My TedX Talk on Travel

In January 2015, I was invited by Symbiosis Institute of Business Management in Bengaluru to give a talk at their TedX event on why I travel – and how everyone else can too. The theme of the session was ‘Carpe Diem’ or ‘Seize the day’, and i spoke about my own experiences and motivations, and…

A new Facebook page

So, what’s new on Itchy Feet? A brand new Facebook page, that’s what – https://www.facebook.com/travelswithcharu After years of resisting – how many places in social media can I manage – I finally succumbed to the pressure and set up this page. And now to find interesting content for it on a regular basis (apart from…

It’s all Maya

Just over ten years ago, Mexico found itself in the global tourism spotlight when one of its most famous sites, the Chichen Itza was included in a list of the seven wonders of the modern world. The list, compiled through an online poll by the Swiss ‘New Seven Wonders Foundation’ had other illustrious worthies stretching…

Friday photo: one for the birds

Late this August, I went on a week long cruise on the Norwegian Getaway around the Gulf of Mexico, with pit stops in Honduras, Belize and Mexico along the way. At each of these ports, I got off the massive cruise liner and went on a shore excursion. The first stop – Roatan Bay in…

My vegetarian food odyssey in Mexico

It doesn’t sound appetising. Neither the name, nor the description. Huitlacoche (pronounced whee-tla-ko-cheh), commonly defined as corn smut or corn fungus. Of course, a few hopefuls call it Mexican truffle, but yeah, that doesn’t take away from what it really is: a fungal growth on corn ears. But when this soft fungus is plucked at…

Friday photo: Faces from Cuba

Of all the countries I have visited so far, Cuba has to be one of the most fascinating, complex, warm and friendly. I have so many stories from Cuba waiting to be told, but for now, an image…

Where our cricket bats come from

The young employee of my Pahalgam hotel shrugged his shoulders dramatically when I asked him a probing question about that part of Kashmir. “I’m from Jammu, madam, I don’t know much about this place,” he replied, the indifference writ large on his face. I’m only here to make a living, he seemed to imply. Being…

Alphorn lessons in the Swiss Alps

Within moments of taking the alphorn into my hands – with the naïve idea of learning to play it – I understand why this instrument is jokingly referred to as the original Swiss mobile phone. The pure notes that come out of this instrument were indeed perfectly suited for locals to communicate with each other…

Paradise rediscovered: a weekend in Srinagar

I muttered harshly to myself as I walked half asleep into Srinagar’s cool air at 5 am. The shikara was waiting at the pier when we reached, ready to take us to the floating market on Dal Lake. As we glided on the lake, the silence broken only by the rhythmic swish-swish of the wooden…

Photoessay: the Big 5 and more from Kenya

Elephants trumpeting Zebras mating Buffalos sunning Wildebeest migrating Ostriches strutting Lion cubs frolicking Lionesses protecting Leopards eating Giraffes stretching Hyenas slinking Birds singing Gazelles grazing Kids waving Women smiling TRULY, MAGICAL KENYA Just back from a marvellous week in Kenya with my husband, out in the open Savannahs of Masai Mara, the lake of Naivasha…