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E for the Ex­pe­ri­en­tial

Be­cause Ev­ery Place Has a Story to Tell

I was so sure that E stood for En­vi­ron­ment that with­out re­fer­ring to The Blue Yon­der (whose ‘A to Z of Re­spon­si­ble Tourism’ I am un­rav­el­ling let­ter by let­ter) I wrote out the piece in my head. As an af­ter­thought I went to check what it stood for and was pleas­antly sur­prised to find that E stood for Ex­pe­ri­en­tial. While reams have been writ­ten about the en­vi­ron­ment and any school child in ur­ban In­dia can give you a lec­ture on ban­ning plas­tic, ‘ex­pe­ri­en­tial’ is some­thing I can def­i­nitely share my (sorry!) ex­pe­ri­ence about.

As a child I would travel with my fa­ther when he went on his work trips within In­dia. Mostly I would be cos­seted by an army of his staff who would en­sure that I did not leave the guest­house— or if I did, that I did not step out of the car. I loved the pam­per­ing and wouldn’t change a minute of it. As I grew older, I be­came cu­ri­ous about the places we trav­elled through and the peo­ple who came to meet my fa­ther.

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