Welcome to my life

These videos and articles focus on things that fuel my energy- global experiences, loved ones, and life learnings.

Giving Through Travel and from Home

Aug 14, 2021
 

🙏🏾 Namaste from Kenya. 

Giving is the greatest gift.  Learn more about tourism with a purpose and giving from home... most importantly, how to involve kids!
 

Part of Travel Plus Them’s mission is “tourism with a purpose.” It is not only important for our children to become global citizens and share those learnings with all of you- but also to help the local communities of the countries we travel to.

Thanks to our travel agency, Wild Destinations in Kenya , we found the beautiful Mogra Children's Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. The home has children of all ages and thus we did our best to bring various items for all ages.

Here is what we do:

  • Seek guidance from the local people:  Contact the hotel concierge/Air BnB host, tour guides, or travel agents for recommendations on where we can donate. We ask specifically for orphanages.
  • Why this approach? Because there are so many places that do not have an online presence and receive limited...
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Asian American Heritage Month- Facts, Reflections, and Activities

Jun 01, 2021
 

Can you believe it is already June?  The month of Father’s Day, graduation days, Juneteenth, the start of summer, and my birthday to kick off the month!

May was a special month- Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Eid, and something I hold close to my culture- AAPI Month-- Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. A month to celebrate the history, culture, foods, arts, music, dances, languages, and so much more diversity from the continent of Asia- which is where I am from!

Did you know these facts about Asia?

  • Asia is the world's largest continent. 
  • Asia comprises 30% of the world's land area with 60% of the world's current population. 4.5+ Billion! China and India being the two most populated countries in the world!
  • There are 48 countries in Asia that are recognized by the United Nations. Two of these countries also share part of their territory on the European continent; these countries are Russia and Turkey. 
  • There are so many religions in...
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Thinking About Traveling to Europe This Summer?

May 13, 2021
 

I know travelers are excited to see the positive news that the European Union (EU) is going to accept US vaccinated travelers for this summer!  Read this for additional information related to airfare, hotels, COVID testing, and travel insurance.

PLEASE NOTE- Travel information is changing frequently, hence please note the date of this content being published and ensure to check for recent updates.

What is Europe like in the summer? 

  • When I lived in Europe 15 years ago, I traveled all around. And it’s lovely- the weather, the coastal cities, the easy accessibility from one country to the next, etc! 
  • All the countries are flooded with travelers and prices for the major tourist cities are generally higher.
  • While EU is not all of Europe, it covers majority of the countries.
  • Europeans LOVE their holidays— they travel for weeks during the summer!  

While we are waiting to learn more about the EU details (all the countries have...

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The Importance of a Global Education and Our Inspiration

Apr 21, 2021
 

Our “Around the World in 60 Minutes” world schooling global educational program was created in the recent months.  However, the inspiration behind the program started last year.  And the inspiration came from Travel Plus Them followers and my children.  Here is our journey and the learnings along the way.

 

Let's start with the Bigger Picture- How does global education align to values we teach our children?

A great article by Parents magazine Values to Teach Kids by Age 10 directly aligns to why global knowledge is so important and how it integrates with core life values.  I will focus specifically on curiosity, respect, and empathy.

  • Curiosity- Jana Mohr Lone, Ph.D., emphasized that “both you and your child can learn a lot from bringing curiosity to the table, as you can offer an outlook based on your life experience, while they can see things in a more open and imaginative way.” I often ask myself “how many ‘why’...
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See My Color For Its Glory

Mar 25, 2021
 

The events of the last few weeks may have surprised and opened up the eyes of many, but for me it’s nothing new.  I listened to Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey about how members of the royal family were concerned about the complexion of their son’s skin. While it was sad, it was unfortunately not surprising to me.  It sounds like what I have experienced within the Indian community—it is called “colorism.” It’s essentially prejudice that favors people with lighter skin over those with darker skin, especially within a racial or ethnic group.  This is something I experienced not just as a child but also in my adult years.  While there have been great strides made, we still have a long way to go.  

The attacks in Atlanta that killed  8 people and injured many more, with the majority of the victims being Asian- Americans. The police said the “shooter had a bad day.” How can that be said...

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Happy International Women's Day

Mar 12, 2021
 

Happy International Women's Day to all women near and far! I also want to honor all the great men out there--we all rise up together. My daughters are so excited to be celebrated this month and every other month. I focused on two women to teach my children about in honor Women’s History Month- starting first with a personal story about my grandmother.

My grandmother’s legacy 

I wanted to first start by sharing the story of my maternal grandmother. She turned 97 or 98 years old last month. We do not know her exact age since does not have her birth certificate, so we calculate her age based on how old she was when she had her first child. My grandmother and I are very close -- I am her last grandchild, the baby of the family. I have been able to visit her in India almost every year of my life. Here is a picture from 1998 (3 generations) and 2020 (4 generations) with my daughters.

I am so proud of her because she received an award this month for International...

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How To Teach Your Children About Black History

Feb 24, 2021
 

  

As my daughter Shyla said, “Black history should not be a month, it should be every day, just like we learn about everything else.” What a great point!  But since Black history is unfortunately overlooked in the standard US history classes, a dedicated month is needed and so valuable to truly learn about US history.

I have friends of various races, ethnic backgrounds, and faiths, and hence my girls know that some of their friends are Jewish, some are Christian, some are from South America, some are from Europe, some are from Jamaica, some are Black, some are Egyptian, some are Indian, etc. And many friends ask me how I talk to my children about race, because it can make some parents uncomfortable.

I get it- it may not feel right commenting on someone’s race.  However, not commenting on race also is not the approach and can lead to ignorance and misconceptions. I always look at this way- I want my kids to learn about everything from...

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Let's celebrate Chinese New Year!

Feb 13, 2021
 

Happy Lunar New Year aka Chinese New Year to everyone!  The holiday lasts 16 days so we have time to enjoy!

While I didn’t grow up celebrating, I enjoyed celebrating Chinese New Year while working in NYC.  It was so wonderful to experience the decorations and festivities in Chinatown-- a welcoming experience. And now, I am learning more as a mother raising global citizens with the focus on how I can bring this cultural traditions to my home.  It is an auspicious time… And the significance can be appreciated by all. 

Here are some cool facts about Lunar New Year.

  • Chinese New Year is celebrated by more than 20% of the world, and is the most important holiday in China. 
  • It is also known as the Spring Festival.  People welcome spring and what it brings along: planting and fresh starts.
  • The date changes every year (just like Diwali) because it aligns to the lunar calendar.
  • The color red symbolizes luck, joy, and happiness.  Chinese brides...
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Historical American Inauguration and Life Lessons for Children

Jan 21, 2021
 

This inauguration was historic. Regardless of who you wanted in office, it was historic.  It was a milestone of firsts BUT not the last!  The FIRST Woman Vice President, The FIRST Black Woman, The FIRST Indian Woman, The FIRST Asian Woman, The FIRST Woman of Color.

Seeing pictures of Madam Vice President with her mother reminds me of mine.  We are from the same part of India, speak Tamil, and eat dosa (South Indian crepe)! 

I can relate when I hear stories about her mother, an immigrant who left all her family in India to come to the land of opportunity, the United States.  The journey of immigrants is an integral part of America’s history which some people forget or choose to ignore.  I was 4 years old when we arrived to the US with only a dream of seeing someone like me being elected as a leader in my lifetime.  Madam Vice President Kamala Devi Harris represents that dream becoming a reality.  Historic.

The lessons...

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One of My Life Principles- People Make the World Go Round

Jan 14, 2021

Reflecting on my two decades as a corporate executive, one thing that was constant are the insights gained on the journey. One of my life guiding principles which translated into my career and now motherhood-- "people make the world go round".  I worked with multiple companies in various industries across countries which enabled me to collaborate with a diverse group of people.  More than any skill or functional area I mastered, I feel that learned the most from people. 

I always say no matter how advanced our technology becomes, at the end of the day, the world does not function without people.  People read what we write, people buy products/services we sell, people make decisions, people fly on planes, people buy homes, people drive the growth/decline in numbers, people eat food, etc.  I think you get the gist, no artificial intelligence or robots can do that! 

Lakshmi's Learnings- How does that translate to how we can raise our...

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