me, but it is certainly helping me to reflect, to clear my mind, and to enjoy something that doesn’t seem like hard work.

In a world where I hate the sound of my alarm clock most weekdays, at the weekends and on my days off, I find myself excited to get up early, before the rest of the flat wakes, to see what journey my writing is going to take me on that day.