Small World

When we moved to London in 2000. I never thought that I would set eyes on Germany ever again. Little did I know that I will be doing routine trips there a decade and a half later. A trip to Germany is like a popping down to the corner shops. A bit exaggerated but you get my point.

We can fly to many places on Earth within a matter of a few hours and longer journeys take a day at most. It is something we certainly take for granted these days. Just a few decades ago, where and when (exaggeration on the when) we travel was very limited, air travel is relatively new for humanity, first commercial flight being in 1914. Before then we can only travel via land and sea, imagine that! Imagine if you have to take a ship to America, Asia or Africa.

Affordability is also a big factor of travel, over the recent decade, booking a flight has been immensely simplified and travellers have near-full transparency of ticket prices thanks to websites such as skyscanner. Budget airlines also made it super-easy to travel to nearby locations (most European cities in my case) very cheaply. I’m only a few clicks away from booking a trip right now, even if I want to go somewhere tomorrow.

Being an avid traveller. It bodes well that these places are easily accessible and only a few hours from reach. The innovation of technology and communication has made an infinite difference to the friends and relationships we can develop with people all the way across and around the world. It was always hurtful when departing from loved ones in the 90s and early 2000s. We never knew when we see them again or even speak to them again. Now it’s become a normality to just say ‘I’ll chat to you later’. The distance is minimised when there is constant communication.

The rise of social media has allowed to be more inspired to travel and explore. Especially meet likeminded individuals. It’s nice to have friends all over the world. I’m sure that some of you can relate to this.

Not only we can live how we want. we can live where we want. and that’s a total dream come true for me.

Happy travelling.


No Marathons

For the past few years, I’ve been popping down marathons like skittles. That seems to be the most appropriate metaphor to describe the current situation. Sometimes I lose count of how many I’ve done, partly because even I can’t believe I’ve done so many (seven to be precise and I had to look that up).

I’ve been attacking marathon after marathon in the past few years. It’s become somewhat counterproductive. I feel like I’m rushing and not getting the best result possible. I feel like I’ve reached a threshold. I seem to have come full circle.


Therefore, I’ve decided not to run any marathons this year. Will be taking part in shorter distance races. I’m hoping to spend more time running with teams and getting others involved in the sport too.

I have three main goals this year in terms of running:

1. Motivate others to get involved

2. Get more involved in running groups

3. Work on running technique, core and strength workouts

So far this year, I’ve joined a running group, I am due to be pacing for the hackney half marathon and I’ve made four of my friends run a 10K with me. I hope to be doing more for the community and bring out the good vibes in everyone.

I’m going to be focusing on being a better and stronger runner. Quality over quantity is always better. I’m not giving up, just slowing down and going back to the drawing board.

I won’t be doing marathons until I fully feel ready again. It may be a year or two, only time will tell I guess.

Travel like a Champion

2017 has personally become the most travelled year. Having gone to 11 different countries, nearly one per month.

I started this month in Barcelona, doing a quick city-break. Then travelled to Switzerland on a family event; now I am in Germany in my second home and I still got some more country to visit before the end of year. So writing this blog is turning out to be somewhat poetic.

This blog is intended towards the rat-race running, working man (or woman) who wants to incorporate travel into their life. I do have a full time job with very limited holidays and somehow I’ve managed to fit in quite a bit of travel this year. Travelling smart definitely has its perks and rewards but also needs a little bit of research and planning; this is quite a good jumping off point.

In my current lifestyle I like to travel to multiple destinations on a budget rather than blow it all on a super mega one-off trip.

Having only 20 working days to expend on holidays every year, I always find it effective to book around the weekend, either leaving on a Wednesday or Thursday and returning on either Monday or Tuesday. 4 or 5 days is plenty for me to explore and enjoy a new country.

1.  Skyscanner

You don’t have to be rich to travel, all you need is to think smart i.e. travel smart. If you are limited on funds and still want to go out there and see the world. The key is you have to be open about the destination and the dates that you are willing to travel there.

Skyscanner has this amazing option where you can explore all destinations on all possible dates. Then pick the cheapest destination and dates and you can just go!


This really works out for me as I am flexible with my dates and mostly with my destination. This is gold when it comes to european city breaks as you really keep the cost down if you are really efficient with booking your trip.

2. Hostelworld

If you’re on a super-budget, hostels are always a good option. I was quite skeptical about staying in hostels until I actually stayed in one. First time in Berlin; and I’ve actually enjoyed so much that I prefer to stay in hostels on every city break. You can get a pretty good overview of the hostels in one area and what they offer on


Alternatively you can use Airbnb, especially if you are in a group. You get the feeling of living as a local and it usually works out cheaper than hotels.

3. Couchsurfing

If your into travelling, you have probably heard of Couchsurfing, I tend to use it when I travel solo, but I think that is a completely different blog in itself.

It is a social media platform where you can meet locals and/or like-minded travellers, I’ve met a number of good people on there and even managed to stay in contact with some of them. One of the best ways to meet people is to go attend preplanned events in the area or turn up at a ‘hangout’.


A combination of these will allow you to travel continuously throughout the year and keep yourself entertained while you are there.

Happy New Year. And happy travelling.

Brecon Beacons

In the past three months, I’ve taken mini getaways during long weekends to nearby European countries; Slovenia in May, Germany in June and Denmark in July. So I decided to spend the month of August, The wonderful ‘British Summer’ in England and explore the spectacles within. One of the places that I had my eye on was Brecon Beacons National Park. Me and my fellow friends packed our bags and headed to this little patch of greenery located within Wales (that still counts as England right?). Made a little stop on the way at a little gem called Tintern Abbey. Quite the unique historical landmark, a well preserved Abbey which I personally refer to as the Naked Church (which is probably wrong anyway).

Later that evening we checked into our Airbnb, probably with the most peculiar host I’ve ever experience (maybe that story will make it’s way into my blog one day). After relaxing for a few hours, we drove in total darkness up ‘dangerous’ gradients on narrow roads to find a peak spot for stargazing. It does sound crazy but it’s good to live life on the edge sometimes. To my surprise, we were the only ones there. There usually is a few other odd people like us looking for the same thing, but today we were totally alone. We spent a good couple hours looking up the sky with our jaws dropped and managed to capture a few good shots, I think I may have caught the Milky Way in one of the images, but it’s quite faint. Let me know if you spot it as well.

The next day we spent the entire day hiking and chasing waterfalls in the national park. The weather wasn’t too great as you will see from the images, but we had low expectations as a the British summer was now long gone; so it wasn’t too much of a negative point. Overall, a well-spent weekend. Enjoy the pictures!

26 Reasons to Run a Marathon

In about 4 months I will be in the starting pens lining up to start the Chicago Marathon. After many months of strenuous training, I will have flown a staggering 3937miles to run 26.2miles. Sounds crazy right! What kind of an ‘idiot’ does this you may ask; and why? Let me put you out of your confusing misery. I get asked why I run marathons all the time, I don’t have one solid reason and I don’t think I ever will have one; what I do have is an aggregate of 26 reasons why.

1. Fitness
I’ve been health conscious since a young age; and as we grow older, our priorities tend to change and majority of the time we begin to neglect our health and fitness. Having that marathon or even that odd race planned in the near future will keep me going to the gym or pounding pavements at least a few times a week. Resulting in a steady health condition at the very least.

2. People
Since my first race in 2014, I’ve met some great people on-track and off-track. I’ve had some interesting conversation with fellow runners during a race, mostly on major races where people come from all different corners of the world.  If you’ve met me in the past three years and we became friends, marathoning may be a good reason for that.

3. Do (Aspire, Act, Achieve)
The simple act of saying that you are going to do something and actually following up and doing it. During my adolescence, there are numerous things I’ve started and stopped and/or gave up before getting to the end. Now every time I start pursuing something, I make sure that I actually follow up and finish it; and that applies to all areas of life, in career, relationships, life goals etc.

4. Travel
Running has just become another excuse to travel to places I’ve always wanted to go to, I did my first International race in Amsterdam in 2015; and the furthest I’ve travelled to is Berlin in September of 2016. Now I will be going to Chicago. I tend to spend a few cheeky extra days exploring the city, trying out the local cuisine and meet a few online friends (instafriends for those that know) and maybe go on a bit of an Instagram mission too.

5. Achievement
If you’re a runner, you’ll know one of the major perks of running a race is the medal that we receive in the end, the solid trophy that is the ideal climax for the months if not years of hard work, persisting, persevering, training on days we did not even feel like, keeping a healthy diet and fighting through numerous pains. It is not what I solely do it for but it’s something tangible representation of my motivation and unwillingness to give up. I now have quite a generous collection of medals hanging in my room, each one unique, each one with a story.

6. Pain Threshold
The first kilometre is nothing, the first five I feel like I’m on autopilot and the ‘superman’ feeling hits me around the 12k mark. The wonderful feeling soon goes away when closing onto the halfway point. Then the pain starts, the mind voices begin to talk; you’d want to stop and walk but you can’t there is a time penalty for that, you haven’t trained this much and travelled this far to half-arse this, you have to keep going.

The constant throbbing pain will hit at one point whether you are an elite runner or just trying to get across that line no matter what. That pain is one of a kind and it does sort of set a standard for one of the highest pain one will ever feel, there is so much beneath that. If I can do this, then it makes many other things possible.

7. Charity
Majority of runners tend to run a marathon for charitable reasons, it is indeed a great way to raise money for a cause you believe in. I’ve raised a fair amount for charity and continue to do so in many future races to come.

8. Self-Belief
Believing that I could complete such a mountainous and strenuous task and actually doing it really had an impact on my self belief. Doing it over and over again has more of an impact over time and will only strengthen my self belief.

9. #Goals
It’s always healthy go have a goal to work towards while training, to me it justifies all the grind and sweat that goes in and out of my workouts. I also find it that it affect others around me, it might motivate them to start hitting the gym again or even convince them to take part in an event (on the rare occasion).

10. Checkpoint
Marathons usually occur during the spring or fall seasons, and as it is something that has an impact on my day-to-day activities. I usually have a set of tasks and goals that I want to achieve (in life) before the next marathon.

11. Life
I say that a marathon is a metaphor for life, the ups, the downs, the pacing, the consequence of going faster than one should, or even being too slow. In short, there are many obstacles in life and we should not let them limit us and instead beat them down and just keep going till the end!

12. Inspire
This point is quite similar to #Goals. Running races and disassociating allows me to be inspired to do more ‘artistic’ things in life. Do more; and in the process of that inspire others!

13. Fearless-ness
I remember that slight feeling of fear when I signed up for my first half marathon; and even more so when I applied for that first marathon. I’ve now done over 15 races, the fear just gets smaller every time as confidence increases. Over time I reach out further into unknown territories that are more fearful to me. Fearfulness is foolishness.

14. Mental Strength
If you are a marathoner you will understand that it is beyond fitness and health. In the bigger picture, it is a journey, A journey of the mind, if you believe, then you can. The more you believe, the more possible something gets. Each and every attempt just increase your mental strength.

15. New Normal
For the majority, a marathon and/or any other distance races is a bucket list item, and it’s a one shot one tick sort of thing (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that); however I’ve managed to turn this into my lifestyle. My normal has now changed, in terms of fitness I am able to do a 10K with next to no training; and a half marathon with very little training (not showing off, but just showing that it’s possible).

16. Relativity
When I completed my first half marathon, completely in pain and waiting for a massage; I saw a guy walking around with over a dozen medals around his neck. My initial reaction was, oh wow, what a champ! A few years later, I am that guy. These are one of the prime examples when relativity came into play.

17. Perspective
Similar to the pervious point. Viewing myself from different timelines, some things that have seemed impossible, is now the norm. And some things that seem impossible now may become a reality in the future.

18. Realist 
It took me three marathons to realise that some personal records are unobtainable (without the hard work behind it of course). Setting unrealistic finishing times is a recipe for disaster, one can seriously get injured. It taught me to be to be realistic with many things in life, aim high but be smart about it, it’s not good to be deluded.

19. Persistance & Perseverance
‘Water cuts through rock because it is persistent’.

Pushing and pushing through boundaries, jumping curves and getting to the next level is what persistence is all about; and when you fail and fall, getting back up and carrying on until you achieve what you set out to do. That is perseverance, follow these two and you will be unbeatable. What a beautiful marriage! Apply this to life and you will achieve great success!

20. Disassociation
As I’ve mentioned before, marathon separates the mind and the body. And as it’s mainly about the mind, you have the ability to control it. You can are able to ‘zone-out’ i.e disassociate and think about other things. As the body is in constant motion, the mind can be anywhere it desires. It also helps not to think about however many miles you got to go until you finish.

21. Patience
The misconception of patience is to wait for something to happen. In actual fact, is it working for something that takes long, keep going till the end and finishing it. Patience is not waiting but not giving up on something that is time intensive.

22. GVO (Positivity)
Endorphins hence happy hormones is one of the chemicals released during running. Also called runners high, keep moving and have a constant release of this ‘unicorn juice’. A positive mindset will lead to a positive life.

23. Mind Control
As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, marathon is a mind game. As long as the physical side is in good order, your mental mindset will strengthen with progress. If you believe, you can!

24. Confidence
One of the major ways to increase your confidence is to work on self-confidence. Once you start to believe in yourself, your self-confidence increases as a side-effect; hence increasing your external confidence overall!

25. Therapy
Running is therapy, I’ve overcome many mental health issues since I’ve begun this journey. This probably needs a whole separate blog on its own; but to name a few my anxiety has tremendously gone down, my confidence has increased and I’m constantly wanting to keep moving out of my comfort zone.

26. Learning
Beginning from zero and progressing this far (and of course, I’ve got much further to go) gave me a confidence to be never afraid to learn something new, it is possible to start from zero at any time in life and progress to a higher level if you have the willingness to go it.

26.2. Awesomeness
If you’ve made it to the end, you’re a champion. I applaud your patience and unwillingness to give up, you may have what it takes to complete a marathon (winky face). As an added bonus, I’ll give you an additional reason why I do it. I’m sure many runners can relate when I say this, it simply adds a layer of awesomeness to life.

Determination #motivationmonday

marathons and mutton rolls.jpg

A simple spring roll; filled with the perfect ratio of spiced tender meat and square cut potatoes. Delicately wrapped in a fine layer of pastry and covered in an egg paste before it’s coated in scrumptious breadcrumbs. Carefully dipped in hot oil and fried until golden brown. A crispy outer layer contained in a soft spicy filling. Love at first bite.

Are you drooling yet?

This is a mutton roll. It’s simply not food, it’s poetry.

As many great things in life, this heavenly piece of creation has it’s consequences. Calories. It is not only filled with a delicious pâte, it is packed with calories and all kinds of mean things that do no good to the body. 

It takes a sheer amount of determination to say no to such a thing and the heart breaks a little every time.

‘Bad’ calories can be detrimental, especially if consumed during training. Fitness doesn’t only happen in the gym, the majority happens in the kitchen. Just like they say, you are what you eat.

The mutton roll is the metaphor for the daily battle we go through to resist temptation that may hinder the end result if we give into it; and the battle of determination we face when getting out of bed on a cold morning. And maybe getting ourselves to the gym or fitting that workout in. Stopping ourselves from taking a bite out of that creamy cheesecake or that bar of chocolate.

Luckily for me, I am mostly in control of my schedules and more importantly what I put in my body, it is one of the ‘perks’ of living on my own. However, when my mum visits, the menu changes quite a bit. Lately it’s been quite calory intensive, delicious food of course, but it does come at a cost. Something I have to massively pay for if I don’t keep myself in control.

Coming home to a steaming briyani after a militant gym session is not really ideal for the avid fitness freak. Especially when training for a marathon. One needs a massive amount of determination off track as well as on track when partaking in such an intensive physical activity.

Conversely, there is always a time to take a step back a little and enjoy life a bit and the essence of glourious food. I do have my days when all I do it eat and watch a marathon of movies. A marathon which I quite enjoy actually. Downtime is always nice. 

I had to limit my mutton roll intake in the last few years; ever since I’ve started to get into competitive sport, and this year, it’s more intensive than ever. My mental strength will grow even stronger by the end of this part of the journey.

The struggle is real. Just remember, one mutton roll doesn’t make you fat; and one workout doesn’t make you fit. Find your balance. 

Pain & Happiness

happiness and pain.jpgWe are no stranger to dreams and difficulties in life. We all have ambitions and many of us have been through times of hardship. These are two of the many vital factors that shape us as a person.

Happiness is derived from dream and pain is a derivation of the hardship one has experienced. These develop into a person’s threshold. It’s the highest and the lowest point of each individual person.

It is a spectrum that is different for every person and changes as life progresses. One person’s life cannot be compared to another’s. It is relative. Relative being the key word here.

Someone’s pain may be nothing to yourself, and your pain may be meaningless to someone else. It’s like the saying “Your small life is someone else’s big dream.” Always appreciate what you have and embrace pain, you are never given more than you can handle; and know that it doesn’t last forever!

The best ones turn their pain into their happiness, they build a dream of something that’s affected them largely in life. It is the best kind of motivation in my opinion.

Here’s a couple of examples:

Elon Musk (PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX)

elon musk.jpg

  • Pain
    • Suffered from Malaria
    • Lost first born child
  • Happiness

    • Multi-planetary species
    • Interstellar Space Travel

Steve Job (Apple, Pixar)


  • Pain
    • Suffered from Pancreatic Cancer
  • Happiness
    • Change the world of Computing (putting it simply)

Casey Neistat (Youtuber, Filmmaker)


  • Pain
    • Left school at 15, left home, made girlfriend pregnant, had son at 16
    • witnessed the 9/11 attack at close proximity
  • Happiness
    • Doing what he loves (filmmaking) until death

Your happiness and your pain creates your story. What is your story?