Colorado, Moving, New Experiences, Travel
Comments 14

Another Year, Another Adventure..

culinary school gear

It was exactly one year ago on March 4th, 2012 when our friend Doug dropped us to the Newark Airport early in the morning. It is one of those moments I will never forget.  We had been busy wrapping work, packing our apartment, renting the place and stuffing everything we would own for 5 months in our backpacks. For weeks, it hadn’t hit us that we were leaving our jobs, our home, our friends, and our lives behind.  We had been talking for almost one year about travelling  around the world. The idea seemed silly. We joked and laughed about it. It was something that would never ever happen. Who would leave their good jobs, their home, to live out of a backpack for months? We weren’t ready to do the planning that went into something monumental like this.  


IMG_0548The Day

IMG_0476Dan’s ‘stuff’ for 5 months

IMG_0481My stuff for 5 months

But the idea stuck in our heads. We talked about it every weekend. And, then we talked about it every day at work, and after work.  Soon we started to read stories of people who had done something similar and we felt that we could do it too.  We started feeling that we could break away from the traditional and do what we really want to do and be free even if it meant letting go of material comforts and secure pay checks.  We created a long list of things that needed to happen in order for us to achieve this….from big things like cutting spending and re-aligning our finances to small things like buying stuff sacks and a clothes line.  The finish line started to get closer as we started to cross things off in our Round the World To Do list.  The idea no longer seemed silly or overwhelming to achieve. We were getting closer to it, one item at a time.  

Fullscreen capture 342013 23121 PM.bmp

                                                                                               a small part of our longggg todo list

What's LeftWhat was left…

IMG_0552March 4, 2012: Day 1 of our trip

When March 4, 2012 finally came, it all hit us at the airport as our friend hugged us and bid us goodbye. We were leaving the US for a while and we didn’t know what would happen during our travel and what would happen after we got back and relocated to Colorado.  We had a couple of airline tickets, our backpacks and our excitement to see and experience the world, uninterrupted for a few months. 

The last year has been intense, crazy and exciting.  We traveled around the world, came back to US and then, drove across the country in my 12 year old Hyundai!   We found a perfect location to live in between Denver and Boulder…close enough to the mountains where we can see them every morning and witness amazing sunsets.  I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been hard. Although we had been dying to move to Colorado forever, we miss our friends back on the East coast and we miss the constant adrenaline rush of travelling.  There are days when I still look over the pictures from our travels and I wish I was still on the road.  I miss the freedom from routine and the excitement of the unknown.  Although, I do like that I get to sleep in my own comfortable bed everyday 🙂

IMG_1155First Stop – Milford Trek, New Zealand

Troups on the TopTongariro Crossing, New Zealand

dan squattingStalking Kangaroos, Port Campbell, Australia

reef 6Overcoming fear in Great Barrier Reef, Australia

IMG_6130Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

monument1Fighting the heat in Delhi, India

hungry danPigging out in Munich, Germany

img_9018.jpgCan’t get enough – Somewhere between Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald, Switzerland

IMG_9530Lost in Cinque Terre, Italy

IMG_1421Torla, Spain

IMG_1659Torla, Spain

IMG_2502Aljezur, Portugal

IMG_3703Mountains in Tennessee

IMG_4293Driving through New Mexico

IMG_4302Entering Colorado after a 3000 mile road trip in my 12 year old Hyundai

So, even though, our daily travel adventures have come to a temporary halt, we still get to hike and explore the mountains and trails in our area on the weekends. I love the fact that I can get up at 9am on the weekend and still get a serious hike in on challenging, remote trails.  This was never possible living in Hoboken. The most hiking we ever did was to the nearest brunch place on a Saturday.  

CIMG5217Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado



IMG_5271Silver Dollar Lake, Colorado


IMG_5967First time showshoeing – Evergreen, CO

IMG_6300View of Continental Divide 15 miles from our home

With these travels behind us, I’m embarking on a new adventure in 2013 —  culinary school.  From as far back as I can remember, I always loved cooking and eating :). I used to stand in the kitchen as a kid and watched my mother cook yummy dishes one after another. When I moved to the US for college, I had no choice but to cook my own food since there were limited healthy options for vegetarians.  I realized I was most happy when I was cooking and feeding other people.  Cooking as a profession was something I’d never considered because it was so unconventional in my upbringing.  After undergrad and a few years of work experience, I think I always felt like I’d end up going the conventional route – MBA school.  Even during the first few months of our travels, I was mulling over what grad programs I’d apply to in the Denver area.  I thought once I got into an MBA program, things were bound to fall into place and I’d know what to do with my future.  

But the experiences over the last year have brought me a little closer to clarity.  I realized it is ok not knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life, even at the age of 30.  It is ok if you haven’t figured it all out. I knew what I didn’t want to do at the moment – I didn’t want to go to MBA school. I didn’t want another desk job at a big corporation.  I knew I wanted to be outside in nature.  I knew I wanted to learn new skills. I knew I wanted to cook more and be healthy.

I guess I did figure out a few things. 

Once I moved to Colorado, it wasn’t hard to make the decision to go to a culinary school. I had always wanted to learn the right way to cook food, and the science behind it.  Once I got over the fear of doing the unconventional, I leaped right into it.   

Am I scared? Yes, I am scared. I am scared of failing. I am scared of looking back and thinking what a complete disaster of a decision this was. But, I felt the same way about leaving India to attend college in the US, about leaving my job in NYC, about traveling the world with nothing but a backpack, and about picking up and moving across the country to Colorado.  And everything turned out fine and so hopefully this will too!

Yesterday, March 4, 2013,  was my first day in the culinary school kitchen brandishing my fancy knives and donning my ill-fitting chef jacket, making it another moment in my life that I will never forget.  

Let’s see how long it takes me to cut myself with that 10 inch Chef knife!  (Update:  10 minutes into my first day!)


IMG_6363Watch out Bourdain! 😉


  1. Good luck Shru! I am so excited for you. Love that picture of you with your bandaged finger and new set of knives. I can’t wait to see the picture of you with your diploma showing the progress! .

    • Thanks, La! I need all the luck and wishes. It is very scary, hopefully I will survive and do great. Come visit me so I can practice all my new skills on you 😉

  2. Mary Ann Bell says

    LOVE this. Love You! Good Luck sis. Can’t wait to read more about your life long adventures. 🙂

  3. Kristen says

    This sounds so fun! I can’t wait for you to come cook for me and La in Florida! 😉

    • Thanks, Kristen! Yes, Dan and I do need to make a trip there …it won’t happen until my school ends (end of this year) but I promise to cook up a fancy meal 🙂

  4. We just finished our trip (yes, we are way behind on our writing!), and I know exactly how you must’ve felt. We’re completely floating in a sea of transitions right now. Everything is familiar, yet strange, and while it’s great to have all our comforts and exciting to see old friends, I sure do miss the excitement and adventure of being somewhere new every week.

    Congrats on culinary school! I’m sure you’ll be amazing! 🙂

    • Shelley – Thanks for the wishes and kind words. Yeah, coming back and settling down is hard. But, soon you will find some other adventure that will keep you busy and excited. I am looking forward to reading the rest of your blogs. Don’t worry about being behind! It is not always easy to write on the road. I still have 4-5 posts to write myself. LOL. Sometimes stories are more interesting and you might have a different perspective when you wait and write it..
      Good luck in the next phase of your life!

      • How is school going? We’ve been moving house and I haven’t had even a second to write a post. Gotta get on it! It’s good to hear that you’re behind too. 😉

      • School is going great. Cut up my first chicken today. For a vegetarian who has never cut up meat before, it was an interesting and emotional experience. It was tough but hopefully I will get through the butchering part soon.
        Good luck with the move! What you guys planning on next? New jobs..?

  5. Andrew says

    Great wrap-up of your year of adventuring! It makes me even more eager to do the same. Good luck with your new directions in life!

  6. Wow Shru, what a wonderful year! It’s like you’ve lived many people’s lifetimes in 365 days! It sounds like you and Dan are following your hearts … and you can never go wrong with that. Wishing you all the best in your new culinary adventure, Terri

    • Terri – Thanks for the kind words! We hope to follow the footsteps of people like you who are always pursuing their dreams and seeking adventures. Thank you for reading.

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