“All in a day’s (or week’s) work…”

The path to entrepreneurship has been an enlightening one.  I have learned so much and been humbled by just how much it takes to launch and grow a new business. As a self-confessed procrastinator with “shiny new toy” syndrome, I found it difficult to create a routine for myself that ensured I focused on both the exciting, and not so exciting tasks required to manage my business. This challenge plagued me during my corporate career, however, with a more structured environment and project deadlines, I was able to course correct and ensure I didn’t drop the ball. Truth be told, procrastinators work best with hard deadlines, so the pressure served me well!

Today the responsibility sits firmly with me to determine my own priorities and ensure the needs of the business are met.  I’ll admit the task can sometimes fill me with dread while other days be a great joy. Free from structure, I’m able to allow my mind to explore new ideas unencumbered, but this is both a blessing and a curse. On the upside, I can let my imagination run wild and I can act quickly on a new idea. Conversely, I miss the energetic debates and conversations with my esteemed colleagues, the energy, the building upon an initial thought, the support and collaborative promotion of a new project.

In the last few months I began to realize I needed a little structure (not too much) and set about trying to find a solution that would fit my “busy brain” personality.  In February and March, I attended two very enlightening workshops for women entrepreneurs.  The first was a three-day Women Rocking Business Workshop with CEO and Founder Sage Lavine, The creator of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy and online Women’s Business Training Programs, she has shared the stage with Neale Donald Walsch, Jack Canfield, Janet Attwood and many more. Sage introduced the “Freedom Schedule” concept and how she works three weeks each month while running a multi-million-dollar business. That got me listening! While I do not presently aspire to that (in a year or two maybe…) the concepts Sage introduce resonated with me and started the wheels turning. She walked us through an exercise where we began to structure our week and allocate themes to each day to allow for a greater focus and allocation of time to specific tasks and projects.

Sage Lavine Freedom Schedule
Photo Credit Sage Lavine, Women Rocking Business

 

 

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Jackie Morgan MacDougall

Immediately following the Women Rocking Business event, I drove to LA for the launch of a dear friend’s new business Forty Thrive. Jackie Morgan MacDougall is passionate about helping women become the best version of themselves.  She is dedicated to supporting women in the best years of their lives to launch their dream business, get healthy, create and fulfill their bucket-lists, and live out the life they have envisioned for themselves. Jackie talked about committing to yourself and for me that spoke volumes. We can often commit to the business, but without commitment to yourself you are somewhat limiting the possibilities for yourself and your business.

 

So, what ultimately did I learn and what am I doing differently today? I now have a new approach to the work week that provides me with a structure that has some fluidity to it (allows the busy brain to play sometimes!) and creates focus where it is needed the most.

MARKETING MONDAYS – designed for all things marketing. Blog posts, social media ideas, PR and media, new web pages, promotional ideas, creative space

TEAM TUESDAYS – Nanda Journeys is a remote office with team members and partners across the US and the around the world. Each Tuesday we spend time connecting, catching up on our priorities, what’s new with everyone and how we can help each other stay on task

WHAMAZING WEDNESDAYS – my mid-week recharge! Today is about doing everything I love, connecting with my network groups, analyzing data (I love a good pivot table project!), and “me time” be that a yoga class, time to reflect or time to have fun

THRIVING THURSDAYS – Jackie taught me to focus on Thriving Forward, today is all about how we can grow the business and thrive. Connecting with potential leaders for our programs, looking at our prospects and designating projects to follow up and nurture our leads, new program ideas

FEARLESS FRIDAYS –  today is about tackling everything I have been avoiding or putting off! By clearing my “nagging” to do list I can go in to the weekend free of guilt and feeling accomplished.

I most certainly do not have my new week mastered, but I sure am seeing an improvement in my productivity and creativeness and the business is THRIVING  so I guess that tells its own story!

Share in the comments below how you organize your time, I’d love to hear your ideas.

Happy Thriving,

Nicola

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The key ingredient; global partnerships built on trust and friendship.

Excellent global partnerships are integral at Nanda Journeys and enable us to create our unique and immersive journeys. To be successful in the travel industry, you must surround yourself with a team who strives for excellence and has an eye for detail. We truly believe our global partners are just the right addition to our team. Through these collaborations, we develop our customized journeys that ensure a unique and rewarding educational program. As you may know, Nanda Journeys sells more than just cookie cutter sightseeing tours. We prefer to focus our trips to include an immersive, career enriching experience, allowing professionals the opportunity to engage in site visits and roundtable discussions with their overseas counterparts.

For the last 20 years, we have been collaborating with our South African global partner headquartered in Cape Town. They are a passionate South African team with a deep love for their country and, through programs like ours, they have the chance to showcase all Southern Africa has to offer. Nanda Journeys counts on industry experts in their team and values the friendships that are built by working closely with them. Our mutual passion for international travel, along with the ultimate goal of providing a unique journey, cements those bonds. The opportunity to visit their country and spend time training with their team is one I will never forget. I have fond memories of driving from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park with their managing director. She shared her passion for her home country with me, leaving an impression of not only the diversity of the flora and fauna but an appreciation for the rich culture, history and people themselves.

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Our global partner in Tanzania focuses specifically on inbound travel to Tanzania. Their knowledge and passion for their country really shines through and their dedicated staff are truly unique. The teachers and music enthusiasts enrolled on our Music Education Journey to Tanzania will be spending time at the School of St. Jude this coming July. They are a non-governmental organization (NGO) I had the pleasure of visiting a few years back and one that we continue to support with each new journey that visits their lovely country. The school is dedicated to providing innovative educational services to the most disadvantaged children of Arusha and you can really see the love for the children and country the staff have. Our upcoming group will explore the education system in Tanzania and take part in various school activities like joining in a music and art class with the children. We are passionate at Nanda Journeys about giving back and proud to support organizations like this one, who is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the children living in poverty. I would encourage you to take a look at their website and learn more about their fantastic school.

I will forever have memories of exploring Egypt guided by an incredible team of Egyptologists. They are truly experts in what they do! From bringing the history of ancient Egypt to life, to making sure every experience is not only educational but magical and fun too, they make sure each journey is an incredible experience. One of my favorite memories is visiting the Step pyramid of Djoser in the Saqqara necropolis. It is the oldest complete stone building complex known to history and was truly a marvel for its time. Djoser was the first king of the Third Dynasty of Egypt and was in power around 2670 BCE. He is believed to be the first to build in stone. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to step back in time and just take it all in!

 

 

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Learning to walk like an Egyptian from our Egyptologist

Our dear friends in India have hosted, adopted and nurtured us as if we are family. The experiences they have helped us to build over the years have been truly remarkable.  Imagine, meeting the Supreme Court Justice in India, chatting with the King & Queen and Prime Minister of Bhutan, being the first western guests in a remote village in Rajasthan,  dining with a family and learning how to cook true South Indian dishes. These are all experiences we have collaborated on and designed with our colleagues in India. We  know, without a shadow of a doubt, that our clients will be cared for like family when traveling to India, Bhutan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar & Thailand.

We are honored to be able to deliver the programs we are so passionate about. We couldn’t do what we do without our global partners! Nanda continues to build on these relationships and to seek new partnerships each year to offer even more exciting destinations. These relationships are built based on a lot of hard work, mutual respect and trust, and dedication to a common mission. I am honored to call our global partners my friends and want to really express how much we value their professionalism, dedication and passion.

When you travel with Nanda Journeys, you can trust that you will have a wide network of industry experts putting their extensive experience to work to ensure you have a fantastic, educational and fun program! We at Nanda want to extend a big THANK YOU to our global partners. We could not do what we do without each one of you. Here is to the next 20 years!

Debra Arthur

A message from our national guide in Peru, Daniel Flores.

ENJOYING INCREDIBLE PERU WITH NANDA JOURNEYS

Nanda Journeys Mental Health Peru

As a Tour Manager in Peru, I meet many people coming to visit Machu Picchu. This of course is one of the highlights of my country and I enjoy knowing that travel companies include this visit as part of their experience.

There are however, many different ways to organize tours in Peru and I love to participate in ones that show a real taste of my country. The best part of every Nanda Journey is connecting people to local communities through authentic and meaningful activities. Not only visiting museums and archaeological sites, but also local markets, talking with local people in a plaza, trying different fruits, vegetables and local dishes that you prepare yourself under the instruction of a local chef or member of the community.

I have had the chance to lead some Nanda Journeys in Peru and it was great to meet so many awe-inspiring, passionate and generous people. I feel so blessed to see our guests working alongside our Andean communities; visiting young children that have never seen a Deontologist; sacred valley dental examsvisiting Peruvian Universities to interact with our professors and eager to learn students;  bringing medical supplies and donations to a remote medical center in Ollantaytambo, a small rural community in the Sacred Valley. These are just some samples of what we collaboratively do with Nanda Journeys to immersive our guests and create a truly experiential and authentic journey.

Working with Andean communities is a powerful and energizing experience to me. It enriches me in many different and positive ways and I love to share with others enrich and make a difference in their life. It feels great getting involved and connecting people because it helps me to grow as a person and fulfill my need of purpose. This is what inspires me to work with Nanda as their National Guide.

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Being a National Guide for Nanda Journeys makes me feel fabulous, we create meaningful and rewarding experiences that make a difference in my local community.  I look forward to meeting you in Peru!

Daniel Flores – Professional Guide, Peru.

Daniel will be the national guide for the following upcoming journeys:

 

 

 

Does travel change your life? You bet!

Imagine being five years out of college, working at your dream job, and then being part of the prestigious 4th UN World Conference on Women in Beijing. I was, and it changed my life forever. It strengthened and enforced my love of travel, international cultures, and the power of strong and influential women from that day on.

Hillary Clinton, Mother Teresa, and many more influential women were there. The enormity of it struck me when our group of a few hundred women took up only a small section of the Opening Ceremony. A sea of women all excited to be a part of history!

Click here to listen to First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remarks to the Fourth Women’s Conference in Beijing, China. This footage is provided by the Clinton Presidential Library.

Hilary ClintonBy gathering in Beijing, we are focusing world attention on issues that matter most in our lives — the lives of women and their families: access to education, health care, jobs and credit, the chance to enjoy basic legal and human rights and to participate fully in the political life of our countries.” Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1995 remarks to the 4th Annual UN Conference for Women. Photo credit UN/DPI 051210 Yao Da Wei

This was my first, but not my last, journey to China and it truly made a difference. Travel became a passion, making a difference became a priority, and mentoring other female co-workers a new vision.

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Life changing? Yes! A must? Yes! In my opinion, no matter your circumstances and other priorities, traveling to experience other cultures and to have those memorable experiences is something you will never regret and always hold tight.

Travel well!

Marcia Dartley – Program Director, Nanda Journeys

Links:

Official Video UN Fourth Women’s Conference, Beijing 1995 

Official Website UN Women

Traveler, Tourist, Global Citizen, what’s the difference and does it matter?

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When you start to envision your international travel experiences, do you do so as a traveler or as a tourist? Do you believe there is a distinction between the two references or are they one and the same? This conversation cropped up all the time in our team discussions and product development meetings as we established the core values for Nanda Journeys. There are many articles written on the subject and as many alternative perspectives on the topic!

Ultimately, we decided our guests would be referred to as global citizens or travelers and not tourists. Our belief is that there are enough nuances and differences to make the distinction unique and that we believe our programs lend themselves to a traveler vs. tourist denomination. In fact, we went a step further and the term “Don’t call me a tourist, I am a global citizen” has become a secondary tag-line as we talk about our unique journeys and how they differ from other international travel opportunities.

I’m sure at this point you are asking, “So what exactly is the difference between a traveler, a global citizen, and a tourist and is one better than the other?” My own personal belief is that any type of international travel is a great thing, a glorious thing. Travel deepens our understanding of other cultures, their history, their beliefs and ultimately enriches our lives and the lives of others living in communities where tourism dollars are often key, if not the primary source of income for the local economy. I also believe it helps us to nurture global relations and promote a more peaceful and collaborative world.

As President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed in his “The Chance for Peace” speech in 1953 to the American Society of Newspapers, “A nation’s hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations.”

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U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (from left) greet South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem at Washington National Airport. 05/08/1957

 

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Photo Credit – A.F Bradley, New York

Or as Mark Twain so eloquently put it “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

 

So, while we actively support and promote all modes and types of travel, we do see us fulfilling a particular niche that lends itself more to a global citizen and traveler than to a tourist.

As a global citizen or traveler, a key component of our experience is the desire to connect with local educators, business professionals, community leaders, government officials or community members to learn firsthand about their language, culture, history {past and present} and how we can deepen our connections and relationships to improve cross-cultural understanding between nations. As a tourist, a key motivator is more likely to be traveling to a beautiful new country that has unique elements which there may not be easy access to in one’s home country/state. A primary driver is likely to be access to activities, natural resources such as beaches, lakes and mountains and hotel chains that are somewhat familiar.

A global citizen or traveler is excited to learn about local customs and meet people in their homes, maybe shares stories over a home cooked meal. Or, head to a local culinary school or restaurant and learn how to cook a local dish. A tourist is likely to be more driven to find a restaurant that has an English menu and has food options that are a little more familiar.

A global citizen or traveler wants to personally impact the local community they visit and show their gratitude through support of a community project or service opportunity. Maybe they, as we do at Nanda Journeys, take gifts for people they will encounter along the way, help teach English at a local school, provide much need supplies that the community does not readily have access to such as basic medical supplies, hygiene products or as on one of our groups recently, flutes for the local music group who had never seen the instrument or practiced on it before. A tourist likely loves to participate in the activities offered by their local hotel, stay a little closer to their resort, or relax on the beautiful beach or waterfront.

A global citizen or traveler takes a little time to research local customs and language and may even take a basic language skills course before they travel. At a minimum global citizens and travelers learn basic phrases so they can be gracious and thankful in the local language. Tourists are likely to expect that all interactions and communications be conducted in their own language. They are less likely to be motivated to learn the language and will select a destination where they know they can communicate easily in their mother tongue.

A global citizen or traveler is likely to select accommodations that are locally owned, boutique style and non-chain ownership. Loyalty points and rewards are less likely to be a factor in the decision as to where they might stay whereas a tourist is more likely to be loyal to a certain hotel brand to ensure they can reap the benefits of their loyalty. The location of accommodation is also likely to be different. For travelers, they are more comfortable with a non-central location vs. being in the heart of the city or town, if the accommodation is unique to the area and adds value to their cultural experience. Maybe a converted historic building, a former Maharaja Palace, glamping tents in a remote village, or a unique home-stay appeals to a traveler or global citizen. Tourists are more likely to select a chain hotel or a cruise where the amenities and facilities are more familiar and comfortable.

As you can see, there are merits to all styles of travel.  None is better or worse than the other, rather the way we experience a destination is quite different in the same way that we are each different both in life and in travel. We at Nanda Journeys are excited to provide programs that are more likely to appeal to the global citizen and traveler while at the same time broadening the appeal to the segment of tourists who want to do or see more but maybe just don’t know how.

We encourage everyone to seek out new experiences, visit new places, and engage in a journey that will open your eyes and awaken your senses!

“That’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.” Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There

Safe and happy travels wherever and however you may choose to explore.

Nicola Balmain
Founder/CEO – Nanda Journeys

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Cooking class, Kumarakom India
Textile and carpet making experience Jaipur (18)
Learning art block printing, Jaipur India
Caligraphy class (19)
Calligraphy lesson, Japan
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Pediatric dental exams, Sacred Valley, Peru
JSHRM meeting (37)
Meeting HR Executives, Tokyo, Japan

Foodie Chap, Liam Mayclem, reflects on his Culinary Journey To Kerala, India

 

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KCBS Interview with Liam, Anjan & Arun

KERALA, INDIA – A culinary journey home with Chef Arun Gupta & Restauranteur Anjan Mitra. Coconut & rice, lamb & fish and all things spice – these are the tenants of Kerala cuisine in Southern India.

At a time when Indian cuisine appears to be everywhere in the Bay Area and being recognized with accolades and Michelin stars: (August 15, Rooh & DumSF and more), I joined the team behind San Francisco’s first South Indian restaurant DOSA (opened 2006) for a one of a kind culinary adventure. Chef Arun Gupta & restauranteur Anjan Mitra embarked on a trip home to India to rediscover their culinary roots and find inspiration to place on the menus at popular DOSA restaurants in San Francisco (on Fillmore & Valencia). I had the joy of tagging along for this bucket list once in a lifetime “foodie-cation”.

“For me this journey was an opportunity to find the best of Kerala cuisine and to understand what is at its heart” said Anjan.

In one week we travelled from Mumbai to Delhi to Kerala. From the coast of Kerala where the Kerala fish curry rules and further south into the mountains to tea country and further in to Periyar, known as India’s “Spice box”. The bounty here is impressive, it’s a pantry in nature. It’s mind blowing what can be found on one farm.

“You can go into the back yard and pick and taste and smell curry leaves and cloves from a bush and pull up ginger and tumeric from the ground. Then you step into the kitchen and smell the same spices being cooked, simmering in fresh coconut oil” says Chef Arun.

 

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Nanda Journeys cooking class with the experts

We cooked and learned with amazing chefs from the region’s resorts and with home cooks too. Each chef provided a chance to delve deeper into the roots and culture of this spice driven Indian cuisine. Chef Jerry of SPICE VILLAGE cooked “Avial” – a vegetable dish with coconut, curry leaves and turmeric. Home cook Anu Mathew cooked the Kilcutty Chicken Curry with her Mother. It was indeed one of the highlights showcasing the best of the region, an impressive embarrassment of riches from the 35 acre farm. A chicken curry made Kerala style with coconut oil & milk and all the spices the garden grows:  Cloves, curry leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, fennel, cumin and allspice. Chef Arun hopes to feature this Kerela favorite on the DOSA SF menus. A dish that will represent Kerala with spices from region coupled with fresh California ingredients.

I learned a thing of two as well on this culinary adventure by Nanda Journeys. I learned that the best of Kerala’s cuisine is to be found at the homestays, the food cooked by mama or grandma, recipes passed on through the ages and each cooked with that extra portion of love and soul. Visitors who stay at these homes get an authentic Kerala experience, eating and living like a local. They also get three full tasty meals a day and will often eat with the family. The homestays are as varied as the spices that show up in Kerala dishes. One we visited was on a 100 plus acres rubber plant farm and the other on a 35 acre farm that grew it all: Bananas, coconuts, curry leaves, cloves,cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, peppers and more.

The food came from the back yard to the table and the fish from the river just feet away. The freshness of the cuisine was palpable, the flavors banging, the joy from each tasty bite expressed through the quiet as we ate and satisfying smiles from all as we finished every soulful bite on our plates.

Chef Arun on the Kerala culinary journey: “We spent 10 days in a region of India that is very connected to the land, to what they eat and what they grow.  You have a people that are very proud of their culture and eager to share it and teach it. We got to experience the whole food story here in Kerela for example picking pepper corns from a tree and seeing them evolve from bright and green to a biting black and later to a bowl of prawn pepper fry.”

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Kerala Backwaters cruise

Expect the flavors and spirit of Kerala to show up with a California sensibility soon on the DOSA SF menus.  Perhaps Appam – the coconut flavored bread eaten with the Kilcutty Chicken Curry or a local fish cooked with Kerala spices wrapped in a banana leaf.

I cannot wait to return to Kerala for another food seeking mission but for now DOSA SF, closer to home will give me and you the opportunity for a yummy taste of Kerala. Every single Kerala dish an inviting spice party on your palate.

Enjoy my tasty “chaat” with DOSA’s Executive Chef Arun Gupta & owner Anjan Mitra. A big heartfelt thanks to them both for being my travel companions on this trip that took them to their ancestral home – India and to the heart of their native Indian cuisine.

Cheers, Liam!

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Grilled Striped Bass With Moilee Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium (~4-5 striped bass gutted fileted and pinboned with the scales left ON)
  • —placeholder for Kerala marinade—-
  • 1 bunch cilantro washed and dried.
  • 1 TBSP ginger, finely grated
  • 1TBSP garlic finely chopped
  • 1 Jalapeño finely chopped with seeds
  • 1 Thai chili finely chopped
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes (one chopped and one puréed)
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 60 ml unsweetened coconut milk
  • 5 of curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed
  • Coconut oil for cooking as needed

Fish Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups coconut vinegar (sub white wine vinegar if coconut vinegar is not available
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 8 dried red chilis
  • 6 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 TBSP ginger freshly grated
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 TBSP desiccated coconut

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Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except dessicated coconut and let sit for 2 hours or up to one day.
  2. In a small food processor purée until smooth. Fold in coconut and apply to fish. This marinade can hold for up to one week.
  3. For the fish season well with salt and ground black pepper. Apply marinade thoroughly and let sit for an hour

Moilee Sauce Instructions:

  1. In a medium stockpot, and heat coconut oil on medium high until oil is shimmering
  2. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly until lightly browned.
  3. Add jalapeno and fenugreek seeds and cook until fenugreek is lightly browned- this will help eliminate bitter flavor
  4. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly until shallots are golden brown, approximately 5-7 minutes
  5. And curry leaves and continue to cook until mixture is dark brown (not burnt) actively scraping and stirring any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Approximately 5-7 minutes
  6. Add chopped and puréed tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes or until raw flavor is gone
  7. Combine powdered spices with 1/2 cup water and pour mixture into pot. Turn heat to low and cook 4-5 minutes
  8. Add coconut milk and continue to cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes. If sauce looks to be getting too thick add water
  9. Season to taste with salt and fresh lime juice

To cook the fish:

  1. Using a gas or charcoal grill place filets on hottest part of the grill scale side down.
  2. Cook for 5-7 minutes until fish is 80 percent cooked. Place cilantro on grill creating two separate beds for the fish filets to lie on and flip filets into cilantro.
  3. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
  4. The scales on the fish should tighten up and even blacken. This will help keep the fish’s moisture and also keep the fish from sticking to the grill. When the fish is cooked the flesh should flake write off the skin which should not be eaten.
  5. Serve with Moilee sauce and rice as well as chutneys and mango pickle if desired.
  6. (Note: if you do not have a grill you can substitute scaled filets of striped bass and bake fish in the oven wrapped in a banana leaf or aluminum foil until fish is cooked through 12-15 minutes depending on thickness)

CONTACT:
DOSA on Valencia
995 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 642-3672
www.dosaSF.com

Dosa on Fillmore
1700 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 441-3672
www.dosaSF.com

Music Education in Argentina & Chile

As I reflect on the music education delegation to Argentina and Chile last summer, I keep picturing the young orchestra students at the Buen Consejo School (Buenos Aires, Argentina) who performed for us. They were so excited to have music teachers from the United States visit their school. Several members of our delegation donated instruments to the school because it was located in a poor community and it depended solely on donations to exist. When West Virginia teacher, Sherri Tadlock, presented a used flute to the school, the students were elated and the flute teacher was overcome with joy. With tears streaming down her face, she explained that one of the students needed to use her flute because they didn’t have enough instruments. I’ll never forget watching Sherri play with all of the other flute students and seeing the joy on everyone’s face.

The staff members of Nanda Journeys go above and beyond what is required to ensure that the delegation has a safe, informative and experience-filled trip. We have a great time with our international guides and I have always felt safe and cared for in these delegations. It is important to me that we have an educational experience because I have an intense desire to learn about music education and the indigenous folk music wherever I travel.

The insights I’ve gained because of my travels to other countries goes beyond the limitation of language. I’ve learned that people are the same all of the world: they want a better life for their children; they have hopes and dreams just like we do; children are beautiful, curious and mischievous in every corner of the globe. More and more I appreciate all of the luxuries and experiences life in the US provides. My awareness of my privileged life is much stronger now than before I traveled abroad.

I didn’t know what to expect when we traveled to Morocco. The kaleidoscope of new architecture, mosaics, camels, flowing tapestries, fragrant/exotic spices and warm, friendly people expanded my mind and heart even more. We danced and played drums and other percussion instruments with musicians in several restaurants. And the food was AMAZING!

When you spend up to 10 days in another country with other colleagues from the US we share experiences that form deep bonds of friendship and respect. Everything is new and unfamiliar and the language differences can be a challenge at times. We are all supportive of each other and these trips have fostered deep friendships with people who might never have crossed my path. We share teaching strategies, stories about our families and unexpected experiences. Our bus broke down on the freeway on our way to a coastal city in Chile. Some people might have been upset or frustrated but we actually had a great time sitting and chatting with each other, so when the “rescue” van came to get us we were actually surprised to see it drive up.

I still feel connected to each of the delegation communities that have traveled together. Whenever I hear something in the news about a country we’ve visited memories immediately pour into my mind with images of moments we shared together and with the people we met on our trip.

It’s been my privilege to lead music education delegations for nearly ten years. Each time I venture to another country and meet people steeped in unfamiliar cultures I am reminded of our differences and, more importantly, our similarities as humans. I come home a different person after each trip and I am grateful for these opportunities. Now I am counting the weeks until we head to colorful, exotic Tanzania this summer! To learn more about how you can join us in Tanzania, click HEREBlog image

Why Nanda Journeys?

Welcome to the Nanda Journeys Blog. Here we will share traveler stories and highlights from our unique journeys. By way of an introduction, I thought the best place to start would be to share a little about Nanda Journeys, how we came to be and why we are so passionate about what we do.

My team and I have over 60 years collective experience creating and delivering highly immersive experiential travel programs. Our goal is to connect people who are passionate about the sames things and who together can be change makers, improving the lives of communities around the world through education, community project support and friendship. We are dedicated to people, global communities, responsible travel and authentic experiences.

I decided to call my business Nanda Journeys for two reasons.

  1. India is my personal heart destination and I feel a little piece of me lives there, each time I visit I fall in love a little more.  Nanda is the Sanskrit word for Joy.  I want each of their travelers to have a joyous and happy experience when they are traveling and thus this seemed very apt.
  2. Journeys spoke to me as it evokes a sense of curiosity, an evolving experience that never ends. I want our guests to have that same feeling. Their journey should never end as we should have facilitated creating friendships and connections that will go on forever, regardless of their ever taking another Nanda Journey.

The idea came to me after a particularly inspiring yoga class and as soon as I had settled on the name Nanda Journeys, the tag line Travel for People with Purpose and Passion popped in to my head and I didn’t give it a second thought! One of the joys of owning one’s own business is the ability to be decisive!

So there you have it how Nanda Journeys came to be. We hope you will journey with us vicariously through our blog posts or by joining one of our journeys.

 

Taj Mahal with Haji (65)
Nicola visiting her heart destination and proudly showcasing the Nanda Journeys brand!