At the end of an epic trip, there is no place like home
Several years ago, I went on a trip for 60 days that involved literally going around the world.
This world trip included some favorite places and also a handful of exotic new ones.
It was to be the last word in passionate travel — this amazing 60 day journey that circumnavigated the globe by air, land and sea.
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January 17 – 19, 2014
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WHAT WENT INTO THE WORLD TRIP: PARTIES IN 5 CITIES
We had stays in several lovely hotels and apartments.
We also took a river cruise down the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam, and made a hundred new friends in the course of the trip; and we managed to squeeze in some memorable plays and concerts in London and New York.
Of course, there was also a bit of shopping indulgence in Strasbourg.
Then, just to make things more complicated on a trip around the world, we hosted parties in five different cities including Paris and London, just so we would be able to see most of our friends in one go.
Yes, I hosted parties in five different cities, and I cooked for each one of these.
A GREAT PARTY IN LONDON
THAT LASTED ALL NIGHT
In London, we had a party for 30 to 40 people in a beautiful apartment meters away from St. James Palace.
I organized cocktails in the state-of-the-art kitchen and on the rooftop with a view, and dinner in the living room on a separate floor.
We also had very long lunches accompanied by too many bottles of burgundy in Paris and even an emergency hospital stay in Delhi. Too much shopping in the heat.
Then, as a last hurrah, I even enjoyed a seat next to music superstar Fergie on the 14-hour flight from New York to Tokyo, first class on Japan Airlines.
PART 1: FEASTING IN DELHI
The trip began, quite appropriately, with a lavish feast in Delhi hosted by an IT mogul for nine investor friends from Japan on the first evening of our world trip.
The sprawling estate in the outskirts of Delhi came with its own gigantic Japanese tea house and carp pond.
Apparently, this was erected by the IT mogul specifically in honor of the visit of a Japanese prime minister to his home.
A CARNIVAL. AND IT’S ALL FOR US.
That night, this served as the backdrop for a private Indian cultural show featuring songs and dances from every region for ten guests.
After the show, we were led to an adjoining garden the size of a football field, where the mogul and his friends waited and makeshift booths were set up as in a carnival, this time with chefs showcasing the delicious foods of different regions.
It was quite an extravagant spectacle for ten visitors.
Next morning, this same mogul trotted out two private jets to fly our group to the state of Bihar, the poorest state in India, for a quick visit to the ruins of Nalanda University (5th century B.C.), one of the oldest universities in the world.
The local government had arranged a welcoming committee of hundreds of villagers, who swarmed around each foreign visitor with overwhelming friendliness like followers of a demi-god.
This experience, along with a stay in one of the great historical suites of the famous Taj Hotel in Mumbai, as one of the highlights of this trip.
A TASTE OF BOLLYWOOD
In Mumbai, we were fortunate to meet one of India’s famous movie directors at a dinner one evening, and he introduced us to his Bollywood world.
Almost every evening in Mumbai after that fateful meeting involved a late night dinner and drinks session at some trendy Mumbai hangout with this famous director and his coterie of (incredibly beautiful) actresses and models.
As you can imagine, the nine guys in our group of ten were all eyes and quite happy about this.
For some reason, I was always the one who wanted to go home early, and go home to my beautiful suite at the Taj Hotel, and enjoy my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.