Why was my trip to India magical and why does it become even greater as more time has lapsed since my return? The memories, ah yes, the memories…

-My first viewing of the Taj Mahal in early morning sunlight

-The realization that the Taj Mahal was not in fact solid white but an intricate puzzle of different colors of inlaid marble

-The humble welcome at each location by someone with palms placed together, head slightly bowed and a warm greeting of “Namaste”

-The curious children who yearned to touch my hand, have me smile at them, or take their picture, who had rarely seen ‘white’ folks or Americans before (in the more remote locations)

-The Rajasthani wedding procession in Udaipur in which I was pulled into by the women and kids of the wedding party. They all danced and jumped around me as I unintentionally held up the processional. The director of sorts, more or less guided me along with the celebration down the street until he deemed the timing was appropriate whereby he kindly lifted the rope encircling the processional and bade me goodbye.

-The highly decorated white horse on which the groom sat, the family and all the musicians continued their procession down the street as I watched with sheer joy for having had this encounter…

-The elephants, cows and trees that had been colorfully painted in celebration of Diwali (Festival of Lights)

-The sunrise boat ride on the Ganges River as locals chanted and sang on their way to the river to bathe themselves or to disperse the ashes of deceased family members in the holiest of their waters

-The beauty of the temples!

-An elephant running down the street of Delhi amidst the trucks, cars and tuck tucks 

Yes, I had more than one encounter with the holy cow, the Delhi belly (as the Indians refer to traveler’s diarrhea) and the driver playing ‘chicken” on the country roads to see which vehicle might move over first, but all in all I survived and my life is all the more enriched for this experience.

About Elizabeth Holleman

Elizabeth joined Aladdin in 1999 and has experience in leisure, corporate, and group travel. She has a background in finance (12 years) and extensive travel management experience (18 years), which helps her optimize clients’ travel programs, given the complexity and challenges of business travel management. She is passionate about sharing her travel experiences and believes that traveling the world with an open mind changes one’s perspective and can create memorable and life-changing experiences.

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