I really can’t remember when my fantasy of traveling to India began. I want to believe it started many years ago when I was a small boy, reading Kipling or watching Gunga Din. Of course there’s also the chance that it was the animated version of The Jungle Book that gave birth to my obsession.
But if I’m really being honest, the movies Karma Sutra, Mississippi Marsala and The Namesake, really sealed the deal.
About 9 years ago, my boss made the trip. As she recounted her morning at the Taj Mahal, I was damn near salivating. It sounded so beautiful, so special, so amazing that I wanted to book a ticket right then. And that’s basically what I did. I called my wife and we started to plan a trip to India. I was beyond excited, it would be our final trip before the birth of our first child. We figured at 5 months pregnant, it was the perfect time for one last hurrah as a childless couple. We would go all in and make the trek to India. It sounded great to us, but not our OB/GYN, he literally laughed in our face. “No India.” And with that, it seemed like my dream was dead and gone.
Fast forward to my 50th birthday, a life changing moment for any person, and a time when we decided to revisit the idea of traveling to India. Our kids were finally old enough for us to feel comfortable going to the other side of the planet with out them. I plunked down a gang of miles for two first class tickets and a year of tuition at a private college and off we went on the adventure of a lifetime. What we saw, experienced and smelled, was nothing short of life changing. From tigers on safari to the raw sewage in the streets of Delhi, there really is no place like India.
Not Your Traditional Museum
Lincoln Heights is probably not on your list of places to visit during your time in Los Angeles, but thanks to the 14th Factory, you might just have to become acquainted with the East LA area. 14th Factory, LA’s new pop-up art space, is an enormous building across from an abandoned city jail.
The experience begins as you walk through a pitch black hallway and into a bright white room, a replica of the bedroom from the final scene of Stanley Kubrick’s classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The Barmecide Feast, by Simon Birch
From there, you make your way into the center of the factory which has a man-made lawn with swings hanging form the ceiling. All around the open space, are different works of art, paintings and photography.
This opens up to the Instagram famous picture spot, “The Crusher” by Simon Birch. The piece composed of 300 hanging pitchforks allows visitors to put themselves at the mercy of the dangling farm tool.
You can get as creative as you want!
The other rooms use giant screens to show images of Hong-Kong apartment buildings, a Ferrari crashing at high speeds and a group of men involved in a brawl.
All the installations allow the visitors to completely immerse themselves in the pieces. Tickets are cheaper online ($18) so make sure you plan ahead. If you want to get a chance to go through this unique experience, they are scheduled to shut down at the end of June.
Zip-Line Through Paris
The most visited landmark in the world is getting a little upgrade. The City of Love is getting a fun new attraction to excite the over 7 million tourists that visit each year.
A zip line stretching from the Eiffel Tower, across the Champs de Mars, and finishing at the L’École Militaire will be available for thrill-seekers until June 11. Le Perrier Smash was setup by Perrier in celebration of the French Open.
If you’re not afraid of being 375 feet above ground and soaring through the city at about 55 MPH, then this attraction has to be on your list of “to-do’s”. And if the thought of gliding down the zip-line terrifies you, don’t worry, it’s only a half mile long and you’ll be down in about a minute.
Have VR goggles? Pop them on and witness it in 360!
Machu Picchu: Changes In Ticketing
If Machu Picchu is on your bucket list, making sure you secure tickets to the UNESCO World Heritage site is the first thing you should do. Unfortunately, you can’t make the journey up to the citadel without having tickets in hand. 2500 visitors are allowed per day to access the site, and the tickets currently allow for all day access.
Over a million tourists per year step foot on the iconic site, and although this is great business for Peru, it is wreaking havoc on the actual structure. Archeologists have warned of the serious damage all the foot traffic is causing. The deterioration of the site is leading to changes in ticketing.
To protect the archaeological site, ticket sales will be divided into a morning ticket (8:00AM to 12:00PM) and an afternoon ticket (12:00PM to 5:30PM). These changes aren’t due to happen until early 2018. Changes in prices haven’t been announced and as of today, you can book a ticket for 152 Soles, which is a little less than $50 US dollars.
The change will try to reduce the damage caused by tourists, but will hopefully help in maintaining the site in good shape for generations to come!
If you aren’t planning your trip through an agency, you will need to make sure to get all your business in order. You can do that here
And if you haven’t thought about going to Peru, you should. It is one of the most magical sites to set foot on.
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