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Showing posts from 2016

#IAmsterdam - What You Need to See & Do in Amsterdam

It's been a little over a year since my trip to Amsterdam. I spent three days there and made it a point to see as much as I possibly could and spend as less time in my lovely hotel room (read about my stay at the Hyatt Andaz Prinsengracht). So this really is a much delayed blog about the many things I saw and places I covered, and now highly recommend. 
A PICTURESQUE URBANGARDEN
Amsterdam is a city for Instagram lovers! Almost everywhere you look is postcard pretty and picture perfect. Doors are a beauty in themselves and old buildings have flora organically adorning them. You'll stumble past lovely plaques on the walls and will enjoy the strains of the violin from street musicians. Take a stroll inside the massive Vondel Park replete with idyllic lawns, ponds and footbridges; truly fairy tale like! Make sure you charge up your phone battery because I'm pretty sure you're going to be click-happy once you step out on the streets of Amsterdam. GO CHEESE & MUSTARD TASTIN…

First Look Inside Legoland Dubai

Yesterday, I went for the soft opening of Legoland Dubai. It's a much anticipated attraction at the Dubai Parks & Resorts - home also to the Bollywood Parks (I hear you can film your own movie here), MotionGate (a Hollywood inspired theme park), Lapita (a Polynesian, tribal themed Marriott hotel) and Riverland (retail and dining zone). Now who doesn't love Lego right? I remember spending as many hours building Lego house models as I did playing with Barbie! So when you get a free ticket for a trial run of the park, you go!  This wasn't the first Legoland I have visited. On a trip to the U.K., we spent such a fantastic day at the Legoland. Imagine what a fascinating sight it was to my ten year old eyes! I vividly remember seeing a Lego version of a giant Cadbury chocolate bar. The miniature recreation of London in Lego has stayed in my mind. With no photos from that visit, it's only fading memories that I hang on to, and it all came flooding back when I walked in t…

Living in Dubai - Two Months In

So I have crossed the two month milestone of living in Dubai. While time seems to have passed by rather quickly, I also feel like I have been in Dubai for a long time. I settled into living by myself much easily than I thought and my studio apartment has now taken shape of home; it's clean, spic and span actually, and looks 'lived in'. I have created a comfortable routine for myself and have been able to navigate my way through initial hiccups of settling in a new city. The cockroaches are gone,

Work has turned out to be great. Thank God. After all, that was the reason for stepping out of my familiar. Less than two weeks back, Marriott International announced the successful merger with Starwood. This integration was a long 11 month process that finally came to a close - and courtesy being part of the Marriott Middle East and Africa team, I was lucky to be part of the gathering addressed by Arne Sorenson, CEO Marriott International. I could never have imagined seven months…

DUBAI - One Month Since I Moved Here!

Nervous, excited and tired; that was me exactly a month back as I lay in my warm comfortable bed at home with a view of my packed-to-the-brim suitcases. I was setting off to Dubai to begin a new chapter in my career and life. Here’s the count of the cities I have lived in - Lagos, Mussoorie, Pune, Melbourne, Mumbai - and now Dubai was going to be the sixth city I would spend a considerable time living in. I have to say, having moved around so much, relocating never became any easier. Buried deep, that nervous feeling in the stomach persisted in the days leading to my departure. 

Happy to report, settling in Dubai was easy on me. Maybe it was knowing that I was just a two hour flight away from home, or that I was fairly familiar with Dubai courtesy four leisure trips to the city before, or that I already had some friends here, or that I was transferring within the same company, or that years of relocating and starting afresh made me experienced enough to deal with all the newness. Regar…

A Veranda in the Forest

Staycations are quite trendy these days. And why not? Everyone deserves a short break not too far from home that's also light on the pocket. I went for one such staycation recently and it offered me the digital detoxification I required. I stayed at the 'Veranda in the Forest'. This is the name of a property managed by the Neemrana Hotels. The hotel chain is famous for operating some of the best and quaint heritage properties (24 in all) that span across centuries - from the 14th right till the 21st century. These include heritage forts, mansions, havelis and bungalows. Your stay at any of these hotels will be seeped in history.
The Veranda in the Forest is nestled high up on the secluded part of Matheran in the Western Ghats. This is a 19th century mansion and was only the second bungalow to be built in Matheran. It was built by Captain Harry Barr and is known among the locals as the Barr House. I did some digging around on the internet and found that Captain Henry James (…

Watching Coldplay Live In Concert

Watching a Coldplay concert...I mean this is the stuff bucket lists are made of. And I could finally tick it off after watching them perform live in Barcelona on 27th May 2016. My friends and I literally booked our concert tickets last year (I think it was October) one afternoon on a regular day at work (so random right?). We decided to go for their concert in Barcelona because a) tickets in their other tour cities were sold out b) Spain appealed as a destination to explore pre and post concert. How we were to apply for leave, how much it would cost, etc. were all worries to follow. All we knew on that October afternoon was that we were booked to watch Coldplay live. Goosebumps... 
The very first Coldplay song I heard was 'In My Place' back in school and the band hit a chord with me. But it was only in college when the (incredible) company I kept were Coldplay fans and introduced me to a host of brilliant songs from their albums - Green Eyes and Don't Panic being my favouri…

10 Things I Learnt From Reading 'Basic Black'

Reading this book has helped me so much, I feel almost compelled to share with you my learnings from Basic Black – The Essential Guide to Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life).

Recently I read Basic Black, a book written by Cathie Black, now the former President of Hearst magazines. This was a book given to me by my sister nine years ago. I always promised myself that I would get around to reading it, before I knew it, it was cramped up somewhere in my drawer buried under possessions I had accumulated over almost a decade. I am thankful to my instincts that I finally decided to go ahead and read Basic Black. I couldn’t have picked it up at a better time. This year began for me with a few professional highs but also a lot of brewing uncertainties. Within ten pages of the book, I felt confident enough to shake things up and make a move and do something about my career. So what is Basic Black about? It’s an honest lay-it-all-out kind of a book by one of the most successful women leaders in…