Ok, so I’ve been very, very lax with my updates, but it’s hard to keep in touch when you’re busy chilling out all the time. Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve not been chilling too much. I’ve had deadlines, patchy internet and moved house. I think I’ve been to the beach three or four times since I’ve been here. Ho hum. In any case, I’m back in Arambol and having a major case of deja vu.

I guess it’s a pretty special place, in that there’s a core community of people who come here year after year, in some cases, the last two decades! So I’ve not been surprised to see so many of the people I met last year. In fact, I was banking on it. But, like most things, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

The people I hung out with last season are not the same people I’ve been hanging with this time around. I’ve seen them, spent a little time with them, but that’s about it. I suppose it’s a important lesson not to have any expectations of anyone, or plan around people too much. In the upside, I’ve made a bunch of new friends who have kept me thoroughly entertained.

And the deja vu? Well, I’m back in the Purple House, the same one I stayed in last time. But this time, I’m sharing with two awesome guys, German yoga teacher, Simon and Aussie surfer, James. And as of yesterday, German contact dance teacher, Anir. That is where the deja vu ends though. Even though I’m technically sleeping in the exact same room I did last year, most nights we’ve all slept on the balcony (pictures to come soon). Unlike last year, we’ve decorated it with mattresses, cushions and wall hangings and most of the time, we hang out there. Even though the surroundings are the same, the feelings are much, much more different.

I guess it all boils down to the saying that’s so prevalent throughout Asia. Same, same. But different.

ūüôā

Sab Kuch Milega – Hindi. Translates to English as ‘Anything is possible.’

When I decided to publish Together Apart, I had a little fantasy of having a glass of bubbly substitute (because I don’t like the real thing) with a friend or two in a bar somewhere to celebrate. It didn’t quite work out like that in reality. What happened was, I pressed the big, yellow¬†publish button from a cafe in Arambol, Goa in my own company with a latte and a slice of almond buckwheat cake at 7am while waiting for my friend to arrive from London. Rock and Roll.

It was just one of many things that have come to sum up the process of self-publishing that I’ve seen so far. Always expect the unexpected because anything is possible.

I did have some reservations before I left England. I really wasn’t sure what the internet situation would be like over there so I was pleasantly surprised to find that wifi was literally¬†everywhere. Except, it always seemed to crash when I needed it the most. Like the very day I was to push the button after having announced the released date to my family and friends. Even still, it was a small price to pay for being¬†here.

I should say, I’m not a travel writer. I made two diary entries in the 4 months I was away and they were on occassions where it was write or cry. I must admit, I do regret not spending a little time each day writing in my notepad but hey ho. In any case, I¬†am a writer, and I¬†chose¬† to publish my book while travelling. And this meant trying to sort out all the technical stuff, liaising with my editor and cover designer, tweeting, Facebooking etc etc etc while also trying to experience one of the the most diverse, crazy places on earth. I’ll get round to blogging about those in the near future.

My book has been out for 3 months now. There were times when I said I would never publish a book while travelling again. Which is funny, because I said the same thing after being in India for 3 months. Never again.

And yet…

I know I’ll go back. I feel I have to. I want to. I barely scratched the surface of Goa and Rajasthan, let alone India as a whole and as cliched as it sounds, it really is a special place. And the same goes for my book (not the special bit, although to me it is. Obvs.) I think – no, I¬†know – that I’ll be somewhere else when Book 2 comes out next year. I don’t know where yet, but I will. I’ve always loved writing and now I’ve had a dalliance with travelling, I’ve decided I love that too. It can be done. There are a great many people doing all kinds of things as they travel – I don’t see why I shouldn’t be one of them.

Is anyone else a travel writer or a writer who travels? I’d love to hear how others found the process!

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