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Do what you love and you’ll never have worked a day in your life. Never pick up a job you hate. Or on second thoughts, maybe you should. Because when you quit, the feeling is absolutely surreal.

About a month back I quit an internship I was, well, to put it mildly, rather incompatible with. With my last year of college and another not-so-nice internship waiting for me in June, I decided to make the best use of my long summer vacation which would otherwise have been spent running from one audit location to another. So I started Google-ing inexpensive ways to travel and lo and behold! I came across an activity every person stuck working 80 hour weeks should do- WWOOF-ing. For all of you who don’t know what is it, WWOOF is an organization which connects host organic farms and volunteers. It involves working as a farmhand for 4-5 hours a day in exchange for food and lodging, and more often than not, a supremely enriching cultural experience (check it out here).┬áSo I wrote to a couple of farms and a few emails and phone conversations later it was decided- I’m spending all of May on a blueberry farm in California (a big shout out to my parents for their generosity with the last minute plane tickets!).

In the scheme of things, a month actually seems quite inconsequential. Think about it. If you live to be 60, you’d have lived through 720 months and 1 month is only 0.14% of your life. But when you’re actually spending a month away from your routine life and people, you realise how much you’re missing out on. I’m absolutely delighted to be spending a month away from the hustle bustle of the city but I also feel quite guilty about a few things. Not being there for a special few birthdays, missing out on being able to wish a some friends luck for their exams, ditching all the summer plans which may or may not have come to life anyway and making my friends and family run around to complete my college readmission- all while I’m surrounded by blueberries and horses in the middle of Wine Country. Wine Country. I really like the sound of that. Anyway, consequently, I decided to spend this last week before I leave meeting all the people who I should, but I’m not going to, be seeing all of the coming month. It might seem like I’m making a mountain out of a molehill because it’s only a month but my conscience has its ways of making me feel guilty. Oh well.

I began with a Sunday brunch with a couple of girlfriends at Fat Man’s Cafe. The original plan was Bombay Salad Company which changed to the Yoga House somewhere in the middle and involved a stop at Birdsong Cafe before we finally gave into our stomachs demands way past even lunch time. So much for brunch. The place was colourful and had a wonderful vibe. While the lunch wasn’t particularly eventful, it just felt like a chilled out summer Sunday. And the food. Whoever says they go out to lunch for the company is lying. It’s the food. It’s ALWAYS the food.

Kiwi and Strawberry Lemonades

Kiwi and Strawberry Lemonades

Jacket potatoes stuffed with corn and cheese

Jacket potatoes stuffed with corn and cheese

Vegetable pizza sandwiches

Vegetable pizza sandwiches

Fettuccine with basil in arrabiata sauce

Fettuccine with basil in arrabiata sauce

Chicken and vinegar creme

Chicken and vinegar creme

Happy stomachs, happy lunches, happy girls.

The next trip was with two old friends- a Monday morning movie followed by lunch. A MONDAY MORNING MOVIE. I’m sorry but the fact that I was doing something apart from fighting the crowds in the locals to get to work on a Monday makes me really happy. The latest Avengers movie was followed by satiating our craving for khao suey at Mamagoto. Coconut and noodles and ohmygod, so good

Vegetable basil cups

Vegetable basil cups

Street chicken satay with peanut sauce

Street chicken satay with peanut sauce

Khao suey

Khao suey

There was a third and a fourth and a fifth and a sixth and a seventh guilt trip too. A lunch at Sammy Sosa, a Wii-fit and pizza night (oh the irony), a sleepover with chick-flicks, a shopping trip and the ultimate chicken tikka pig-out fest. But as much as this is turning out to be so, it is not a food blog. It’s a food and travel and everything under the sun blog.

One thing I realised after all these meeting is that I’m surrounded by really great people. I might be missing out on some pretty important occasions but everyone has been nothing but graceful about it. They seem to be more excited than I am about this trip. They’re glad I’ve gotten out of an organization that didn’t fit well with me. They’re happy that I’m doing something for myself. They’re proud of me for getting out of my comfort zone. They’re also expecting me to bring back a lot of wine (really guys, budget trip, remember?). Their support has been incredible.

Distance isn’t something technology nowadays can’t conquer. Birthday messages, good luck wishes and frivolous conversation will continue regardless. But it’s not the same. Try hugging someone through the phone. When you’re down, you know who your friends are, it is said. While that is true, try not being able to be there or do something for someone when they need you. If they still stick around, you know they’re here to stay. Sure, it’s just one birthday and one summer and people have lives which don’t revolve around me but through all that, I’ve still seen them take some time out just to support me and my decisions. Despite their work and lives and everything else raining down on them, they’ve found the willingness to be happy for someone who isn’t going to be around for their important occasions. It might just be a month but it’s the thought that counts.

So here’s a big thank you to everyone. Thank you for the time that’s going to be taken out to FaceTime me, thank you for pushing the birthday celebrations to when I return, thank you for letting me ditch our summer plans and thank you for understanding that I won’t be able to bring back that much wine. Lots of love!

Until next time.

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