Where to go: Jaipur, India
The 18th century capital of Rajasthan is part of the Golden Triangle along with Delhi and Agra, three cities rich in cultural and historical beauty. Red-washed walls extend through the old quarter to give the city its nickname "Pink City" – and the bazaars are known as some of the best in Asia for their colorful textiles and opulent jewelry.
What you'll find: Sensory overload...yet you'll embrace the chaos of car horns, cows lying down in the middle of a road, stray dogs roaming the country, slow walking elephants, people and cars commingling in the streets, and colorful saris that come to define this city full of life.
Where to stay: The Farm
On the fringes of busy Jaipur, The Farm feels like a world away. Made from the reclaimed pieces and furniture of an old palace, the seven bespoke rooms of this artistic retreat boast the beauty of Southern Asia and the creativity of owners Ritu and Surya Singh. Guests can take painting or cooking classes, practice yoga or simply lay by the pool.
Not to miss: The Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing
We loved trying our hand at stamping the prints and the kids were totally in their element. The unusual styling and outfitting of these ancient and modern traditional textiles enamored me. The draping and layering made me want to leave wearing the clothing.
Experience: During our stay at The Farm, the children were introduced to the family's temple, which was located at the far end of the property. Each day at dawn and dusk, a holy man named Kishore bangs on a gong and anyone—family, staff or guest—is welcome to go for a blessing. As the sun set on the last full day in India, the gong sounded. My daughter Georgia had come to love the experience so much that we raced across the meadow for our last blessing at the temple.
What to eat: Bread besan toast, which is bread dipped in a spicy besan batter—made of besan flour, onion, green chilies, coriander leaves, and other spices—then shallow fried. I also loved the masala omelet, a popular street food in India.
Pack your camera: Hideaki Hamada loved the chaos of India. His advice: Don't hesitate to go into the world you don't know, and remember to be a traveler as much as you are a photographer.
Bring the kids: My hope is that by experiencing and knowing other cultures in the world, my children will realize how similar people are, no matter where they are from, and that we can all be friends.
Grab your bags: My grandmother taught me that travel is the best education and my mother, a foreign language teacher, shared her passion. As soon as I began to see the world on my own, I discovered that no matter where we come from, we have much more in common than we think. That realization fueled my desire to tell the world that we are all curious, open-hearted, and real; that serves as the soul for what Tea Collection represents.
See it for yourself: Enter to win a trip to India
Enter for a chance to win:
- Five nights of accommodations (including food & beverages) for a family of four at The Farm, an eclectic art hotel in Jaipur, India.
- $1000 to use toward airfare from AFAR magazine
- $500 Tea Collection gift certificate for children's clothing
- $500 Artifact Uprising gift card so you can make a photo book chronicling your adventures
- $500 Flight 001 gift card to stock up on luggage and travel supplies