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Blogs from: India
Photo of the Day – Adolescent Spinning – Ladakh, IndiaI’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.
Photo of the Day – Urban Beach Playground – Mumbai, IndiaNot 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.
Photo of the Day – A New Perspective – Taj Mahal Up Close – Agra, IndiaIconic 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.
Photo of the Day – Monsoon Corn Cart – Mumbai, IndiaWe 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!
Photo of the Day – Snaking Himalayan Road – Ladakh, IndiaTucked 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.
Photo of the Day – The Perfect Building – Taj Mahal – Agra, IndiaI 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”?
Photo of the Day – Himalayan Delivery Truck – Ladakh, IndiaThe 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!
Photo of the Day – Shaved Ice on Mumbai Beach – Mumbai, IndiaDuring 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.
Photo of the Day – Northern India Hayride – Amritsar, IndiaSometimes 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.
Inspiring Others to TravelBack 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 – email@example.com.
Photo of the Day – One Blade at a Time – Agra, IndiaHaving 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?