Category Archives: Adventures & Discoveries

Enjoying the world through travel, adventure and daily discoveries. There’s always something new to enjoy and discover. Just remember to have an eye that sees.

Eat, Pray, Love and More!

Incredible India – A Place to Eat, Pray, Love and More

Travel is a funny thing.  It is so personal and every traveler approaches a trip with their own style and set of expectations.  Most of us maintain some form of a travel wish list with lots of new places and things we want to see  in our lifetime but other people are content with a simple travel tradition, going to the same place, at the same time of year, year-after-year.  Occasionally I’ve run into individuals who have no travel dreams or thoughts at all. It’s shocking to think about, isn’t it?  In fact I have an aunt who saw the ocean for the very first time when she was 75 years old and her daughter (my cousin) told me her mom’s response when she saw the Atlantic Ocean and heard a wave for the very first time was, “okay, I’ve seen it so I’m ready to go home.”  My aunt loves the farmland of the Midwest.

For me being able to see the Taj Mahal in my lifetime was near the top of my travel bucket list and oddly as I prepared for my trip and mentioned to friends just how excited I was about going to India, conversations would always leave me a bit worried.  Here are just a few nutshell versions of some of the comments and thoughts shared with me by some of my closest friends.

“I don’t really want to go there. But you go right ahead.”

“Aren’t you scared?  Don’t they have terrible problems with violent crimes against women? Did you see in the news where….?”

“Oh you are going to get so sick!  Don’t eat or drink anything.  Bring your own packaged food.”

“India?  Why?”

So these are the comments worth sharing.  More often than not, many people would simply add a non-feeling “that’s nice,” and quickly change the subject.  So many people I know will talk about Paris until the cows come home but Delhi….not so much.

I have to admit that the odd exchanges frequently left me questioning what I knew in my heart to be true.  I wanted to go to India.  It also left me thinking about how many times the negativity or small-minded remarks of others might have impacted my decision-making about other matters.

To counter the negativity I spent a lot of time watching and re-watching Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and focusing on a comment from Evelyn: “[N]othing can prepare the uninitiated for this riot of noise and color.”  And who in the world doesn’t want to add some color to their life?  Not just color but a riot of color!

I took nearly 2000 photos from my trip.  It seemed that everything I saw while was a picture.  Color, motion, beauty, history, architecture, style, people, poverty, traditions, health, religion, beauty, art, relaxation, education – India was everything and more.  I’m still trying to put into words the amazing experience.  The food was unbelievable, the time spent reflecting and meditating was inspiring and I found a newly formed love and respect for a country and the people of India – eat, pray, love.  The visit was was incredible.  And you can be sure there will be more posts and stories about people, places and things in India but meanwhile, let me share the colors.

India

Eat Pray Love & more

India

Peacocks are a native bird and can be seen throughout the country.

India Celebrations

Holi Festival – a celebration of color

Floating flowers

Reflecting with flowers

Prayers, India

At the Ganges – Varanasi

India

Marigolds bring good luck

Thanksgiving in Beirut

I’m really looking forward to going to Beirut for the Thanksgiving holiday and I’ve been busy making a list of places I haven’t seen before and planning to doing a little sightseeing while visiting with family over the holiday week.MosqueI read a great article while I was doing a little research on tourism sights and thought others might enjoy it too. Click here to read what you need to know before going to Beirut.  Do you think I could lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks?   What are your plans for the holiday?

I’m Going to India!

I’ve had a travel list for a long time and I add to it often.  Greece has always been on my list and this year I was so fortunate to be able to finally get there.   I’ve been saving my travel posts about Greece for when the weather changes and I’m daydreaming about warmer weather.  Given the warm fall we’re having, it may be a while before I get to post!

India has also been on my travel list for quite some time and recently when my vision group met, I was prompted to act to make this trip a reality.  During our group sharing session I was sharing that India has been on my list, I keep daydreaming about it but just don’t ever seem to have enough time and I haven’t been able to get a travel partner to want to make the trip with me.  As I continued sharing my obstacles, one of my friends stopped me mid-sentence saying, “You’ll go on this trip as soon as you buy a ticket.  Just buy your ticket.”   What a revelation.  She was so right.  The more time I spent trying to figure out the best time, the person to travel with and whether to go with a group or not, the more obstacles I was putting in my own path.

So now the ticket has been purchased, one of my vision group members and good friends is joining me and we are planning and studying for our trip.  It’s a big country and there are so many things to see.  I’m so excited.

Girl With the Pearl Earring

High Museum Atlanta I’m so lucky to work around the corner from the High Museum in Atlanta and honestly Michael Shapiro and his team have put together some incredible exhibits over the years.  Currently the Girl With the Pearl Earring is in town and early one morning I went over to enjoy the Dutch artist exhibit and to see the painting.

While walking around the exhibit it was fun to spot another painting in the same exhibit which featured a girl with a pearl earring.

Gerard Ter BoschLots of museum goers were walking right past this painting but I have to admit this girl with the pearl earring caught my eye too.  Can you imagine wearing earrings that big?

And this was fun too! Girl with the Pearl Earring

Ashghalouna Beirut

All of the recent news from Syria and Egypt has reminded me of one incredibly powerful NGO in Beirut.  Ashghalouna is a restaurant and artisana that is operated by volunteers and war widows and is organized by the NGO.  The restaurant has limited hours but is quite a terrific place for lunch.  The artisana has beautiful handmade items lovingly and beautifully made by the widows.

Ashghalouna, Beirut

One of the volunteers wearing a galabia outside Ahsghalouna

Ashghalouna has taken the tragic circumstances of war and has provided employment for women who’ve lost husbands and need careers to provide for their family.  This NGO gives women the opportunity to use their talents and skills to make a living.

MaacroonBecause the restaurant has limited hours, it’s important to make a reservation.   The restaurant is unique because the women prepare foods that are unique to Beirut.  Some of the dishes prepared can only be found locally in Beirut.

If you happen to be visiting the city, you will want to have lunch at Ashghalouna.

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