The trips that enlighten us – ten days in India

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I find myself standing in a small wooden shack with my hair full of shampoo and an empty bucket next to me. My fiancé informs me that in India it is common for the water to stop running. I stand for another 15 minutes and finally fill up the bucket and scoop the water with a cup to poor on my head and wash away the shampoo leftovers. I step out from the “shower” on to a beach with stray dogs getting a sun bath, tiny restaurant with their questionable kitchen and our purple little house for the next four days.

My trip to India is anything but ordinary. It’s not a conventional holiday of sleeping in a five star hotel with a swimming pool and continental breakfast buffet where you spend most of your time lying around in your bikinis. My sleeping arrangement during the trip is an empty room with a mattress, my food is whatever my fiance says is safe for me to eat, my shower clearly doesn’t have a shower head and the only lying around I did was the few hours of sleep at night. I wouldn’t call it a holiday but it is surely the most eye opening experience I ever had. In the short ten days that I had in India I visited Mumbai, Nasik, Pune and Goa all but with a good distance to travel. I managed to participate in Indian wedding, go on a four hour bike journey, do kayaking in sunrise for a chance to see dolphins, learned some Hindi and got to know Indian culture from the inside. It is not an experience to have without an Indian showing you around. Only they can be offered the right prices, be there to argue for it and always find everything you need. For someone who wishes to have a slower paced vacation or a vacation without stress, South Goa is the place to go for.

While in North Goa you will be the only foreigner in a fully packed beach, in South you will be the majority in a quiet place. South Goa can offer plenty of decent places to stay if you make a booking. It is where you can enjoy your days on the beach and go for a walk at night in their colorful markets. Not counting the tickets to get to India, everything else you will pay for will be nothing compared to European holidays. I have to say a trip to India can be very humbling experience if you don’t mind being in uncomfortable situations. Holidays should not be only about running away from your routine life, it should be about gaining a perspective and appreciating it more. The conditions in India are very different from living in UK. People in India concentrate on different aspects of their life then we Europeans do. Witnessing that on your holidays can be very liberating. It’s an experience you can’t regret.48110_4892956635324_682927275_n

An Elegant Spirit – Audrey Hepburn, a true inspiration

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I kept thinking how to introduce this book or what to write about it. This book is a true testament of her character as seen through the eyes of her son. It gives little insight to her career as an actress but highlights her work in UNICEF. To her it was the most important part of her life and what made her sad through out the years. She never felt it would be enough. Nevertheless, we should never give up on issues and dreams that are important to us.

I may be a voice in the wilderness… but I really tell from my experience, which is 60-plus years, that what we’re engaged in now is really what is going to make the difference for our kids and our grandchildren. I have absolutely no doubt about that” – Mr. James Wolfensohn’s quote (the president of the World Bank), that Audrey Hepburn underlined doing her research [p. 183].

Audrey Hepburn – An Elegant Spirit by Sean Hepburn Ferrer

 

Hollywood icon, an actress with unbeatable style, someone that I was always curious about. I picked up this book because I thought it will have the best insight into her life and her career as a movie star. It wasn’t the case. A loving son wrote this book in all his honesty trying to portray the woman his mother really was. In his own words ‘she was a sad sad person, it felt like she had the whole world’s weight on her shoulders’. This book is nothing more than a continuum of his mothers work – all proceeds from this book are donated to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.

If you are looking for an honest read and some insight into the work of this incredible woman this is the read for you. Photographs themselves, straight from the family album, give a glimpse into her personal life, classic style and simple day to day living.

Passion, love, family, care and compassion for the whole world. Audrey Hepburn – my true icon.

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I do not own any of these pictures. All of them are from the Audrey Hepburn – An Elegant Spirit book by Sean Hepburn Ferrer.