If you’ve been following our trip since the beginning, you know two things:
1. We are having the family trip of a lifetime
2. I’m passionate about you having one too
This trip has exposed us to some mind-blowing experiences which have also allowed me to continue my role as a travel writer, columnist and correspondent. I’ve traveled further than ever before and been able to experience these places through the eyes, ears and smiles of my children and to share them with audiences through articles in newspapers and magazines and interviews on Television and Radio.
Over the last few months I’ve also worked with great products and companies that I feel good about. One of those is the Four Seasons resorts. The Canadian company invited me to stop in and see hotels in several destinations and many of my stories from those visits have appeared on their blog
In Mumbai, we chose the Four Seasons again.
We spent our first two nights with them because we wanted to stay somewhere comfortable and familiar after more than 24 hours of flight and layover time from Tanzania. As soon as we arrived I knew it was the right decision. They gave us a comfy room (read: gorgeous) and soft beds (read: luscious) but then they went a step further and transformed our short time in Mumbai (48 hours) into a magical introduction to India.
You’ll be able to read all about various parts of the stay here and on the Four Seasons site in the months to come (sooner if you’ve been following me on twitter or Facebook ) but suffice it to say that there is more to Mumbai then what you’ve seen in Slumdog Millionaire or read in Eat, Pray, Love. This country is as vast and complicated as its history and landscapes. Mumbai with its sky-high scrapers and tin-roofed slums only tells a part of the story and over the next six weeks we’ll explore a lot more of that city (and many others) and share it with you.
What I will tell you now, four days into our visit to India, is that if you only take one thing away from our visit here it should be this: You need to see this for yourself.
This is a country unlike anything I imagined. The history runs deep. The culture and the way it ebbs and flows as you move from one state to another is unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere so far. The colours are indescribable and the people are incredibly kind.
Case in point? Four weeks ago I wasn’t sure where to begin. We knew the key places we wanted to visit and thought we’d head for the Golden Triangle. We met an Indian family from the UK who was on vacation in Mombasa (stay with me…) at the same time we were there. We chatted, hit it off and they offered to help us plan the trip – right there by the pool. Then they took it a step further. They had a “dear family friend in Delhi who they’d put us in touch with” and they did. He in turn put us in touch with Liberty India and three weeks later I’m sitting in India four days into a trip that has gone from memorable to magical with their help.
Now our itinerary will take us far beyond the Golden Triangle. We’ll step into palaces and farmers’ homes. We’ll eat in the best restaurants and local kitchens and even try our hand at making a dish or two ourselves. We’ll see the beaches and the desert. And we’ll share it all with you.
Over the next few weeks I’ll introduce you to palaces, people and properties that I knew nothing about before leaving home. I’ll have the benefit of Liberty’s insider knowledge to lean on and my kids’ reactions to offer. India is our 18th country in 7 months; we should be jaded by now. Instead we’re finding new energy in a destination that promises to be one of the most interesting legs of our trip.
If you’ve been piqued by our trip this far. Wait until you see what India brings.