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Lavanya Bahuguna

Blogger-in-Chief

Traveler Perri Rothenberg Tells JWB Why She Keeps Coming Back To India

  • IWB Post
  •  July 23, 2016

 

Traveling is one of the most fulfilling things in the world. Sometimes it makes me wonder if it is the whole and sole purpose of life. All of this came to my mind when I was scrolling through Perri Rothenberg, a Traveling Creative’s Instagram profile.

I wouldn’t lie; I wanted to live her life. And so, to at least get a glimpse of how it would’ve felt, I got in touch with her.

Me: You’re a traveling creative. How did you land such an interesting job?

Perri: With having a background in Fashion, a full-time job at a tech company, and a lifestyle that revolves around traveling, this is a statement I have given myself to summarize better how I approach each and every day. I find it very important not to define myself by my 9-5, the blog I write or where I am living, but rather having an open mind to new opportunities that can both benefit personal development, along with having the ability to learn from those around me.

 

Me: How often do you come to India and which cities have you explored?

Perri: I have been fortunate enough to travel to India on three separate occasions. The first time was exploring Delhi and Agra with my entire family eight years ago. In the midst of summer, I was entirely shocked by the change in culture (along with the very warm temperatures). The country immediately sparked my interest and knew that I would be back someday.

Found the “Princess Chamber” of Jaipur – also known as our hotel room for the night #india #travel #tlpicks #jaipur #vsco

A photo posted by Perri Alexis Rothenberg (@perrirothenberg) on

 

Two years ago, my mother and I traveled back to India, but this time for nearly a month. Traveling by local transport, and with a Jaipur local my perception of India entirely changed. The culture, people, and the way society works is beyond fascinating and is by far one of the most eccentrically beautiful destinations this world has to offer.

Most recently, I decided to head back to India with my mom, but this time to explore the West in Mumbai, we then traveled to the serene city of Udaipur. While we always seem to go in the height and heat of summer, it seems like India certainly gets better with age as I cannot wait to go back.

Me: Do you travel solo or with your creative team?

Perri: I normally travel solo, with family, coworkers, with other creatives that I have met from university, or people I have met on prior trips. The greatest part about having a network of friends from around the world is that there is always someone new to meet, new projects to talk about and most importantly, new memories to make.

Me: Do you find traveling safe in India for women travelers, especially foreigners?

Perri: Although I believe traveling in India very safe, I find it very important to stay aware and not lose touch of basic common sense while traveling to any destination. While India is a very crowded country, everyone is always very helpful and kind. I would not wander down a dark street alone, just like I would not walk down a dark street alone in the city I call home. I feel as though many foreigners may feel unsteady in India due to the lack of touristic areas about the amount of locals in a destination. Many people expect large tourist attractions like the Taj Mahal to be filled with westerners, but I found it to be quite the contrary. There are many Indian tourists traveling which is why I find it such a holistic country to explore.

Me: Did you ever feel unsafe here? Talk about it openly.

Perri: I do not think I would use the word unsafe, but rather uneasy. I am an outsider in a culture much different than my own which makes me feel quite vulnerable sometimes. I have to think of the good in most people and not let my internal thoughts affect the way I explore the world. I will admit, going in local taxi cabs at night certainly got my heart racing, especially when I had no idea where I was going.

Me: Does photography come naturally to you when you travel?

Perri: I have had an interest in photography ever since I can remember. I asked for my mom’s Minolta film camera at the age of 7 and found myself taking four years of photography in high school thus learning how to develop an artistic voice, technical skills, and history of photography. I ended up getting a scholarship to my university for photography where I decided to pursue the business side of fashion. Photography is an outlet to capture and inspire others to get out and play in the world that we live in. After all, we are here for a good time not necessarily a long time.

Me: Do you think while reviewing a place, a writer can get biased when it is a sponsored trip?

Perri: I do find that writers, bloggers, influencers and journalists can get biased when visiting a place, with that being said I find that many professionals will only accept trips that are parallel to their personal brand. I would not feel comfortable going on a press trip promoting something that I do not believe in. Most of my trips are self-planned, without the help of a brand or tourism board, exploration is one of my favorite hobbies and am quite selective when working with tourism boards and brands.

Me: What cultural limitations do you face when it comes to traveling in India and how do you handle them?

Perri: The only cultural limitation I have felt in India is the discrepancy between being a traveler, and a local. Unlike many multi-cultural hubs, I have found it is quite difficult to find out where the locals really spend a Friday night – most locals will suggest hotel bars assuming I do not want to spend time really getting to know a city.

Me: You were lately in Udaipur. What was one hidden treasure that you found there?

Perri: Udaipur, wow where to begin. There is a stark contrast between this city and every other city I have traveled to in India. It is quite, calm, serene and almost magical. I would say the city itself is a hidden treasure. The ambiance is an escape from the crowded streets of other larger cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Varanasi, to name a few. The palaces are elaborately yet modestly decorated, and the inhabitants are as humble as they come. I found the sunset on Lake Pichola unique – not only are the colors vibrant and saturated, but there are also thousands of bats escaping the heat and having a drink at the watering hole. It was almost as if I was taken back in time while sailing into the sunset.

 

 

Me: How do you think Indians can re-discover India? Talk about your personal vision.

Perri: There are so many ways Indians can re-discover their country just by exploring a neighboring city. From historical gems, easy access to public transportation and exploring new markets there are so many opportunities to discover a new part of India different to their local community. I think re-discovering a place within your own backyard can spark so much personal inspiration.

Me: There’s one picture of you traveling with your mom. Does she accompany you frequently? How has traveling changed your relationship with her?

Perri: My mom and I have been a traveling duo ever since I can remember. She has been working within the travel industry her entire life, so the second I was old enough to join you better believe we started exploring the world together. We started going on ski trips when I was ten years old – from Portillo, Chile, Whistler, Canada, Chamonix, France, and our favorite, Zermatt, Switzerland, traveling together is so effortless.

happy birthday to my forever travel partner ✈️ #loveyamom

A photo posted by Perri Alexis Rothenberg (@perrirothenberg) on

 

She has taught me everything I know when it comes to exploration, and we try to go on one big trip together per year, one-weekend trip and of course one with the entire family.

SQUAD GOALS ??#touristy #girlsmeetglobe #tajlakepalace #himom

A photo posted by Perri Alexis Rothenberg (@perrirothenberg) on

 

 

Me: One picture on your Instagram shows you wearing a red silk robe. Name three things that give you the weekend feel.

Perri: Three things that give me the weekend feel: Sunshine, Earth, Wind & Fire and being surrounded by good company.

Me: What has been the most interesting food you’ve tried in India?

Perri: From local street food to Michelin standard food I have tried what feels like everything India has to offer (or at least from the regions I have explored). I really enjoy trying local dishes from the state of Rajasthan because they seem to be unique and important to its culture.

Earn your turns (and your lunch) ? #startedfromthebottom #chasingwinter #skitouring #lyngen #skitosail

A photo posted by Perri Alexis Rothenberg (@perrirothenberg) on

 

 

Me: Describe your best shopping spree in India. Have you explored the Indian streets?

Perri: Shopping is such an important aspect of exploring a new city, I am not talking about chain stores, but rather markets to find locally crafted clothing and tapestry to bring home and showcase forever. In Varanasi, we went to a silk factory for about 5 hours. After touring the factory, we sat on a plush floor while the team showcased hundreds of different silk tablecloths, duvets, and scarves. All of the craftsmanship is so beautiful and appreciated.

Me: One of your Insta posts show you witnessing the wild bats. Do you also get to explore the Asian wildlife while you’re here?

Perri: I am an absolute animal lover, which seeing any animal makes me smile (the bats added such ambiance to Udaipur!) While in Nepal, we visited a few elephant reserves, but I have not yet had the opportunity to really explore Asian wildlife. I will add it to my bucket list!

 

Cannot believe this was taken a year ago. Where did the time go? ? #nepal #travel #exploremore

A photo posted by Perri Alexis Rothenberg (@perrirothenberg) on

 

Me: Your style is spectacular. Give us some travel-style-tips!

Perri: Thank you! I find it important to stay true to myself even while traveling in a variety of cultures. Though, I like adapting cultural norms within my style. For example, the women of India dress in the most beautiful colors which inspire me to add colorful scarves and prints to my rather monochromatic wardrobe.  When traveling, I always try to bring the basics with a few colorful pieces of jewelry and shoes to change the overall look of an outfit. It has taken me years, but I am finally at the point where I pack everything within a carry-on bag. If I need something in a destination, I can always go out and buy it.

Just found a long lost memory card with 457 photos from India that I thought were gone forever ? #happy #tajmahal #india #mymichelestory

A photo posted by Perri Alexis Rothenberg (@perrirothenberg) on

 

Me: What’s your flight-beauty-regime to look fresh when you land here?

Perri: Fortunately, I can sleep on long-haul flights, which is why I will never leave the house with my Bose noise canceling headphones and eye mask. This is an easy solution for a ‘good night’s sleep’ while taking crying babies, and late-night readers into the equation. I also try to fly without makeup on to avoid irritating my skin. Upon arrival, I wash my face with a warm washcloth and moisturize with La Roche-Posay. Simple and easy is key!

 

Me: Lastly, how you do make sure you stay healthy and fit while traveling?

Perri: Staying fit and healthy while traveling is actually much easier if you put a little bit of thought into it. I tend to walk much more abroad than I would during a normal working day in the office, but I make sure to utilize a hotel gym if available and not overindulge in foods that I normally would not eat at home. Although, I think traveling is about enjoying yourself, in doses of course. I love YouTube Pilates videos while on the road. It’s an easy way to get a great workout in without even leaving the hotel room.

 

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