Nancy Knight

Beverly Hills, California Travel Agent

A Family Trip to India

I have long loved India, but the trip I most treasure was the one I took with my husband and daughter. It was an exciting time for us; I had planned the trip to celebrate my husband earning his doctorate and my daughter’s 16th birthday.

Seeing India through their eyes was like seeing it for the first time all over again. It is a very dramatic destination—alive with unique colors, aromas, and cultural differences. From the moment you arrive in India, you feel like you have stepped into a vibrant new world that fills and thrills all your senses and I enjoyed being able to share it with my family.

My daughter’s favorite place, without a doubt, was the Taj Mahal. As you wander through the different pavilions, you cannot help but be amazed at the craftsmanship and beauty. It is truly one of the most impressive places in the world, both aesthetically and architecturally. The experience is deepened by the knowledge that this immense white marble complex was commissioned by a 17th-century emperor as a monument to the woman he loved. As a 16-year-old, my daughter loved the sad but romantic story behind it.

My husband was also taken by India, and especially loved the many wonderfully kind and genuine hospitality of the people. You especially feel it at the hotels. The service is impeccable, but it is more than that. You don’t realize that anyone is noticing you, so you are surprised when your desires are anticipated. It makes you feel understood and cared for. For example, my husband and daughter were swimming and when they returned to their chaise lounges, his eyeglasses had been cleaned, the towels were fresh and their favorite cool drinks were waiting for them.

We stayed at Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, where the luxury is over the top. The architecture, art, and décor reflect the uniqueness of each locale. For example, you arrive at The Oberoi in Udaipur by private boat. As you approach from the water, the palatial buildings get larger and larger. The hotel is a destination in itself. It sprawls across 30-acres of gardens and its beautiful domes and exquisite carvings never let you forget where you are.

This trip was extraordinary—and like all our family travels—gave us a chance to experience and learn new things together. The times we have spent together are invaluable. Those memories can never be replaced and have helped bring us closer together. We now live in different cities and our lives have become busier and more hectic, but we still try to carve out time to get away together. My husband and I are very involved in conservation, and these days we often look for places where the environment is being actively protected and local populations benefit from travelers.

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