India: More Than a Place of Poverty

29 Aug india

I received an email forward the other day titled, India – Not a Place for Tourists.  Immediately I opened it and was presented with nothing but a slideshow of extremely disturbing images such as these:

I was disgusted, not with the images, but of how India was exploited and then touted as a place not for tourists.  How could someone create a slideshow of horrific images, of a place they’ve probably never been (or if they have, probably never embraced), title it, save it and forward it to all their friends stating that, because of what is presented, one should be advised against visiting?

Unfortunate lifestyles occur all over the world. What about human trafficking in countries like Cambodia?

Or an actual city made out of trash and named accordingly, such as Garbage City in Cairo, Egypt:

Or the 15,000 homeless people right here in Toronto?

India shouldn’t be discriminated against because there is a high percentage of poverty.  Poverty exists. Of course there are certain levels, but it’s all one and the same.

What about all the positives that make India truly great?  Its beauty:

Its romance:

I was fortunate enough to visit Goa a few years ago and while I was there for only a weekend, and while most wouldn’t consider it a “true representation of India”, it was just long enough for me to experience what lies beneath the surface of those unforgiving slideshow images in that email forward.  The people of India are innocently curious, willing to pitch in and seemingly content.  They run businesses like anyone else, play like the everyone else and eat wholeheartedly.

Furthermore, it is one of the most mind-opening places on earth.

One day during my trip, my Goan friend, whom I met up with while there, took me to his favorite spot. His thinking spot.  His spot to runaway to when he wanted to escape the moment and just be.  We rode his motor bike up a stony mountain, down narrow paths, through prickly brush and finally reached a cliff overlooking heaven:

He said, “India is the only place on earth that awakens all five of your senses”.  When I thought about what that meant, he was right.

The palette of sari colors that blend among the crowds create a mix of hues so pleasing to the eye you won’t want to blink.

Aroma’s of graham masala, cummin and saffron swirl through the air so thick your nose can’t tell the difference between being in front of food or not.

Whether you indulge in a prawn cocktail or tikka masala, each mouthful is presented with tens of thousands of flavors; identifying exactly what’s in it is nearly impossible.

The 415 languages varied from community by passing community, overwhelm your ears so much that the iconic sounds of Led Zepplin or Elvis Presley couldn’t compare.

And finally your sense of touch.  More than silky materials, anything here can enlighten you with just a simple touch.  Swirling your fingers through one of India’s breathtaking beaches, pressing your fingers against a Buddah,  grasping the rubber handle bars while you zip through villages on a motor bike, ripping apart naan and dipping it in authentic butter chicken.

India is more than just poverty displayed across a few powerpoint slides in an email forward.  It’s a country that is hardworking:

playful:

quirky:

delicious:

spiritual:

and a place that makes you feel alive in a way you never thought possible.

The 8 Most Annoying People You’ll Meet on the Road

15 Sep

By David Joshua Jennings

It has been said that “travel broadens the mind,” but this is a bit simplistic and isn’t always the case. Nor is it true that all travelers possess a similar personality type, or that they are all adventurous, open-minded or courageous. Sometimes people travel to give meaning to their lives when they don’t have any. They define themselves through travel, styling themselves as independent adventurers and looking down upon the general slew going to and from their offices each day. Their only concerns are where they have been and where they are going next. I, me, mine. Travel becomes solipsistic.

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12 Career Skills That Travel Will Improve

12 Sep

By Mabel Lee, Bootsnall

Most people think of travel as a break from the pressures and commitments of daily life, especially those encountered in the grind of the working world. Seen as the antithesis of work, travel is the most sought-out way to de-stress and get away from it all. But when it comes to taking a longer and more significant break from work, travel can even be seen as an activity that is counterproductive or harmful to one’s career path. When people write off career break traveling, they tend to mention its lack of concrete experiences which can be put towards building a formidable resume. The difficulty of explaining a career break trip to a future employer is one of the reasons why some are reluctant to set off on their next big adventure.

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It’s All Greek to Me: The Origins of 15 Popular Travel Expressions Explained

30 Aug

By Reannon Muth   |   June 9th, 2011

We use travel idioms like it’s all Greek to me and shoe-string budget every day but do you ever stop to wonder what they mean? What’s a shoestring?  And why do we travel through South-East Asia on one?  The following are origins – and explanations – for 15 popular travel words and expressions.

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10 Hot New Nightlife Destinations

18 Aug Evening approaches over one of Dubai's popular rooftop bars, Dubai, UAE

London, Vegas, Moscow and Rio.  These and other famous party locales are becoming more and more overlooked as global party-trotters attempt to uncover the best, new, hotspots of the decade.  For a wild time and a mix of culture, check out the ten new ultimate nightlife destinations of modern tourism:

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Around the World in a Single Day – Intelligent Travel

15 Aug

By Kimberly Simmons

On July 24, 2010, National Geographic asked people around the world to turn their video cameras on themselves and record a magnificent or ordinary moment of their lives. People in over 190 countries participated, submitting 80,000 videos to YouTube. Producer Ridley Scott and Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald took 4,500 hours of video and edited it into a 95-minute movie about life in a single day on this planet. This global, user-generated documentary, “Life in a Day,” celebrates the wonders of life and being alive; it’s a beautiful montage of the human experience.

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6 Bad Travel Habits and How to Avoid Them

24 Jul Palais du Louvre, Paris, France; they say it takes 2 - 5 weeks to walk the entire thing.

We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it.  Regardless of our different holiday styles, there are certain things we’re guilty of doing when we travel that stump our culture growth, and muddle our experiences.  Read on to see how many bad travel habits you’ve been known to do, and how you can avoid them.

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