Edinburgh, Scotland. Part 1: “Summer Surprise”
When I woke up on the morning of July 28, 2011, I had no clue or warning about the magical portal that would soon be opening before my eyes. I had just returned to London from a very relaxing vacation in Barcelona, and was looking forward to spending the next few days lounging and writing at home. Well you can call it procrastination if you want, but I prefer to see it as listening to the repeating inner voice that kept screaming, “Jeff, dude, you really need to check out Edinburgh.” I didn’t feel like seeing a doctor about this voice-thing, and thankfully still had four more days before prison security would be making me return to my work desk, Monday morning. And so just a few short hours later, I found myself standing in London’s, Euston Station, buying a train ticket to a city I’ve never even thought of before. In the past, spontaneously following intuition has led to some of my life’s most joyous moments. I can now happily say, choosing to listen on that day has given similar results. It led me to a place on this planet that, for some reason, makes me feel like there is nothing wrong with anything, anywhere. For me, Edinburgh, Scotland has definitely become that kind of place. Continue Reading
London, England. Part I: Goodbye America
Someone recently asked me, “You are either running from something, or searching for something. Which one is it?”
The decision to leave America was not very difficult for me. In fact, I will claim that it wasn’t a decision at all. In my non-scientific, spiritually-based, easily-challengeable opinion, the universe made the choice for me, and I just chose to finally listen. I actually began feeling the signs that it was time to leave, years ago, which is why I selected the 2009 Indian Adventure Package from life’s online ordering system, hoping that it would address the questions I had about my life path. When the package arrived, and I returned home from that powerful experience, I spent most of 2010 with a feeling that I was still missing something. So my difficulty was not in making the decision itself; it was in telling people I personally and professionally care about, that it was time for me to go. It was in quitting my job without having a single interview scheduled. And as brave (or stupid) as it may look to just quit your job, toss everything you own into storage, and fly away with some clothes and a laptop, I assure you I spent a significant amount of time wondering if I was going insane. Thankfully, I have a belief-system that claims the universe takes care of people who perform leaps of faith. I know; convenient to believe this, it is indeed. But if there are millions of people who believe the Red Sea physically parted, or that a snake literally talked to Eve, then I get to have my friendly-universe story. Continue Reading
London, UK: Part 1 of 2
Living in India, there really isn’t a great reason to visit London for a short 4-day weekend. It’s about 12 hours of flying, one-way; not that much longer than flying from Los Angeles, California. It’s true, I could’ve made this trip at any time in the past from my homeland. Somehow though, I get the feeling flying into London while living in India, has a completely different impact on the psyche, than does flying in from Los Angeles. Ok, it’s more than a feeling. It’s a fact. The contrast between India and England, is something like the contrast between Mars and a bird. (Please feel free to make up your own non-sensical analogy if you didn’t like that one).
The impact Bangalore-to-London had on my mind was definitely profound. I found myself staring in amazement at intersections that actually have traffic lights, cars that really stay in their lanes, and restaurants that serve non-poisoned food. On my first night, I stood outside a bar, amazed by the fact it was 11:00 p.m., and still open (bars close early in Bangalore). I would later stare in awe at the subway system, the buildings, and almost started weeping when I stepped into a taxi cab, and the driver spoke fluent English. I even found the Apple Store on Regent Street, and felt embarassed at how much I missed walking into God’s store on a Saturday afternoon. Continue Reading