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On the go: Villa Ortiga Design Studio founder found a friend in designer Jill Narongchai during a trip to Thailand

Sarabjit Singh feels solo trips can be a 'rigorous learning experience'.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 06, 2019, 01.03 PM IST
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Sarabjit Singh's ultimate bucket-list destination is South America.

For Sarabjit Singh, founder of the Villa Ortiga Design Studio, every trip is a learning experience.

Freshman year
“The first time I travelled solo was to Los Angeles. I landed in an alien city and was to live at a family friend’s house. Except they weren’t in town. So, I stayed in a motel and roamed the streets for three days until the host family returned home. It was scary and adventurous, all at once!

“The next solo trip came over 20 years later, when I travelled alone to Guangzhou in China. Every solo trip is a rigorous learning experience, even with the technology available today.”

Scaling the wall
“I visited Berlin immediately after Germany’s re-unification. It opened my eyes to borders, human and geographical. But it was also an uncomfortable place to be in. The vibrations and the weather made me all too aware about its dark history. At sub-zero temperatures, we walked across graffiti-covered walls and raw concrete buildings.”

Friend for life
“While in Bangkok, walking past the Soi 31 neighbourhood, I stumbled upon the studio of ace lifestyle designer Jill Narongchai. The two-storeyed glass display read: ‘By appointment’. I called the number and took an appointment for a time slot 30 minutes later.

“Over that and subsequent conversations, Jill became a friend and an inspiration. He subsequently came to India and visited my Delhi studio, and we did workshops together. It’s a friendship that has been an inspiration for my design life.”

A trip cut short
“Every journey of mine has been cut short by responsibilities at home and work. A lot of my travel is for work. On such trips, I miss my wife and children. Being away from the studio also gives me more to do once I am back. So, every trip seems cut short. But this sows the seeds for the next trip.”

Thailand redux
“I would like to return to south-east Asia, especially Thailand, repeatedly. It’s a place which attracts me with its sensitive artistic nature in people, food and landscapes. Each city is different and accessible, but in the Far East, you can experience a blend of traditional experiences, as well as enjoy Western comforts and style.”.

Bucket-list
“My ultimate bucket-list destination has to be South America, an entire continent waiting to be discovered. I am fascinated by what one can learn about the rich culture and philosophies in countries like Peru, Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. So much is sourced from South America: Mirror frames and fabrics from Peru, cane furniture from Colombia, leather from Mexico, real wood furniture from Brazil. It’s my dream to visit these.”

Travel Like A Boss: Here's Where Ananth Narayanan, Sebi Joseph Like To Holiday

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Leaving On A Jetplane

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