Phew what a year! It started off as a normal year with new year celebrations in Mumbai with the family, before we took a flight back on January 4th through Beijing – not knowing that we were spending 6 hours close to the origins of the pandemic! We spent the first couple of months of the year house hunting while we stayed in Sausalito. Ayaan and I celebrated a special day on his 5th Birthday as we took the ferry to the city and rented a Go car – Ayaan loved it and was my navigator. That same day we found the house of our dreams and put an offer. Things got a bit crazy and wild starting early March as the Coronavirus epidemic became a pandemic, my work trip to Spain got cancelled, we were suddenly working from home and preschool closed down. None of us knew what was happening until everyone was placed under shelter in place on March 16th when we realized the gravity of the situation. Amid this chaos and with the markets swinging wildly we closed on our new home in Tiburon on March 24th!
The 2.5 months we were locked in until June 1st felt a little bit like our sabbatical – we spent a lot of quality time with the kids and once again they adapted seamlessly to the new situation. We made the most of simple pleasures like going on a walk, watching pictures from our sabbatical, Zoom calls with the family, playing games and doing activity books. The major difference was we were stuck at home instead of traveling the world. Anjali was figuring out how to re-open AutoCamp properties with a new operating model while I was trying to scale up our video business at Twilio with major tailwinds. We moved into our new place amid the lockdown and instantly fell in love with the home with Blackies pasture and Ring Mountain steps away.
June 1st brought a new phase with outdoor dining and hotels reopening. The next 6 months were a mix of road trips, trying to balance hectic work with balancing kids schedules that changed every single day, and trying to make the most of living close to wine country. Ayaan started Kindergarten at Reed in August and we are so proud of him adapting to a mix of Zoom and in person classes. Ariana loved Ross Academy preschool singing songs all the time. This time was stressful and full of anxiety with cancelled trips, wildfires, orange skies, elections, virus scares and COVID tests. Our travel highlights during this time included a week long trip to Santa Barbara, Monterey and Tahoe: another drive up the coast to Oregon and the beautiful town of Bend with its amazing parks; and a trip to Yosemite and Tahoe where the kids enjoyed in the snow and Ayaan took his first ski lessons! We also sprinkled in weekend trips to Carmel Valley Ranch, Autocamp and Napa. Without these we might not have gotten through the year.
As we end the year we are locked down again forcing us to have our first ever staycation over the holidays. The kids loved it decorating the house with lights and truly enjoying the holiday season. Ariana and Ayaan have become best friends with playtime ending with the occasional fight. We are grateful that through this difficult year our family has remained healthy and safe and we’ve been able to create memories and find a home we love. We’re lucky to have work that is relevant and growing in these times and that the kids have been getting a good education, albeit partially remote. We look forward to getting on a plane again in 2021 and seeing our extended family in India and abroad. 2020 will go down in memory forever and we’re glad we survived!