Month: March 2015

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Wandering in the Wild with Taj Safaris.

I woke up to a distant roar, and felt a chill run down my spine. Sitting up, I slowly moved the curtain behind me, half expecting two fierce eyes staring back. Much to my relief, the only glow in the pitch black night was from the million stars twinkling above. A cool breeze tingled my face, and the stillness of the surrounding forest washed over me. I oriented myself in the dim light of a lantern, reminding myself that I was sleeping in a machan in the buffer zone of Pench National Park. My love affair with Central India’s forests began a couple of years ago, when I lost myself in their wild ecosystem, and discovered why encroaching on tiger territory on safari may not necessarily environmentally irresponsible (Read: Wildlife Tourism: Are We Saving the Tiger?). So when Taj Safaris‘ invitation to experience the dramatic forests of Pench landed in my inbox while I was away in Central America, it went right to the top of my India cravings. Now, with a friend in tow, I was tucking back into the comfy machan of our hut at Baghvan – a …

why we travel

I Travel Because…

We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again — to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more. ~ Pico Iyer As much as Pico Iyer’s words have inspired me on my own journeys, I spent the last week soaking in the wisdom of 667 of my readers – reading through the entries to my last contest. On popular demand, here are the most creative and inspiring answers (along with photos of the great minds behind them): I travel because… “Bank balances, car brands, and salary hikes are a poor measure of life’s worth. I measure it by the songs I sang facing the Nilgiris, the unhurried conversations with strangers by the sea, the stories I heard, the people I loved and the many homes I discovered in strange places.” ~ Ullas Marar; @ullasmarar *** “I want to breathe other air, taste other food, speak other languages so that everywhere …

Central America travel blog

6 Months, 6 Countries: Epic Memories from Central America.

This week, I made the long journey back to India from the Americas. Having a glass of wine at the bar on my Virgin Atlantic flight, I got chatting with a fellow passenger from Costa Rica, and began reminiscing about my adventures of the last six months. When he asked me what my most memorable experiences in Central America were, I was torn. Should I tell him about the wild dolphins playing in front of my rancho in Panama? Or how a Tico mugged me in San Jose, Costa Rica? Or living with an indigenous Mayan family in Guatemala?

So I emptied my glass, and promised to tell him this story on my blog!

Thailand beaches

Monday Blues Are Better on a Beach in Thailand.

I’m wrapped up in layers amid cold winds from the Arctic and dancing snowflakes, on the streets of New York. A faint sun curiously peeks out from a gloomy sky, transporting me back to winter last year – a foggy Delhi I found myself stuck in when a sponsored international trip bailed on me days before the new year. I remember sitting on a terrace under the hazy Delhi sky, desperately looking online for flights that could take me far, far away. As luck would have it, I found a flight to Thailand for only INR 8000 ($120) – when most domestic flights were upwards of INR 30,000 – and impulsively decided to book it. One hour before New Year midnight, I arrived at Bangkok airport and hurriedly got a visa-on-arrival stamped on my passport, checked into a nice yet inexpensive hotel, and went out to a local restaurant to fire up my taste buds with a vegetarian yellow curry. Just as I was finishing, a group of young Thai boys and girls invited me to join them for a new year street dance! That is Thailand – …