Welcome to my life

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

Happy New Year Reflections and Ways to Reinforce Goodness

Jan 07, 2021
 

Happy New Year to all my family, friends, and followers!  Wishing everyone a new year of health, love, abundance, and happiness.  I am grateful for your journey with Travel Plus Them and more to come!

While there are many thoughts on 2020, I just wanted to share a different perspective centered on hope and appreciation.  Who were you with on New Year’s Eve? 

I ended the year the way the same way I started the year… With my family. It does not matter where we were, but we are together. My immediate family- husband, parents, siblings, grandmothers, and all my children are still here on earth. Unfortunately, not everyone can say the same.

I am not saying that 2020 was without challenges and losses (and everyone had them in different ways), but please let’s not constantly say 2020 was a bad year! 

Lakshmi's Learnings- Rather let’s grow from our challenges, show empathy to those who are suffering, lend a helping hand to those in need,...

Continue Reading...

Embracing the Love and Joy of the Holiday Season

Dec 28, 2020
 

I want to wish everyone a very joyous holiday season and a wonderful new year!

The holiday season always brings back memories of my childhood.  We arrived from India to the United States when I was almost four years old.  I didn’t know much about the December holiday season but I absolutely loved seeing all the wonderful lights, decorations, happiness, and of course Santa too.  Although I did not believe in Santa Claus traveling around the world giving gifts to everyone, I did appreciate how much joy Santa brought to so many of my classmates when talking about him. 

And so, I asked my parents if we too can decorate a Christmas tree and exchange gifts. Those days even something small like a pencil had us focus on the concept of giving and receiving which made it special.  As I got older, the holiday season was a part of our lives every December. I have friends who celebrated other holidays such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa so I learned about them as...

Continue Reading...

Insights from our International Trip During the Pandemic

Dec 14, 2020
 

We did it!  We went on our first international trip during COVID to Costa Rica.  To summarize it in one word-- "exhilarating."

While countries have various restrictions (many are closed to travelers from the US)- I have to say that I felt extremely safe and a lot of precautions were taken, even more than I experience in my home city.

My perspective- As I have shared before, I think that everyone has to do what they feel is right for them based on personal values and lifestyle choices. Even though we went on this trip with concerns (which can be uncomfortable), it did not stop us from living our best lives and reconnecting us with something we love.

Lakshmi's Learnings:  Here was our experience in Costa Rica-

  • Air Travel to and from destination- since this is a "grey area" for many, I am providing details .  The plane has constant air filtration and is cleaner than ever.
    • The flight to MIA to LIR was just a regular COVID flight. We wore masks, had lots of...
Continue Reading...

The Two G's- Gratitude and Giving Back

Nov 27, 2020
 

I wish everyone appreciation, reflection, and joy.  A time to remember those we lost and a time to treasure those we can hold. While “Thanksgiving” means different things to different people... I think we can all agree on these two “g’s”- “gratitude and giving back” as universal forms of love that we should do everyday!

Part of Travel Plus Them is just that- the two “g’s”. Being a global citizen is not just experiencing the world... it’s also sharing all that you can with others. Thanks to our friends who make this an annual tradition, we too were able to experience this while on vacation!

Shyla and Shriya packed an entire suitcase of clothes, toys, and books and donated to the local orphanage in Costa Rica. Due to COVID- we were unable to go inside and play.  While my girls were saddened by the tears they heard, they were overjoyed by the hands the kids held out through the gate to hug them!

To protect the...

Continue Reading...

What is Diwali? - India's Festival of Lights

Nov 08, 2020
 

Diwali is this week.  Many of you may wonder, what is Diwali?

Diwali is India’s Festival of Lights where we celebrate victories of good over evil, light shining over darkness, knowledge over ignorance....a new beginning for us all. 

The details and activities were shared in my daughters' public and private schools when I taught the class children. 

Some quick facts about Diwali:

  • Diwali is a total of 5 days- and the big day is Saturday Nov 14th (reflected in Day 3). 
  • Every year the specific date changes (e.g. like Easter OR Hanukkah) based on the lunar calendar- but always falls in October or November. 
  • The cultural significance of Diwali is celebrated around the world!  It is a Hindu holiday that celebrates the victory of Lord Ram when he defeated an evil demon king Ravan. That victory of good over evil restored goodness in the world.
  • Diwali is celebrated differently all over India and each day is meaningful. 
  • Diwali is also celebrated...
Continue Reading...

Belonging in the World Can Start With A Name

Nov 03, 2020
 

The countdown that is all over the news is now here- the big date November 3rd.  For me, it is all summed up in one simple word- "belonging."  I aspire for my children to have inclusivity in their DNA, to feel that they belong and welcome diversity.  Now, I know that will never be 100% for everyone at all times, that’s just the world we live in.  But, we should aim to cultivate that environment for all those around us.

Similar to the recent videos related to name pronunciation, my name has been mispronounced my whole life. I know it is different outside of “mainstream names” that I used to see on key chains growing up but does that mean people shouldn’t try to say it?  Please watch the insights from Shyla.

My name is Lakshmi- properly pronounced “Luck-shme”. As an elementary school child new to the US, I used to cringe when a substitute teacher came into the classroom. Does anyone else know that feeling? They would...

Continue Reading...

Use your powerful tool.... YOUR voice-- GO VOTE!

Oct 24, 2020
 

This week- I wanted to discuss something that is extremely important in your life always- YOUR voice. Sometimes in life we have been silenced and/or unheard… But guess what? Every day is a chance to make a change. This is a time to use that voice… And that voice is extremely powerful! You might be wondering what voice that is… And that is YOUR VOTE!


We are living in a time where our future generation deserves to feel they belong. They deserve to love themselves and love their neighbor. They deserve to have leaders that appreciate diversity and global learning. While my intention is not to polarize anyone and cause disagreement with our views… This election feels a lot more personal than ever. As I said- YOUR VOICE MATTERS.. Please vote. And if you cannot vote- please encourage others to vote. 

Lakshmi’s Learnings- After that PSA, here is a video of my five year old daughter Shyla on her assessment of the election. This assessment...

Continue Reading...

Get your groove on and learn about other cultures

Oct 08, 2020
 

Based on my last blog, I am thrilled to know that some of my followers and subscribers did not initially think of introducing a globe to their children and have since purchased one—that’s wonderful!

Continuing on that theme, I have many ideas of educational and fun ways to introduce your children to the world… from home.  So, in spirit of throwback Thursday, I am going back to two years ago!  My daughters loved to dress up (they still do) and put on a performance at home.

Lakshmi’s Learning- Although people around the world speak so many different languages… music is universal.  Do you find yourself loving a song but you do not even know the meaning of the words?  Or a song with no words that you connect with?  Well- guess what, kids do too!  Kids love music and they can hear sounds/music even before birth.

So, here is another simple and easy way to expose your children to the world and different...

Continue Reading...

Bring back old school learning... spinning around the world

Oct 01, 2020
 

Questions- I grew up in the 1980s... How many of you had a map/atlas/or globe in your house? Do you have a globe today?

Lakshmi’s Learning- We do! I wanted to share a simple way to use a "globe" on a frequent basis with your young children. While I am sure that some world geography is taught in elementary school… Why wait?  It's never too early and never too late.  The globe presents a FUN and educational opportunity for us as parents with our children. 

So, in this video… Shriya is spinning the globe.   While she is familiar with all the continents and where they are located on a map/globe, she cannot read like her older sister.  She is able to locate countries because she studies the globe and has memorized where some countries are located.

We do this a few days a week in the evening.  The kids land on a particular country and we  talk about that country the next few days.  Things such as famous cool...

Continue Reading...

Swinging into the new normal… Are you getting the itch?

Sep 23, 2020
 

We are all finding different ways to live in this “new normal". I am reminiscing of our beautiful family trip to Bali, Indonesia. As you may have guessed, we have the travel bug! Perhaps one of the few “bugs” that we love! 

Question- We have always enjoyed experiencing the world, but of course in the current global climate, it seems impossible, right?  

Lakshmi's Learning- I think wrong. First and foremost, I will say that everyone has to do what they feel is right based on their personal values and lifestyle choices. As parents, we have this special quality to turn the impossible to possible. I am a member of a few “mommy” groups and have recently had discussions on “when should we travel again”. Lots of families did summer road trips in their respective countries or spent extended time visiting their families- how wonderful! Remember- any and all trips (e.g. to a zoo, to the lake, to another...

Continue Reading...
Close

How to Travel With Children During COVID19

Download this FREE CHECKLIST on guidelines for traveling with children on a plane during the pandemic.