I write to you this time from a third-floor room in a hotel in New York’s Lexington Avenue. It is just after sunrise and New York is already beginning to sound exactly what you would expect one of the world’s greatest metropolises to sound like—revving engines, car-theft alarms in apoplexy, doors opening and closing, city workers screaming to each other at a decibel level that is reserved solely for the use of city workers all over the world, and…did I just hear an aircraft in the sky?
The hotel’s flagpole is bolted to the façade just outside my window. And a giant US flag hangs there limply, gently roasting in the New York summer.
I am travelling, which, ironically, is the worst possible thing to do when you’re in the midst of editing the pages of a travel-special issue. But still, I’d much rather be annotating PDF files on a bench near Central Park than at my desk back home.
Of all the ways in which my life is different from that of my grandparents, the ease with which I can transcend geographic limits must be the most drastic. I eat much the same food they did. I own enough polyester shirts and spotless white dhotis to costume an indie Malayalam film. And I have a massive Yesudas playlist on Spotify.
But I have travelled beyond their wildest imaginations. All thanks to the confluence of higher incomes, cheaper airfares and plentiful accommodation.
This month’s Indulge deals with the idea of destinations—places to go, things to see, and experiences to cherish. One of the things we wanted to do in this issue was to demystify. Unfortunately, we haven’t really succeeded at it. We spent weeks trying to get one of the luxury hotels in India to let us in behind the scenes. We wanted to figure out what made a great hotel tick, and then share these insights with you.
Problem was, not one of them would let us. Somehow they all found convenient reasons to cancel appointments and postpone photoshoots.
Thankfully, the Bulgari Hotel in London, rapidly becoming one of Indulge’s favourite properties, let us wander about and ask questions. You can find all their tips and tricks on Page 14.
Also you might fin d our infographic on sustainable tourism interesting. Being a responsible traveller, it appears, is easier than you think.
I do hope you enjoy our stories. But most of all, I do hope you will set aside this month’s Indulge when you’re done and hit the road.