The Past Decade

The past decade has been the most defining decade of my life.





It started in my twenties. I worked for a London based software company, but on a project in New York.


I worked with my best friends, and we lived in the same apartment building, living my own version of Friends.


I partied with those same friends - endless nights at Sweet & Vicious on Spring St with frozen margaritas.


I danced until five in the morning, always followed by pizza on Christopher St.


I had my first breakfast burrito. I fell in love.


I walked to work through Times Square everyday, and shared an elevator with Jay Z. We chatted and he told me my lunch smelled good.


I lined up for food and brunched at rooftops on Saturdays.


I got tattoos and shopped on 5th Ave.


I ate so much pizza.


I watched my big sister get married.


I saw Beyonce in the same office elevator.


I went on so many bad first dates. It was comical.


I relocated indefinitely to New York for a new job.


I met the kindest soul known to mankind at the new job, and have been friends with her since.


I lived in Manhattan and my local park was Madison Square Park.


I fell in love with Shake Shack and ate beef for the first time.


I visited all the famous places in LA that I only knew from TV.


I started a jewelry business side-hustle, and became a regular at the USPS on E 27th St.


I lived for bagel Wednesdays at the office.


I began drinking coffee.


I traveled to San Francisco for the first time.


I matched with someone on Tinder there and went on four dates.


I met up with him again in Austin, TX and embarked on a super speedy relationship.


I left Manhattan for him. He made me laugh.


I cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge.


I moved in with my boyfriend to a glassy apartment on the 16th floor in downtown San Francisco.


I went to Vegas for the first time.


I got good at taking photos.


I got engaged at SFO.


I became an aunty for the first time to my niece-now-bestie.


I got lost in Positano.


My fiancé and I took a one way flight to Amsterdam and have lived there ever since.


I got high.


I lived my dream of taking a gondola ride in Venice in the freezing cold.


I saw acres and acres of tulip fields.


I stayed in a Berber tent in the Sahara Desert and saw stars so clear.


I watched my baby brother get married.


I became a director at a huge American entertainment company.


I became an aunt on my in-laws side.


I watched an opera at Opera State Vienna thanks to the generosity of a stranger.


I planned my wedding and went wedding dress shopping in New Delhi with my mum.


I saw fireworks shoot out of the Burj Khalifa, on NYE from the 43rd floor on Sheik Zayad Road.


I took an epic road trip around California and Vegas with my family and soon-to-be-in laws.


I bought a house.


I had a crazy bachelorette party in Ibiza, and drunk ate Burger King at 6am.


I got married in Scotland surrounded by friends and family from all around the world, in a 4-day Indian wedding.


I went on the honeymoon of my dreams to Dubai, Bali, Hong Kong, Macao, and Japan. I got stuck in Macao because of a typhoon.


I dined at some of the world's best restaurants.


I became an aunty again on Christmas Day when my sister had a baby boy.


I took a hot air balloon ride over stunning landscapes in central Turkey.


I watched my friends get married in LA, Ireland and the Philippines.


I went on a legendary trip to Paris with my siblings, reliving the last one we took to the same city in 2009.


I had the worst hangover in my life.


I taco crawled in Mexico.


I visited fairytale villages in Switzerland and France during Christmas road-trips.


I learned how to cook.


I got a puppy and no longer fear dogs.


I fell in love with Latin America and walked in a pink sea.


I took a girls trip with my mum and sister, and we danced in empty beaches to no music.


I stayed on a tiny island in Greece and watched the sunrise in pajamas and a blanket from the roof.


I placed a prayer in the cracks of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.


I hosted Christmas dinner.


I played Holi in Udaipur with thousands of strangers.


I reconnected with my roots during a three-week trip around India.


My photography was published in magazines and a book.


I said f*** you to my employer and left a six figure job due to discrimination in the midst of a global pandemic.


I began being even more entrepreneurial.


I visited more cities and countries than ever before.


I laughed so much.


I became an aunt again, this time my brother’s daughter.


I survived 2020.




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©2020 Anika Pannu.