Graduating in lockdown: A story of a student in India

I am delighted to introduce Vaishnavi, bringing an insight from India on the current lockdown situation for herself and her life as a student.

Vaishnavi has a great blog of art, photography, food and travel (safe to say it is four of my favourite things!) and I appreciate being able to share her story on my blog for the WordPress community.

I hope you all enjoy the read and this insight all the way from India!



Namaste! I am Vaishnavi Karnam, a 22-year old Communication Designer who just graduated from college during this worldwide lockdown. I am originally from Hyderabad and Bengaluru, two of the many state capitals of India, though I have been born and brought up in New Delhi, which is India’s capital. Coming from a rich cultural background from Southern India, my parents made sure my brother and I know our lineage, roots and our native language. Having said this, I am multi-lingual.


Being an elder child, I have always been given a lot of responsibility. But I have had my moments of being a brat and trying to do what I wanted to do. Also, making sure that I did things that I was expected to. I am not only my dad’s little girl, but I am close to my mom as well. My puppy dog eyes are irresistible and always works for me when it comes to my parents. Even though I was pampered a little bit, but I was also made to learn the hardships of life.

Since I was a kid, I have tried my hand at whatever was available to me. Starting from art, craft to music, dance and even sports. Oh, baking and reading too! You can say I am the jack of all trades and master of some. Not ‘none’! I have always had multiple interests, and I made sure to keep trying out new things as and when possible. One such thing that caught my attention and stuck with me amongst a few others is travelling. I have grown up looking at pictures and listening to my dad’s stories from when he used to travel for work. Listening to those stories kept me at the edge of the seat no matter how many times I heard them. It made me want to have some of my own stories like that, to feel that adrenaline rush every single time. That’s how my love for travelling started and, during one of my internships, I discovered my inclination to write. This gave birth, more like helped me to begin my blog. I write about food, travel experiences and sometimes life lessons as well.


When it came to choosing a career path, I was sure that I wanted to do something different from what anyone’s done in my family. A lot of parents in India pre-decide what course their child should pursue in school or college, mine never forced me into anything I didn’t want to do. From planning to study psychology when I started high school to then changing my mind and finally graduating as a Communication Designer, it has been quite a journey. All throughout college, one thing that my friends and I were looking forward to was an extraordinary graduation showcase and a memorable farewell. After all, we were going to start a new phase of our lives. I definitely didn’t expect 2020 to go like this. Like everyone else, I also thought 2020 was going to be my year. I was supposed to start the next phase of my life. I still would be taking the next step, but in a much different way than expected.


Never had I thought for COVID-19 to spread and become a pandemic leading to a lockdown almost everywhere in the world. Considering that I graduated not too long ago, I had about 2-3 months left for my college life to get over. I was hoping to have fun with my friends, peers and faculty in the college, having the most wonderful last few days of college that was left. Every plan I had went down the drain. I was sitting at home, either working on my graduation project, giving presentations online, which is nowhere near to the actual experience. I was usually found dancing and singing at celebrations in college, hanging out with friends, lounging in our studios, travelling and making memories that would last a lifetime.  I was never a social butterfly, but I have had my fair share of memories from my college life. Now, I can only imagine what I would have been doing in the past few months if we weren’t confined to our homes due to the pandemic. At this moment, we are planning what we can do once all of this is over, but we can only hope that it actually happens.

A week before the lockdown was announced, I was travelling for my graduation project in the mountains in northern India. This trip I took was preponed at the last moment; otherwise, there was quite a lot of chances that I would have got stuck at an unknown destination with hardly 3-4 pairs of clothes. I was lucky enough for my plans changing at the last minute. Though I am happy that I was back home right on time, unlike my friend who is stuck in an unknown town in Rajasthan (I feel so bad for him). Being a restless soul and staying at home 24/7 wasn’t really turning out the best for me. I was used to staying out of my house for at least 10-11 hours a day, and suddenly it went down to zero. Coping up to this change was tricky, trying to adjust to the new routine all of a sudden. We are a family of four, and I can say for sure that this is the first time that all of us have to stay under one roof for so long without stepping out at all. We had to adjust to each other’s new routine as a family. It was quite hilarious actually. Initially, it was challenging for me to keep sane, but then I tried small activities to help me adjust to this new routine. The first few days, I used to go to the terrace to look at the sunset and walk around a bit. Never had I seen so many people on their terraces. With nowhere else to go, that was the only escape.


Though when I am talking about what I used to do before COVID-19 struck, I feel like I am talking about a different life altogether. A life before taking multiple precautions to step out of the house and terrible news reaching us every day. There are some things that I used to do daily and miss doing it now. I miss the peak hour rush in the metros, booking a cab or bargaining with auto drivers, chilling at my favourite cafes and exploring Delhi even after staying in this city all my life. One thing I miss the most is eating out, especially Indian street food. It’s to die for.

I had a plan, to graduate college, travel and explore a new destination with my brother, get a job at a different city, move there and start fresh. I have always lived with my parents, except for a few years in between where I moved out to be closer to college. I was excited and hoping for a change. With the pandemic hitting us all, there have been so many changes all of a sudden. With employees being laid off left and right, hiring has definitely come to a freeze. The dream of getting the ideal job I had hoped for has been crushed. Sort of. The chances are quite low, considering the numerous people who are now in the market trying to look for new jobs. Though I am not giving up hope to find the perfect job for me, it is still scary when I think about it.

Now that I am free, I am trying to catch up on writing, reading, helping my mum with household chores and cooking. What I do whenever I have the time mostly depends on my mood. There are days when I only feel like binge-watching a show, texting my friends or just chilling in our house cribbing about when I’d get to go out. Video calls, virtual collaborations, Instagram stories of our routine, Tik Toks are now the latest trend.

I sometimes wonder what if Covid-19 hadn’t become such a vital matter, what if things were different, but it’s just left to what if. We can only dream or imagine what the scenario would be but cannot actually know. I know that with a nationwide lockdown in India, there have been positive implications. Pollution levels have really gone down, natural habitat is getting better, less traffic on the roads and we are spending more time with family. But did we really need something severe to affect us to make out lives slow down? Life has given us time to make things better, take time out for things we stopped doing because we never had the time, but did it have to be after putting so many lives at stake? I am trying to think positive, hoping that we all get out of this safe and sound, but I sometimes fear what else could happen, which might make things worse.


Well, that’s just me. I hope all of you are keeping safe and are doing well. I just hope one day, things will get back to normal and life will be better again. Until then, let’s hope for the best and stay healthy!




Thank you to Vaishnavi for providing this insight for my ‘Life in Lockdown’ series, aiming to provide a glimpse into the lives of people around the world during this pandemic.

All words are Vaishnavi’s own and for more great stories, art, photography, food and travel, please visit The Vaish Saga, and @thevaishsaga on Instagram.

Have a great week everyone!


Why you should visit this Korean house above a busy London road

Street art has made me more observant as a person. I have learned to keep my head up and look around. Even in the seemingly boring streets around the CBD, there is always an opportunity for discovery.

Wormwood Street is one of those streets. Above it a Korean house seemingly fell from the skies onto a concrete bridge, the work of Do Ho Suh, a Seoul- born installation artist.


Where to find it

Wormwood Street is within London’s CBD, the closest tube station being Liverpool Street. Moorgate, Bank and Aldgate surround it and are all within a 10 minute walk.


The art is easy to find once there, displayed directly above the main road and pavements beneath. I was lucky, stumbling upon it during my lockdown walks meaning a huge reduction in traffic. So much so in fact that I could actually walk down the road and right underneath it without disrupting traffic.


On, it states the following about the sculptor:

In exquisitely made works, Do Ho Suh explores contemporary arrangements of space and the unstable boundaries of its categorisation along lines of individuality and collectivity, physicality and immateriality, mobility and fixity. Influenced by his peripatetic existence – leaving his native South Korea to study and live in the United States, he has more recently moved between New York, Seoul and London – an enduring theme of the artist’s practice is the connection between the individual and the group across global cultures.


Like an oasis in the desert, the piece provides and escape out of highrise corporate London and into the streets of Korea. Not only does this stand out due to the architectural and cultural differences, it chooses to reside in an area almost inhabitable. Above a busy road, on a bridge, where the rent is probably unfathomable to most of us.


According to Londonist, this installation is part of Art Night and Sculpture in the City, something I have blogged about recently after making other small discoveries. I have another post on some nearby artwork for this project here.


I love this kind of thing, something so unexpected that stares you straight in the face after turning a corner. And a reminder to always keep your head up wherever you go, as every corner is an opportunity for a little escape from normality.

Thank you to Do Ho Suh for this one.




Victoria-Miro- artist bio




Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!



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Don’t try this at home

Walking underneath the skyscrapers in my previous post, I came across this interesting piece of art.

I think this is what causes pandemics…


This is ‘Crocodylius Philodendrus’ by Nancy Rubins. On the website it tells us a little bit about the artwork:

As part of her series Diversifolia– which in the scientific names of plants indicates a single species possessed with a considerable variety of leaf, Crocodylius Philodendrus employs clusters of bouquet like arrangements comprised out of a variety of animal forms that explode into space in all directions. Her calculated compositions employ a structural property called “tensegrity,” wherein individual parts are arranged in balanced compression and secured with tensile cables, that galvanizes the aluminium crocodiles, hogs and deer, cast iron tortoises, and bronze zebras into purely formal, abstract components as they propel into space due to their aggregate momentum. Circumnavigating her towering assemblage reveals the transformation of found objects and industrial refuse into expertly orchestrated abstractions that are fluid and rhizomatic in nature.

Lots of fancy words there. And lots of cool animals that can’t be found in London so I stayed there for a while staring at it from different angles.


The website displays many pieces of art that are currently dotted around the city centre, but also reminds everyone during the pandemic to refrain from looking for them for the time being. But at least I can show you this one, and if this kind of art is your thing, more can be seen in the link at the bottom of this post.

It takes me back to November 2017, walking along the coastline in Sydney whilst Sculptures by the Sea was taking place. Similar sculptures and if you want to check them out I have linked that post too. And who doesn’t like ocean pictures?! 😉

What do you think of this piece of art? Let me know!

Sculptures by the Sea– A day on Bondi to Coogee’s coastal walk



Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!



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I made a logo. What do you think?

Hey everyone, recently I’ve been having lots of thoughts about a logo for my blog and social media… I have had a few ideas in mind and today made the image that I thought about the most.

Now I don’t know if I prefer myself being in the display picture or having a logo for One Chance to See the World, but I think it is always good to have a design that can be associated with the channel. Especially if I am to going to start using more channels (Facebook and YouTube being the main ones) as I am feeling eager to start capturing more videos when on my wanders. I feel one logo that can be used for all platforms would provide more consistency, and would reduce the need for me to keep updating the DP when I move onto another location.

This is the logo I have decided on. So far!


What do you think? I had a couple others in mind, one being an hour glass as a symbol of my desire to live whilst we have the time. I felt that design just didn’t look right and only liked it when I added more to it. I just want a simple logo with minimal colour that can be recognised in black and white, so I decided against that and tried this one.

This logo also represents my desire to live life whilst I can, the heartbeat/ lifeline morphing into the outline of a passenger plane representing the travel aspect.

It’s simple, gets to the point and doesn’t matter if it is printed in black or white or with the colours inverted.


I would love to hear what you think. Do you like the idea of a logo representing a blog or channel? Or do you prefer a shot of the blogger themselves? Maybe something else with more colour or nature perhaps. I guess everyone is different and it would be impossible to ever get it 100% right, maybe the display picture is fairly irrelevant to you anyways. But regardless, I am eager to know your thoughts on this. What made you choose yours?

I hope to see you in the comments!




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My Australian Journey #9: The small and mysterious discoveries around Sydney

Whilst working in a new city it can be hard to see it in the same way you did with fresh tourist eyes. It takes more effort to take the same walks and keep an eye out for new things.


This is one of them. A statue of a young boy in a hoodie on the corner on George Street. Does he look vulnerable or troublesome to you? Depends on the perspective. Linked here is my original post on this, and with that I talk about the plaque that can be seen on the wall to the right of the boy.

It reads:

“Lest we forget them”

“Children seeking asylum in Australia are kept in detention as part of a government policy which inflicts harm on refugees fleeing violence and persecution.

Their suffering is our shame.

Here at this site we remember them and together call out for change.”

This wasn’t the words of the artist Caroline Rothwell⁠, it was in fact added anonymously later on. This picture was taken in October of 2017. If anyone knows if it is still there, please feel free to let me know!


Some finds are a little more joyful, such as this little library outside a home in the northern suburbs. I love that this has been added by a friendly neighbour, especially in an area that won’t have many tourists walking by. I was staying with family nearby and happened to go for an afternoon walk when I found it. It seems to be for the local community to always have a new book to read. A lovely gesture for sure.

After blogging about this little library in Melbourne it seems like a few of you have seen these in your own neighborhoods or on new adventures. It was fun to read and if anyone else has seen something similar it would be nice to hear about it.


I find plaques to be fascinating, mainly because we are looking back in time, often to the day something timeless was implemented. I am not sure what the one above says, but it will have some large significance to the Sydney Harbour Bridge of course. Just imagine being around at the time it was built, being excited about this brand new project and how it will change the views of the city. How long will it stand for? How popular will it be? How many horses, cars and trains will ride over it? If only they could see how times have changed, yet how proudly the bridge still stands… lucky for the locals that would have been able to see it go through some significant eras.

Thank you for reading, let me know if you made some interesting discoveries this week!



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My Australian Journey #6: More murals

I didn’t really venture too far out of the CBD when I was living in Sydney, other than where I lived in Crows Nest. So this is a rare picture from one of the surrounding suburbs, when I stumbled upon a piece of artwork that has actually been around for a while.


This piece has been around since 1983. A pretty long time if you ask me! I know there was a planned restoration looking back at my post from October 2017 however I am not sure if this has happened.

The artists name is Carol Ruff, and from the linked article I added to the post above I found the following:

Artist Carol Ruff played a key role in planning, designing and painting the 40,000 years mural in 1983. She explains how the now faded original images pay tribute to Redfern’s powerful Aboriginal history of abundance, tragedy, perseverance and accomplishment.

The salient message, “40,000 years is a long, long time/ 40,000 years still on my mind …” is inspired by Joe Geia’s song, “40,000 Years”. “We were trying to say that even before Redfern, Aboriginal people have been there, have been in that area, have known this country, this place,” Ms Ruff said.

40,000 years is a hell of a long time. It helps me to realise that 1983- the time the artwork was created- was just yesterday. I cannot even comprehend that amount of time, not to mention what life was like back then. No highrises dominating the skyline, none of the technology we take for granted today. And with that, what will life be like 40,000 years into the future? I don’t know what is a more interesting question, as both have their mysteries.

If you had to choose from two time machines, would you want to take a look at life 40,000 years ago, or 40,000 years into the future? For me it would be the future, with fingers crossed that it is a good time to be around.

Let me know!


Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

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I guess this is what being thirty looks like…

I have never been one to attend a theater production on my own accord, only going along with people that wanted to and this was mainly as a child. This evening was no different as I was given two free tickets from my general manager to see the performance Come From Away, an award winning show about stranded passengers after the attacks on September 11th 2001.

The official website has this to say about the production.

COME FROM AWAY tells the remarkable true story of thousands of stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland, Canada that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

Given the nature of the story, it was surprisingly upbeat and humorous. But without spoiling it it focuses on the passengers more than the event itself.

I took a friend along, we went to China Bar for food beforehand on Swanston Street as this is very convenient before or after an event. No reservations and open 24 hours meaning you are guaranteed a good meal not matter how late. Melbourne is such a great food city too, I am certainly going to miss it when I leave.

And that first Corona went down a treat. We realised that we still had quite a bit of time left before the theater opened it’s doors, so we went to another favorite of mine, Fathers Office. This bar does a great happy hour from 5-7pm and 8-10pm, and we squeezed a couple more beers in before the show. I am not sure how wise this was as we seemed to forget we weren’t going to a rock concert, but we managed to keep it civilized.

In fact, this is the bar I posted about not too long ago when a group of us unintentionally ended up in a divorce party. You can read about here.

The theater isn’t the biggest, so everyone had a great view close to the performance. Obviously we were told not to record during it so my photos end here. It wasn’t a long show (which I was concerned about as I find it hard to sit still for too long), and without an intermission.

Pro tip: Take two glasses of the inevitably expensive wine to see you through. Security isn’t as strict as it is in a bar…

Now we were the youngest in there by- actually that’s the thing. Not by a lot. The young ladies next to us were only a few years older, and I am worried that we fit right in. And I enjoyed it, so I guess this is who I am now.

Have any of you heard of this performance or even seen it? I believe a portion of the play has been performed live on TV shows to help promote it, so it is quite well known. I would recommend this to anyone into theater and those in Melbourne whilst it is here.

The website has a cool page with a world map, people have stopped by and marked where they are from around the world. It was cool to see someone from my city back home and how widespread the markers are.

See who is from your city, and if there isn’t one there, get tagging! 😉




Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

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Memorial Street Art

I found this piece of street art on the side of a building, down a side street in Melbourne’s suburb of Windsor not too long ago. I wasn’t able to find out who the art was dedicated to until now so I thought I would do a post about it.

I tried to search the persons name in Google but I wasn’t sure of the spelling, until I found this article- Spray it with love: R.I.P. street art. Here it talks about Adam Bonnici, who tragically lost his brother Simon Bonnici in a bike accident in Bali in 2013, the date shown on the wall. Simon was 30 at the time. The name and dates match this, and a motorbike can also be seen in the mural. Along with the bike, Simon’s beloved pet dog Raffy is also seen.

According to the article the artist wishes to remain anonymous, which was the reason it took a little longer to identify the person in the art. The art really stood out for me as Simon’s face is the standout feature of the piece, closest to the pavement.

It is a reminder that life is fragile, and that we should always respect others as we don’t know what they are going through and who they have lost. I am pleased I was finally able to find out a little more about this and the person it was dedicated to.

Rest in peace to Simon.


Because free hugs were so 2018…

I found this guy very kindly offering insults for the bargain price of $1 today, outside of Flinders Street Station. If the world needs more of something, it has got to be insults…

Or maybe we need more people able to take offence. As Rocky famously said, it isn’t about how hard we hit. It is about how hard we can get hit and keep moving forward. What stops us at times is our decision to find things offensive instead of realising it is a waste of time even acknowledging it. As long as we are moving forward, everything else is irrelevant.

Like regrets, we should focus on the future and not what has already been said and done. The past may be the reason we are where we are, but we can use this moment to keep moving, or turn around and try and get back to that past which isn’t possible.

I say keep moving!



Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

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Do you suffer from this too?

Spotted at Melbourne Central in the CBD.



Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.