After retiring, I decided I wanted to learn more about mobile app development so I designed an Apple app and began looking for a developer to write the code. I picked an individual in India who previously worked for Microsoft. His name was Rupreet and he did a great job with the app. Once the app was live, I went back to traveling and enjoying retired life.
Then in 2016, an old friend called to ask if I would consider working part time as a consultant for a startup company in North Carolina. He wanted me to lead a team who could develop a web-based workflow solution. After mulling it over (and agreeing that I could continue traveling as I have before), I came on board.
After doing a few months of discovery regarding features needed of the product, I began thinking about who could do the work. I contacted my friend Rupreet (who did my app) and he and a partner had built a business in Chandigarh India to provide software outsourcing. The timing was right, so we hired them as our outsource partner.
Prior to this, I had no knowledge of Chandigarh. It’s located north of Delhi.
I came to learn that in a country of over 1.3 billion people, 29 states, and 7 union territories — Chandigarh is the cleanest city and has the highest happiness index. So how does the size of India compare to the USA? It is about 1/3 the size.
When I started this consulting gig, I figured I would get the software up and running and return to full time retirement. But it has now been almost 4 years and I am still enjoying the part time work. As long as I can continue having freedom to travel and feel that I am can make a positive impact on the project, I am happy to continue doing it.
Although we’ve worked with the team in Chandigarh for almost 4 years, I had never visited until recently.
We started out trip in New Delhi — the capital of India. One of the partners of our outsourcing partner lives in Delhi and he was a great host. We ate amazing Indian food and closed down several night clubs before heading to bed at 3:00 a.m.
One of the local desserts is something called Paan.
It’s part breath freshener and part digestive aid. It is a wad of dried fruits, spices and seeds wrapped into a large green leaf from the betel nut plant. Our host spotted a local shop, purchased it and asked us to swallow it down.
How did it taste? To us, it tasted like soap! For most, probably licorish.
The rest of our stay was in Chandigarh. Right away, we noticed it was much cleaner and less crowded than New Delhi. It is a master planned city that resides in one of the union territories — so it is not actually in an Indian state.
Our hosts treated us to some of the best restaurants in town. The person to the left below is Ketan — he owns the outsourcing company that we partner with. This was at a micro brewery. It was a bit different than our micro breweries in that it had a live deejay with music pumping as you sipped your brew.
The place below was a sports bar with stadium seating and dining pods. Kinda reminded me of The Hobbit. This was a very cool dining experience.
They also have trendy restaurants with amazing service. This place had an amazing ambiance and outdoor seating with fireplaces and individual table side warming stoves.
We had a few days to explore Chandigarh. We visited the Silent Garden and Sukhna Lake where the locals were enjoying the 60 degree winter weather.
Of course, daily life in India is much different than the states. People commute via bicycle, motorcycle, scooters, and even via horse. That’s what I love about travel, you get to experience cultures unlike your own and gain a great appreciation for life.
I’ll leave you with a picture of our team in India — a great bunch of people!