35 lessons from 35 years of my life, from Zanzibar, Tanzania

by - 6/30/2023

For the first time in my life, I spent my birthday away from my parents, friends (those who matter to me; ie my closest gal pals ) and my four year old! And by away I mean another continent, not just any other city!

For the past 34 years, I had avoided travelling on my birthday. I wanted to be available to take the calls; without any roaming charges (IYKYK) and respond to every single birthday wish on all channels of social media.

 However year by year, I have been receiving lesser wishes than the previous year, maybe this is a big sign of growing older? So two months back, when the husband suggested to explore Tanzania (the best time to visit is mid June onwards, I jumped at his offer). My father wasn't too pleased (typical overprotective Bengali father syndrome), he not being able to meet me on my birthday, and that too spending it away from my younger one.

Anyways, the bottom line is that nobody cares (barring a handful of close people) and it took me 35 years to learn this. So sharing my two cents from 35 years of my life.... some of these are lessons learnt, others are intentions/goals for my future.

Yes, I carried these balloons all the way to Zanzibar, Tanzania because 'call me crazy 🤣!'

1. Don't sulk, life is too short.

2. Don't regret, life is too short.

3. Don't hold grudges. Again, you know why

4. Don't waste time. 

5. Just do what you want to do (I mean non criminal things)

6. Stop giving a damn to what others think.

7. Stop pleasing others

8. Don't forget to take pictures, you are the star of your own movie

9. Life is grand, at every level. Don't forget to celebrate it.

10. Burn that expensive candle

11. Spray that luxury perfume

12. Don't hurt others intentionally

13. Be kind. To everyone. Irrespective of what they did to you.

14. Embrace JOMO

15. If something/someone makes you sad, avoid confrontation.

16. Believe in the power of prayer

17. Always adopt an optimistic attitude irrespective of unfavorable circumstances.

18. Love with your full heart.

19. Make smile your permanent accessory.

20. Postive affirmations everyday.

21. Journal

22. Intentional in every action.

23. Mindful living

24. Don't neglect your health

25. Quiet time everyday

26. Move your body everyday

27. Exercise for fitter and stronger self, not for losing weight

28. Nourish your body with nutritious food.

29. Declutter everyday

30. Tidy your surroundings everyday

31. Sleep for at least 7 hours 

32. Keep your loved ones closer

33. Forgive but don't forget

34. Read everyday and learn something new everyday

35. Relax. It's going to be alright eventually.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’
hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla
in collaboration with Monidipa Dutta.

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  1. Maybe I should do something like that for my 64 birthday. My oldest son will be 35 in September.
    Happy Birthday
    Coffee is on, and stay safe.

  2. Happy Birthday to you! What a fantastic post to stumble upon on your special day. These inspirational life lessons from Zanzibar are the perfect gift of wisdom. As you embark on another year of your journey, remember that life is too short to dwell on negativity.
    🥂 Here's to a year filled with self-discovery, joy, and making unforgettable memories. Cheers to you, and may this birthday be the start of an extraordinary chapter in your life!
    - Anjali

  3. First, Happy birthday. Your list of 35 lessons serves as a reminder to appreciate life's grandness, be kind to others, cultivate positivity, and find joy in the little things. It encompasses a wide range of valuable insights, from practicing mindfulness and self-care to nurturing relationships and pursuing personal growth.Loved the post.

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Very apt lessons from 35 years of existence on the planet. Read daily, learn daily, relax and chill out. Have a wonderful year ahead.

  5. 35. Bang on such reminders for life felt my was so fulfilled each and every life lesson. shine on. Be happy always.

  6. Happy Belated Birthday Mandira and happy 35 years old. What a nice way to celebrate your coming of age... i dont mean literally, but ya... in many ways I'm sure. I loved the pics as usual n I love you in them n I'm glad that you posted something significant on a milestone birthday. Your life lessons are applicable to everyone irrespective of their age.
    Wishlng you many more travels.
    - Kaveri

  7. Happiest birthday! Congratulations on reaching this milestone! Zanzibar's rich culture and diverse experiences have surely shaped your wisdom. Here's to many more years of growth and learning. - MommyWithAGoal

  8. Dear Mandira, First of all wish you a very happy belated birthday dearie. I wish you all the happiness, success and prosperity in life. This is just the beginning and there is more to come in your life.The points you mentioned are so true that I feel like giving you a tight hug to say you Same Pinch - as we think alike. Its your life and its your choice how you want to spend it... no need to give a daam to anyone. Lots of love and stay blessed.

  9. Happy Belated Birthday, I am a June baby too I loved the fact that u carried the age balloon all the way. It sounded a super amazing bday.

  10. I am so glad that you had a great 35th birthday and well deserved too from what I know of you. The life lessons you shared are valuable and not easily learned, it comes with our experiences. Loved pictures of you - looking radiant and happy from within and most importantly relaxed! I myself would have loved a vacay like that - sun, sand, sexy people around me, and good food. Now tell me who made the huge heart in the sand with those pink flowers adorning it - so adorable! Also which luxury perfume were you spritzing darling?

  11. First of all, Happy Birthday to you 💕
    I just love your perspective on life. God bless you with many more colorful years of travel in style :)

  12. Belated happy birthday. God bless you. I totally agree with your life lessons. When you get to my age, you realize half the things you worried about were not important at all.

  13. Belated birthday wishes, Mandira. Those learnings are on point. Particularly about no regrets. Life is too short for that. And we end up missing the now fretting over the past.

  14. Very many happy returns of the day!! I myself turned 35 two months ago and I can so relate to your learnings :) Beautiful pics as always.

  15. Happy birthday to you. Why did you have to leave the little one behind? Poor thing! Among the 35 things you mentioned, I liked--'wear that expensive perfume' the best.

  16. A very happy birthday to you 🥳 I have been following your trip through your Instagram and it looks like you are having a gala time.

  17. Happy 35th! Hope you had a great time. And so cute that you carried the balloons. I agree with many points. As you grow older do what rocks your boat and don't care what people who don't matter think!

  18. Happy 35th birthday! I'm glad you had a lovely birthday celebration in an exotic location! I also completely agree with your 35 learnings.