(Wikipedia) ‘An Expatriate (often shortened to Expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of their citizenship. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).
This blog aims to discover people who are adventurers like me, venturing out in a new place to call home and creating memories. I have previously lived with my parents and siblings in the Saudi Arabia when I was in high school. I have enjoyed and cherished my memories in the beautiful Sandbox I once called my home. Now, I am in a new adventure with my husband and son here in Singapore.
I am featuring Expats in different countries every two weeks to share their experiences and adventures with you and me.
I met our featured expat for today in a Breastfeeding event. She is one of the official photographer of the event as well as an advocate of breastfeeding. I am happy to introduce the talented Peaches Kamath! “
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are originally from?
I am Peaches, from San Jose, Antique. I was born in Manila, but half of my life I have been moving around – 1 year in Bacolod, 2 years in Negros Occidental, finished my elementary and high school in San Jose when my parents finally settled in, 5 years in Iloilo for college and 8 years in Manila (where I moved 5 places in 8 yrs) for work and now I’ve settled in India with my family. I finished Management Accounting at Central Philippine University, hated and sucked in Math, history and geography! Again, bad in numbers – which makes me wonder how I made it out of College, lol!
I loves artsy fartsy stuff, was a BSB and Boyz II Men fan, enjoys good food with good friends, an ultimate fun-lover who laughs and burps loudly – sorry not sorry.. I am easily pleased and like a chameleon, I can easily adjust and adapt to any situation. I think I’m funny, people think I’m hyper. I know what is right, what is my right and I know when to fight. I can come off bitchy because of my strong personality, but I’m actually very very nice and warm like a hot choco fudge.
I am blessed with 2 kids and supportive husband and I am currently pursuing my passion – or two. 😀
And oh, I also sing.
- What made you move to India? How long have you been here?
I am married to an Indian, hence the move here in 2012.
- What do you miss about your home country?
I miss the weekend life, the stunning beaches, food, shopping, clubbing. I miss being able to go out alone, for some ME time. I also miss visiting and buying clothes from thrift shops and the very cheap spas, mani pedi services and hair salons, lol!
- What are the wonderful discoveries and things you like about in India?
In every country, there is always the good, the bad and the ugly. Most of the people I know, especially those who have never visited, has a bad impression of this country. I admit, once upon a time, I did too :p
But when I came here,I realized that people are people wherever you go. Yes, Indians are bounded by their culture and tradition, but they too are the same like us, Filipinos. In fact, in some things they are better than us. Indians are very hospitable, way more hospitable than Filipinos, surprisingly. They also know how to save, how to invest, are hard working and that too very warm loving individuals. And yes, they do know how to have fun too!! Indians are also, no doubt, very very artistic. Their creative skills never fails to amaze me!
Of course, once in a while, you come I come across backwards people who are still stuck in the stone age and some are just plain pain in the arse, but hey, people are people wherever you go
India = SLUM? Nope!
There’s more to India than slums and cows wandering in the streets. Such beautiful places are waiting to be visited, four of which I want to really see very soon – Taj Majal, Kashmir, Rajasthan and Kerala! There’s also Darjeeling, Udaipur, Jaipur, Pondicherry, Mangalore, Bangalore and many more!! Mega Cities surprisingly have really amazing infrastructures equipped with advanced technology. Mumbai for one, has beautiful buildings and modern facilities which was a shocker to me, I suddenly felt that the modern offices I used to work in Manila are nothing, hahaha.
India also offers one of the best cuisine I have eaten in my life. While I’m no big chilli fan, sans the chilli, Indian food is just utterly delicious! The food is full of flavors that it sticks in your palette for days and yes, food screams in colors – red, orange, green, yellow!! Haha!
I am married to a South Indian, where staple food is dosa and idli. I feel so blessed to have married a South Indian where majority of their food is cooked with coconuts, and I love coconuts! My MIL is the best cook I know aside from my Mom! No matter how simple the food she makes for us, it’s all cooked and served with love!
Fashion?? You don’t need to go to Paris for that! In India itself you will find amazing, talented, creative, innovative designers who will make you go crazy of their stunning creations! I am so deeply in love with the sarees, kurtis, anarkalis, chanya cholis – aah my list goes on forever!
When I came here for the first time in 2010, I totally felt as if there’s a party everyday, with women all dressed beautifully in colorful clothes, and accessories that screams for attention! Amazing!
- What are the 3 tips you can give to fellow expats in India or those you planning to move her?
1.) Research about the place you are moving in to. Some places aren’t as developed so its better to get to know the place before you settle there. This will help you mentally prepare and set your expectations of the life you are going to live in. In some places in India, the mentality is still different so its better set expectations ahead.
2.) Second, bring important documents. From school certificates to CENOMAR to employment certificates, whatever you can get, bring it with you because you’ll never know what your future here is. It’s not so easy to get documents fr Philippines and its expensive to mail them to India.
3.) Third, find a Filipino community, touch-base with them and meet them once in a while. This will somehow help rule out homesickness.
- The LITTLE MISS HONEY community gets inspired through travel, food and books. Can you tell us your current FAVORITE TRAVEL SPOT, current FAVORITE FOOD/RESTAURANT DISCOVERIES & current FAVORITE BOOK?
I haven’t travelled that far yet, so I am going to keep Mumbai as my current favorite travel place, specifically Churchgate because of the Art Museum, the High Court which made me feel like I am in Harry Potter land and the shopping street near Taj Hotel (I forgot th street name) My current favorite restaurant (which is not so current but I anyhow love it) is the Leopold Café which is also in Churchgate, Mumbai! They serve the most amazing pot rice, cheesecake, mango mandiri and one should not miss it when visiting Mumbai!
Currently not into reading because of my busy schedule, but I did loved Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother which I read in 2013.
- Where do you get your inspirations? Who or what inspires you?
When it comes to art or creativity, I get inspired by random dreamy, cotton candy-ish, pastels things of any kind and medium – if you may call it like that. I don’t have any favorite artists to obsess with. I am more of a “wow-this-looks-amazing” kind. Follow or Like. Check a bit of info. Go back. Scroll down and move on. If it’s really something or someone very very interesting, I do stalk a bit, lol
I love quotes, I love women empowerment and live your life quotes so I read good quotes to kick start my day!
- I have meet you in a breastfeeding event. Can you tell us more about your advocacy to breastfeeding?
I didn’t get to breastfeed my first-born for a long time. He was mixed-feed since birth. I wanted to BF him but due to lack of knowledge and support, I discontinued it after a month and a half as he himself didn’t want to latch. Since then I promised that with my second child, I will breastfeed her no matter what and will only wean her when she wants to. I kept myself ready mentally and physically for my second childs’ BFing journey. I researched about it, I ate food and took supplement that would help boost my supply. My husband and the whole family’s support helped a lot that I still breastfeeding at 26 months and has no plans to stop anytime soon. It does exhaust me but I know in my heart I am doing the right thing and as long as my daughter wants to BF, I’ll BF her.
- During that breastfeeding event, you were also one of the official photographers. How did you get started on photography?
I started as a hobbyist in June 2008, that’s when I got my first DSLR. I fired my employer in December of the same year and took a good 2 months break from work. I got bored in the first month, so I decided to look for something to do that is not office-related. I shamelessly emailed Cosmopolitan magazine that time, asking if they were looking for apprentice photographers. I was told that they don’t have in-house photographers and if I want to learn, I should go and give it a try with my favorite photographer. That time I was such a huge fan of Metrophoto. Oly, the guy behind it, and I were colleagues in Deutsche Bank. I emailed him right away and asked if I he was looking for an apprentice and if yes, Id like to apply. To my delight, he was that time looking for a female photographer to join his group! I went for my first gig as VA for Metrophoto on February 15, 2009! J I remember I was supposed to shoot as VA for a year, but it was cut short and come April 2009, I started as his 3rd shooter and that’s when my relationship with wedding photography bloomed! I didn’t learn just wedding photography from Oly. I also learned from his workshops, the business side of it. I was also exposed to the wonderful world of the wedding industry where I realised that there are people who will really appreciate and pay for your creative and artistic skills! And the most important thing is, it opened my eyes to a realization that yes, its possible to chase your dreams, pursue your passion and at the same time, get paid for doing it!
- I know you have a photography company called Lil Portraits. Can you tell more about it?
Lil Portraits is a lifestyle and contemporary photography which caters exclusively to expecting moms, newborns, kids and families. We are into capturing candid moments that bursts with love, happiness, colors and sunshine! We want our images to show raw and real emotions that would make our clients look at the photographs 20 years after and remember the love and relationship she or he had shared with the people in the photograph.
The idea to do kids photography started in 2010 when I was still working in Shell. I wanted to quit the Corporate world then but that time, it wasn’t doable. I brushed the idea aside and it was only after we had our second baby in 2013 that I decided to go for it. With my husband’s support, we launched Lil Portraits and I didn’t look back in getting employed again!
- I hope you don’t mind if you give us some photography pointers for trying-hard amateur photographers like us?
Buy a good camera, but don’t buy an expensive lens at the same time. Maximize your kit lens because it can do a lot of amazing things! Discover which type of photography you are interested in and good at, practice practice practice and only then, invest in a lens.
Depending on the type of photography you are doing, aside from practicing, you should also read tutorials online, follow people who inspires you, subscribe in photography blogs and yes, do read the tips you get from the emails they send you because those are pretty. Join a photography community, participate in their online conversations and contests, go for photo walks and exhibitions, meet fellow photographers! Keep flooding your instagram posts and be open always for CC.
Not everyone loves enhancing their photos. Oh, let me clarify that, every beginner hates enhancing or “photoshopping” their work because they want their photographs to look “natural” and not “overprocessed” LOL (I should know, I used to think of the same).
Photoshop, Lightroom or whatever enhancing apps there are, they are not your enemies! While you think your photos are good as is, if you are a blogger or someone who has products to promote, you at least need to present your photos publicly where it should look enticing to your audience. So enhancing them a bit, doing color correction a bit and brightening it a little bit here and there would really help improve the image. Remember, photographs plays a powerful role in this day and age. In fact it is too powerful that even you are writing nonsense, the activities or products you are promoting is not at par, if you have great photographs, it boosts your brand big time. So learn basic post processing. I started with Lightroom because it was easier to organize and sort, easier to play with the colors and all. It’s easy to learn and there are a lot of tutorials you can find online now. Learn the basics, then once you familiar with it, you can start playing with the colors.
- If you have a friend coming to visit India for the first time and you have the whole day to show her around, which places are you going to take her?.
India is such a huge country with a lot of beautiful places to visit that one day won’t be enough. But if its only for a day, I’d bring her to Taj Mahal. I, myself, have not been there, but I have heard a lot of good stuff from those who have already visited the place and was told how magnificent and breath taking that place is. Of course, it wouldn’t be one of the 7 wonders of the world if it wasn’t that great! 😉 And then we would head back to Delhi and shop, lol.
- Lastly, can you share with what is your inspirational mantra in life?
You only live once, so live with passion.
Thank you Peaches for sharing with us some photography tips and giving us a glimpse of India. I hope to visit the country someday.
If you are an expat or know any expats who are interested to be featured, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.”