What does the solo traveler look like nowadays? Women are following their own schedules to explore destinations beyond North America, preferring to relax in luxury at resorts, full service hotels or on board cruise ships. As a frequent solo traveller myself, I sought out some Toronto experts to find out what they think of this trend and ask for their advice.
Save your pennies until you hit Jaipur, because this is mecca if you've got a bit of cash to burn. Known for precious and semi-precious gemstones, block-printing textiles, and superbly tailored garments, all for a fraction of what you'd pay at home. It felt good to buy directly from local artisans and manufacturers as well.
Lupita Nyong'o's moving speeches, the Dark is Beautiful campaign in India, and Anita Majumdar's play, Same Same But Different, have me in a different frame of mind as we approach International Women's Day. I'm not just thinking about women's rights and battles. I'm thinking about what it means to be a woman of colour in Canada.
An article published in the Globe and Mail last week lulled readers into thinking that India is struggling to contain a growing Hindu fascist movement, carelessly employing reductionism and omission to present a distorted view of a country that is gaining economic and cultural importance for Canada.
Early last month I was on an airplane to Mumbai. As the plane descended, I tried to imagine 20-million people living in a single city. As an Olympian, I'd been to a lot of places in the world, but never anywhere like India. I'd also never travelled the way I was about to: over 230 km by bicycle from Bangalore to Vellore, in three Indian states over rough, dusty roads.
Only days ago, news leaked that Penguin Books India had quietly settled a 2011 lawsuit filed against it by a conservative Indian education reform group, which required the publisher to withdraw and destroy all available copies of the Indian edition of University of Chicago professor Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus: An Alternative History.
Recently I had an awesome opportunity to go to Australia and speak about GMOs for the Uplift Festival. After our 23-hour flight, it finally hit me. We're really here. My life may be changed forever. It was so refreshing to be around other like-minded youth who believe you are never too young to change the world!
This time when I practiced yoga in Bombay, the honking actually relaxed me. I could feel the city's pulse as an insider and wasn't from the outside looking in. When I stood on my yoga mat high above the city, warm smoggy breeze in my hair, I felt as at peace with the honking as I would practicing yoga to the sound of crickets in a field.
From amidst the carnage, an epidemic of heroism emerged that should be remembered along with those who lost lives and limbs. In stark contrast to the pitiless resolve of the killers who combed the halls of Mumbai's Taj Mahal Hotel and executed its guests, the hotel's employees refused to abandon the iconic edifice.
The breakthrough cases where traffickers have been sent to jail, send ripples and will continue to send ripples through the red light district in Kolkata and through the justice system in India. These ripples are starting to change attitudes and beliefs regarding the acceptability of human trafficking in India. The more traffickers we can hold to account, the more they will realize that they cannot continue trafficking within India.
When I met with the girls, it was as if I was meeting with young girls anywhere in the world. We all sat down on the floor in a circle and they would ask me questions and I in turn would ask them questions. Their questions were like questions my own daughter has asked me... about clothes, food, Bollywood movies and popular songs. I nearly forgot what these girls had been through, what they had experienced.
Teenage sex trafficking is a worldwide problem and therefore all governments need to be involved. That is why I believe I need to be involved as a law maker from Canada. I need to do my share in raising awareness of trafficking of children and being a force in changing Canadian laws so that we can help those abroad.
International Justice Mission Canada, in partnership with the U.S.-based International Justice Mission (IJM), is a human rights organization that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. More specifically, IJM focuses on forced labour, slavery, illegal property seizure, sexual violence, sex trafficking, illegal detention, and citizenship documentation. IJM does great work. Their team of lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure that victims are rescued immediately, that perpetrators are persecuted, that victims have access to support and resources following a rescue, and that the public justice systems (police, courts, and laws) effectively protect the poor.
I miss my dark skin. I have Vitiligo -- an auto-immune disease where the body creates antibodies that destroy the pigment, melanin, leaving patches of white pigment-less skin, which spreads over time. So when I see girls electively going through various beauty treatments to achieve that sort of lightness of being, my blood boils. It took me up to a year to go completely white, and that was 10 years ago. So for those who voluntarily want to go lighter, I know deep down, even fifty shades won't make the least bit of difference for them.
How the mighty are falling. Resilience was a word used liberally to boast of the BRICS countries' staying power in the post-crisis period. Many even ascribed global-growth-engine status to these rising powerhouses. But 2013 has been a second tough year for the August group, even as OECD nations are steadily returning to growth.