2018 — A list of things I loved

2018 was great. It had its setbacks but I’d like to think that I had a fairly good time this year, even though I spent most of my time in college. 2018 has been a year of major milestones, unforgettable moments and new friendships for me. As the year comes to an end, I have decided to share my 2018 favorites with everyone through this blog post. I’ll be talking about my favorite books, podcasts, moments and a lot of other stuff that I enjoyed in 2018. So read on if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

Books

Because of the limited time I get to spend on reading, especially when I’m at school, I pick my reads carefully. I mostly enjoyed all the books I read this year and some even influenced me on a deeper level. Here are my favorites -

Am I There Yet? The Loop-de-Loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood By Mari Andrew

Mari’s comics are my favorite. I picked up this book one evening when I was wandering through a book store in downtown Mountain View and spent the rest of that evening reading this cute little book at the park. It is a half-narrative, half-illustration sort of thing with a LOT OF RELATABLE content for millennials journeying into adulthood. Mari takes us through her 30 year journey into adulthood by highlighting themes like grief, heart-break, dating, finding purpose, self-discovery and the like. Linking her Instagram here in case you want to check out her comics before buying the book.

Circe by Madeline Miller

I HAVE NO WORDS TO TELL YOU HOW AMAZING THIS BOOK WAS. First of all, the cover of this beautiful book should be a good enough reason to buy it. I’m still screaming over how pretty this book looks. CAN’T. GET. OVER. IT.

Circe is a story about how goddess Circe, the daughter of Titan Helios, grows into her own after being criticized for her powerlessness as a goddess and her love for mortals. If reading about Greek mythology, complex characters, resilient women are your thing, PLEASE GO AND READ THIS RIGHT NOW. Circe’s character development as the book progresses was something else and the writing blew my mind.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

OH MY GOD. WHERE DO I BEGIN WITH THIS BOOK? This is the first book in “The Folk of the Air” series; the second one is going to be released in January 2019.

*STARTS SCREAMING*

Jude Duarte is my favorite character of all time. I have never related more to a character in a book. Cardan’s wickedness, Jude’s sacrifices, Locke’s betrayal, Taryn’s selfishness, OH MY GOD I WAS HERE FOR IT ALL. This book had all of my senses triggered because of the beautiful world building and reading it was such an experience. I recommend it to anyone who’s into fantasy world building and into having their mind blown by insane plots lol.

The Last Girl by Nadia Murad

This was one of my serious reads this year. I had been following Nadia’s work and her story for a while before I came across this one. The Last Girl is the real life story of Nadia’s life, her family, of thousands of Yazidis who are hurting at the hands of ISIS. Content Warning: Includes stories of captivity, slavery, sexual violence and all sorts of things that can break the human spirit. It was one of the hardest books I have read in my life. This book served as a reminder on how much work needs to be done by us in the human rights space.

Music

Youth by Shawn Mendes — VERY IMPORTANT SONG. PLS LISTEN.

Eastside by Benny Blanco, Halsey & Khalid — Shazamed this song at Forever21 a week ago. I’m still a sucker for cute pop songs haha.

R.E.M by Ariana Grande — WHAT IS THAT VOICE? THAT GIRL IS KILLING IT.

God is a Woman by Ariana Grande — VV SWEET AND SENSUAL.

Like To Be You by Shawn Mendes and Julia Michaels — SWEETEST SONG EVER.

Literally just picked a few songs from the top of my head. Don’t take this favorites list too seriously, lol.

Podcasts

IRL by Mozilla — I enjoyed listening to the first and second seasons of this podcast. I haven’t listened to the third one yet. My favorite thing about IRL is that they invite guest speakers that are not only tech workers but are people from across various disciplines to share their perspectives on technology, its impacts and their experiences.

The Good Life by Stevie and Sazan — I LOVE THIS COUPLE AND THEIR ADORABLE DAUGHTER SO MUCH. Sazan and Stevie share everyday wisdom, experiences, their faith and all sorts of life stuff on this podcast. My favorite thing about their podcast is that it leaves me feeling so positive and great about life in general after I listen to it.

Favorite places I visited

I didn’t get to do a lot of personal travel this year, as I was busy with school and my internship. However, I had a fun time this summer in California and I’m so happy that I got to travel to all these nice little places in and around the SF Bay Area.

Yosemite

So the first place on my list is obviously YOSEMITE. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with this place. Thanks to my wonderful friends Florian, Ben and Swathi for all the amazing times we had and for planning it. I never thought that I was the outdoorsy, adventurous type of person before I moved to California this summer and Yosemite just blew my mind away with it’s beauty. Bridal Veil falls, Yosemite falls, Half Dome Village, Tunnel View and OH MY GOD the beautiful Mist trail to Vernal falls are some of my favorite spots that we checked out.

Muir Woods forest

I also enjoyed visiting the Muir Woods forest north of San Francisco. I loved seeing huge red wood trees for the first time in real life. The park was a perfect weekend getaway and it was so peaceful to be there. I will definitely be driving down there in the future when I’m back in the Bay Area.

Spanish Bay Golf Course

We did the scenic 17 mile drive south of Monterey and the Spanish Bay golf course was one of my favorite spots on that route.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando

Hogsmeade

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a HUGE HARRY POTTER FAN (Slytherin stan) and OH MY GOD, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios surpassed all of my expectations going into that place. SHOUT OUT TO MOZILLA FOR RESERVING THAT SPACE FOR THE ALL HANDS AFTER PARTY.

Favorite 2018 moments

San Francisco Pride

Ben, Prathiksha, Sunjay (left to right)

SF Pride 2018 was a lot of fun. It was my first time marching, and doing it with other Mozilla interns and friends was AMAZING. The music, colors and everything about that evening was so much fun and I’m so thankful for that experience.

And this is it for my list of favorites. I’m sure I missed a lot of things but I’m glad that I was able to take some time to reflect on this year as it comes to an end. I’m excited for 2019 and I hope it will be better than 2018. There’s also the fact that I’m done with school and won’t be going back to one anytime soon (read EVER). Finally feels like its time to go out into the world and adult now. See ya!