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Blogs from: India

Adolescent Spinning – Ladakh, India


Photo of the Day – Adolescent Spinning – Ladakh, India

I’m not sure this child fully understood the meaning behind spinning these stationary buddhist prayer wheels, however as he walked slowly down the row of golden cylinders he spun them with a focus tantamount to the elderly that passed before him, creating a powerful scene for me as I watched silently through my camera’s lens.

Adolescent Spinning - Ladakh, India

Urban Beach Playground – Mumbai, India


Photo of the Day – Urban Beach Playground – Mumbai, India

Not exactly the image that comes to mind when most people think of a beach, but possibly the most interesting sand that I’ve ever explored. It was a hot and steamy afternoon in Mumbai, yet everyone walked around in long pants. Even the locals wading in the ocean were fully clothed.

Urban Beach Playground - Mumbai, India

A New Perspective – Taj Mahal Up Close – Agra, India


Photo of the Day – A New Perspective – Taj Mahal Up Close – Agra, India

Iconic buildings from around the world are always presented in photos taken from the exact same angle. Most people reading this blog have seen the Taj Mahal hundreds of times on TV, in magazines and around the internet, but the diversity of those views is severely lacking. Sometimes it takes seeing these wondrous places from a variety of angles to truly appreciate their magnificence and get beyond the two-dimensional “classic” image that we have burned into our brains.

Here is a different view of the Taj Mahal than we are all used to seeing. This angle gives you a taste for just how big the Taj Mahal really is.

A New Perspective - Taj Mahal Up Close - Agra, India

Monsoon Corn Cart – Mumbai, India


Photo of the Day – Monsoon Corn Cart – Mumbai, India

We visited Mumbai in very early July which is in the heart of Monsoon Season! Perfect planning, right? Maybe not, but I think it actually added to the experience.

Unlike people in most places I have been, Mumbai locals take the non-stop rains on head-first, literally. Check out the Corn Cart owners make-shift rain hat! The streets were still packed with people regardless of rain or shine. What a great attitude.

With the corn cart packed, we new it must be a nice treat and we decided to join in. Fortunately, our friend had brought an umbrella to help us out as we stood in the rain. If not, Brad and I might have resorted to the plastic-bag caps as well!

Monsoon Corn Cart - Mumbai, India

Snaking Himalayan Road – Ladakh, India


Photo of the Day – Snaking Himalayan Road – Ladakh, India

Tucked deep into the himalayan mountains in northern India you will find a collection of serene buddhist monasteries built along the most unimaginable landscapes. It can take hours to reach these remote communities from your hotel in the city of Leh. Luckily, the journey on this trip is almost better than the destination.

I’m not sure God ever intended for man to build roads up the steep himalayan mountains, but over the years man got creative and built snaking roads like the one you see in this picture to climb these treacherously steep mountains.

Snaking Himalayan Road - Ladakh, India

The Perfect Building – Taj Mahal – Agra, India


Photo of the Day – The Perfect Building – Taj Mahal – Agra, India

I vividly remember riding the early morning train from Delhi to Agra on my way to see the Taj Mahal for the first time. Travel adrenaline pumped through my veins in anticipation of viewing the global icon with my own eyes. As excited as I was, I must admit that there was a part of me that was preparing to be completely disappointed. How could a single building be mentioned in the same sentence as the never ending Great Wall of China or the expansive Temples of Angkor Wat?

Fortunately when I arrived, I was anything but disappointed. The Taj Mahal smashed through my greatest expectations and sent chills down my spine. The symmetry! The marble glow! The scale! I have no doubt that when you see it with your own eyes you will be left pondering – “Has man ever built a more perfect building”?

The Perfect Building - Taj Mahal - Agra, India

Himalayan Delivery Truck – Ladakh, India


Photo of the Day – Himalayan Delivery Truck – Ladakh, India

The Himalayan Roads in Northern India are absolutely one of those places where it’s more about the journey than the actual destination. Steep, narrow and just downright dangerous, the basic roads that connect all of the remote monasteries and far away towns offer some of the most beautiful views you will ever see in your life.

Cruising along the roads back in 2010, the most common vehicle we passed were these colorfully decorated Indian trucks. Every one of them had its own unique identity and it was fun to watch the drivers pass by in their pimped out rides!

Himalayan Delivery Truck - Ladakh, India

Shaved Ice on Mumbai Beach – Mumbai, India


Photo of the Day – Shaved Ice on Mumbai Beach – Mumbai, India

During our trip to Mumbai, we went to the beach, specifically Juhu Beach. The beach is very different in Mumbai than what you are probably imagining, however they do have one thing similar to many American beaches – a version of a snow cone.

In today’s photo, you can see the shop attendant using an incredibly old machine to grind a block of ice into a nice puree of ice shavings. Next, they form the ice shavings around a stick and dowse it in flavors such as the one we tried, Kalakhatta Golas.

If there are any beaches where you need something cold (like a snow cone!) to cool you down, Juhu is certainly one of them.

Shaved Ice on Mumbai Beach - Mumbai, India

Northern India Hayride – Amritsar, India


Photo of the Day – Northern India Hayride – Amritsar, India

Sometimes the most fascinating sites you will see on a trip abroad are those that are completely unplanned. A simple walk down the street might yield a full set of unimaginable cultural experiences.

That’s what happened to Will and I in Amritsar as we made our way down the street towards AbsoluteVisit #44 – The Golden Temple. Watching the locals go about their everyday business was an amazing tourist experience on its own, including this funny tractor that drove past us towing a large wagon full of what appeared to be the remains of a torn down dwelling, complete with a group of people sitting on top.

Northern India Hayride - Amritsar, India

One Blade at a Time – Agra, India


Inspiring Others to Travel

Back in March I met with a Chicago High School class who had just completed writing reports about the wonders of the world. I was extremely flattered this week when I received a picture text from Monique (the teacher) showing me that one of the students highlighted on his class evaluation that my visit was his favorite moment of the year. Sharing the world with young, inquisitive minds really energizes me to keep exploring and it puts a huge smile on my face at the thought of possibly inspiring one of them to get out and explore the world on their own. Thanks again to Monique and her Whitney HS students!

I love speaking about travel and I am definitely interested in sharing more of my adventures in the future. If you ever have any fun speaking opportunities, don’t hesitate to reach out –

Photo of the Day – One Blade at a Time – Agra, India

Having a case of the Mondays? Before you look for too much sympathy for suffering at your air conditioned desk, $5 Starbucks caramel Frappuccino in hand, remind yourself of alternative forms of employment. Maybe a photo from halfway around the world will help speed up your search.

I took this photo of a group of women manually mowing a field of grass just down the road from the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Could you imagine scooting around a gigantic field on your butt, plucking individual blades of grass for hours on end?

One Blade at a Time - Agra, India
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The Top 100 Places in the World
1 Great Wall of China
2 Pyramids of Egypt
3 Machu Picchu
4 Serengeti Migration
5 Galapagos Islands
6 Grand Canyon
7 Angkor Temples
8 Antarctica Cruise
9 Taj Mahal
10 Iguazu Falls
11 Amazon Rain Forest
12 Great Barrier Reef
13 Bora Bora
14 Victoria Falls
15 Bagan
16 Petra
17 Potala Palace
18 Karnak
19 Mt Everest
20 Cappadocia
21 St Peters Basilica
22 Fjords of Norway
23 Jerusalem Old City
24 Burj Khalifa
25 Borobudur
26 Forbidden City
27 Kashmir Valley
28 Li River Cruise
29 Ladakh
30 Alhambra
31 Louvre Museum
32 Perito Moreno Glac.
33 Banaue Terraces
34 Colosseum of Rome
35 Easter Island
36 Venice Canals/Alleys
37 Kathmandu Valley
38 Wat Phra Kaew
39 Yellowstone NP
40 Pompeii
41 Rio Panoramic View
42 Palace of Versailles
43 Dubrovnik
44 Golden Temple
45 St. Basils Cathedral
46 Vatican Museum
47 Florence Cityscape
48 Acropolis
49 Amalfi Coast Drive
50 Kremlin
51 Hong Kong View
52 TerraCotta Warriors
53 Mezquita Cordoba
54 Chichen Itza
55 Damascus Old City
56 Shwedagon Stupa
57 Sahara Desert
58 Mont St Michel
59 St. Marks Square
60 Egyptian Museum
61 Hagia Sophia
62 Angel Falls
63 Delphi
64 Teotihuacan
65 Baalbek
66 Banff NP
67 Santorini
68 Matterhorn
69 New York Skyline
70 Neuschwanstein
71 Chartres Cathedral
72 British Museum
73 Prague Old Town
74 Burj al Arab
75 Yangtze River Cruise
76 Yosemite NP
77 Hermitage Museum
78 Torres del Paine
79 Chambord Chateau
80 Lijiang
81 Portofino
82 Great Ocean Road
83 Tongariro Alpine
84 Las Vegas Strip
85 Tikal
86 Topkapi Palace
87 Sydney Opera House
88 Eiffel Tower
89 Luxor Temple
90 Kerala Backwaters
91 Golden Gate Bridge
92 Cinque Terre
93 Metropolitan Mus
94 Uffizi Gallery
95 Ayers Rock
96 Cliffs of Moher
97 Pacific Coast Hwy
98 Shanghai Skyline
99 Glacier Bay NP
100 Wulingyuan
Cappadocia  Cappadocia, Turkey
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