Mother India: Ballet of Organized Chaos
Multi-Dimensional, Entertainment-Lifestyle, Artist-Entrepreneur. Phew, that’s a mouthful. I realize that “multi-dimensional, entertainment-lifestyle, artist-entrepreneur” sounds a bit pompous, but attempting to define or describe oneself is by nature a bit pompous. It’s also not an easy task, as it can be rather tedious and challenging to nail down who you are in a few words, an image, a comment, a post, a sound. Yes, it’s a dirty job, and someone has to do it. So, with the help of coaches, family, and friends, I did it.
According to me—KB—one aspect that goes into a multi-dimensional, entertainment-lifestyle, artist-entrepreneur, is that of crazy-cool travel, though others would likely describe it similarly. Lifestyle-Entrepreneur, Lewis Howes (The School of Greatness), says the following items define what it means to be a lifestyle-entrepreneur for him:
1. Spending time with the people who matter most to me. 2. Being able to travel (and for once in my life NOT worry about finances). 3. Working and creating with my amazing team. 4. Making an Impact on the world and those around me. Lewis Howes
I’ll raise a glass to that. I’ll also add that sharing a beer anywhere in the world with new friends, or old, is part of the job description, too. Well, I’d like to think that it’s part of mine—wink.
In the past few years, as well as at other times in my life, I have had the good fortune of being able to travel to many places on our beautiful planet, and what I love most about traveling is it gives me direct access to people and cultures that are different than my own. Travel opens the aperture of a new lens. One of my favorite places on all of earth thus far? India.
India: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Ranthanmbore (Tiger Preserve)
I absolutely LOVED India. What a fascinating microcosm in a macro world, or maybe it’s a fascinating macrocosm in a micro world? In either case, I couldn’t have been more intrigued by the organized chaos of their infrastructure, which ultimately translates to a magnificent, orchestrated ballet that Westerners are instantly baffled by. Somehow in India, they make it all look magical. We traveled to India with the Harvard OPM 27 reunion group in 2013, and I cannot wait to return one day!
India is among the most difficult of places to travel, and the most rewarding. So many say India stands for 'I'll Never Do It Again,' many more are drawn back time and again because India is the best show on earth, the best bazaar of human experiences that can be visited in a lifetime. Travelers Tales, India - James O'Reilly & Larry Habegger
Intoxicating…incomparable…bewitching…exhilarating…India has it all. Superlatives are seldom enough to describe this amazingly vibrant and vivacious land, where the ancient mixes with the modern, and the senses are constantly tempted with sights and sounds of the most exotic kind. India is more than a country; it is a continent in its own right. Indeed, it may be even more than this, perhaps a microcosm of all that the world has to offer.
What makes India such a special place and such a worthwhile travel destination? Is it the art and architecture or unique wildlife, be it Taj or tiger? The culture or cuisine? The breathtaking natural beauty, be it Himalayan precipice or pristine, sandy beach? Perhaps it is the deeply ingrained sense of spirituality that permeates a land responsible for the birth of the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh faiths. It is undeniably all of these things. But what makes India uniquely extraordinary is the charm and vitality of her people. Destination Himalaya - Tours For The Adventurous Traveler - Exotic India
On the way to Jaipur, we stopped at Fatepur Sikri, an eerily abandoned city full of small palace structures carved from red stone. We ran into Indian school children taking a tour of the city as well, and for some reason they wanted to take a picture with me. I love children and I was happy to jump in the middle.
While in Delhi, we visited Rajghat, Mahatma Ghandi’s memorial site on January 30, which was the day he was assassinated. The experience was quite humbling and moving. The flame is eternal, for Ghandi.
Also while in Delhi, the Harvard OPM 27 group was invited to attend an Indian wedding ceremony, and we were delighted to oblige. I have never seen anything like it. The wedding was straight out of a picture book, lasting for a week-plus, and replete with Indian delicacies and music, hot tea in clay pots, elaborate outfits, and probably the most beautiful bride and groom I’ve ever seen.
We also visited Jama Masjid, the largest Muslim mosque in India. As a woman, I needed to cover my Western clothes and show respect by wearing a colorful gown (I’m in pink on the right), and head scarf. I was happy to do so. As they say, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
The streets of Old Delhi are ripe with life, poverty, the unimaginable…and vibrant, stoic, and robust in its own right. A rickshaw ride through Old Delhi was eye opening.
We had a chance to ride elephants up Amber Fort outside of Jaipur. Jaipur is known as the “Pink City” due to the pink-colored sandstone of the buildings in the old walled city. Amber Fort and Palace is a beautiful and well-preserved 16th Century structure built on four levels and surrounded by ruins.
In Agra, we got to see the magnificent Taj Mahal—wow! The day we visited The Taj Mahal there was a light fog in the air which added to the mystic.
After we wrapped up with the Harvard OPM 27 group in Jaipur at a farewell Indian dinner with phenomenal food and dancing, a small group of us traveled south to do an Indian Safari and Wildlife Extension, which was truly spectacular. We drove about seven hours through Indian terrain and experienced parts of rural India that were like one movie scene after another. Here’s some of the eye candy we saw.
On the wildlife tour we visited one of India’s preeminent wildlife parks, Ranthambore National Park, which was one of nine parks chosen for “Project Tiger,” one of the most successful conservation ventures in recent history. Using 4-wheel drive vehicles we ventured into the park for morning and late-afternoon safaris and on our last outing, we saw a Bengal Tiger in the wild. Gorgeous! This tigers nickname was “Man Killer,” and we were what seemed like just feet away.
As we wrapped up our Wildlife Extension, we headed back to Delhi where we were scheduled to fly out on Emeritus. It is by far the best flight I have ever taken…my Facebook post should sum it up:
Breakfast of champions...champagne! On the top floor of an A330 Airbus from dubai to JFK. It has a beast of an engine + high-brow glamour inside. They even have an open bar with seating in the back + WiFi! Now flying over Iran and Iraq. Happy flying! KB via Facebook