Episode 35 Know Before You Go: India with Travel Writer Fiona Caulfield
India is a vast and vibrant country, full of rich history, diverse cultures, and varied landscapes. It’s also an incredibly complex destination that often overwhelms travelers when considering a trip to the country. Melissa met travel writer and India expert, Fiona Caulfied, in the early 2000s, around the same time she started Indagare. Fiona had quit her job as president of a consulting firm in New York City and decided to move to India…needless to say, she hasn’t looked back since.
After moving to India, Fiona started a company called “Love India Travel” that offers expert advice on authentic travel experiences in the form of beautifully hand-crafted travel books. Ranked within the top three guides globally by Vanity Fair (U.K.), Fiona’s guides are highly revered around the world. Fiona has also launched a book series exploring different regions in India through the lens of makers, starting with Made in Kolkata and Made in Bengaluru. Her “handbooks for luxury vagabonds” has led to an intimate understanding of unique communities and craft preservation.
As Fiona shares in this episode, when you visit India, you go on a journey inside yourself; and the country offers a transformative experience for curious travelers. Fiona talks about what sparked her adventurous life change, what it’s like living in India and the more off the beaten path regions in the country – including the eye-opening treks in the Indian Himalayas and a journey through Tamil Nadu, as well as India’s best antique shop. She speaks to India’s creative, resilient spirit and how the rapidly changing country is infused with both ancient and modern culture. She also speaks to what surprises most travelers when visiting, books to help prepare you for a visit and her travel wishlist. Plus- Melissa and Fiona share a sneak peek of the Indagare Insider Journey that Fiona is leading to Rajasthan October 26-November 3, 2023. You can learn more by clicking, here.
And this week on travel hacks, Melissa shares even more shopping recommendations from Fiona for finding the best handmade crafts, jewelry and more in Jaipur, Kolkata and New Delhi. She also shares a few of her personal favorite spots for craft and design!
Lightning Round with Fiona:
- Favorite shops for locally made or “only found in India” products? Nila House, AnanTaya and Khadi Ghar in Jaipur, Kamala in Delhi, and Paper Boat Collective in Bengaluru
- Favorite restaurant? The Johri, Jobner Bagh and looking forward to trying Lupa in Bengaluru
- Best place for Chai? Sahu Chaiwalla
- Favorite flower markets? Phool Mandi in Jaipur and Mallick Ghat in Kolkata
- Best pottery market? Kumartuli in Kolkata
- Favorite museums? Museum of Art and Photography, Amrapali Jewellery Museum, and Arna Jharna: The Thar Desert Museum of Rajasthan
- Best places for animal viewing? Sujan Jawai, Kaziranga National Park and Wildlife SOS
Tune in live: May 18, 2023 at 12 p.m. ET
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