This month’s check in is later than usual, as I’ve been settling in. Abode, my apartment building, is a warm and cosy boutique build in the business hub of Mumbai.
These walls were my introduction to Mumbai life at the start of last year, and today I’m visiting for the day for a session of writing and planning. It’s always good to see how far you’ve come.
This year, as my departure date of January 18 was fast approaching, I was both excited and nervous to be leaving again. After recharging over the festive season, making memories, and filling up the friends and family happiness tank, it was time to get going again. I don’t look at what I do as work anymore. It’s a way of life that excites me, even though I’m always missing someone.
2022 was about taking in as many sights and sounds as I could. This year, my goal was to settle, to find a base in Mumbai for my creative, business, and personal lives. After all, it’s halfway between Australia and Sweden, where the closest parts of my nearest and dearest live. It’s a good balance.
And yes … I’m going to learn Hindi!
Arriving back in Mumbai was a culture shock, going from relaxed island life to non-stop city rhythm felt like moving straight from first to fifth gear. It’s a city that doesn’t sleep, with action on every corner. You can find whatever you need in a 500-meter radius, moving around easily in a ‘rick’ (rickshaw).
Settling in again meant finding an apartment, finding friends, figuring out an exercise routine, looking for food to buy … all the daily activities you take for granted in a place that you’re familiar with. It was lucky that I found such a cute and comfortable home base in a quiet leafy street in the heart of a Bandra West, a cosmopolitan village in a city of 27 million (!).
Within walking distance is a gym, cafés, homemade chai, and local vendors for any item you can dream of. Rickshaws transport you around the grid-like streets, to hidden yoga classes in sanctuary buildings.
A vibrant expat community has made the transition smooth, the city quickly feeling like home. As one of my friends says, I'm sure there are cleaner and quieter places to live … but India has everything.
It’s currently winter (the best time to visit India!). The season changes the way you can move around the country without the oppressive heat, making it the perfect time to source all the new textiles, trims, and targets for the next collection. This is my favourite part of bringing a new collection to life, combining my experiences with the Naudic brand.
It’s so good to be back, prepping for another year filled with new collections, photos, and people. I will be delivering the live shows while on the road, running the business while being supported with an amazing team of women back in Brisbane.
I’m 55 next month and can confidently say I have never been so satisfied, all aspects of my life in balance … all the late nights, sacrifices, and
unexpected detours have been worth it. Now, I can combine everything I enjoy doing into one day, with financial freedom … it’s liberating.
Things all do fall into place at the right time. Trusting the process is the hardest part of a journey, but it’s worth the wait. Now, I need to prepare for my first travels outside India for the year, through Indonesia and Europe, exploring the world through the eyes of creativity.
Until next time,