The town of Pushkar sits in a lush oasis on the edge of the Negrev desert in Northern India. Regal white palaces and temples encircle a small holy lake, and bougainvillea, rose bushes, palms and cacti fill the town with colour. In vivid contrast the desert surrounding Pushkar lies vast, inhospitable and empty, except for a few weeks every November when thousands of nomads, camel and cattle breeders congregate to await the full moon and the commencement of the Pushkar camel fair.
There are few things as sought after, nor as elusive as happiness,but what exactly is happiness? Are we born with it? Is there a secret source that we can tap into, or is our obsession with being happy actually dooming us to a life of discontent?
Delving into the question of happiness leads us deep into a labyrinth of spirituality, philosophy, religion, gender, culture, biology and psychology. It is the subject of thousands of books, countless contemplations and endless exploration by neuroscientists. But does it really have to be so complicated? Can’t we break it down and come up with some kind of cheat sheet for happiness? Actually, thanks to the rise of the positive psychology movement happiness has been taken out of the esoteric realms and planted firmly in the scientific arena, and the formula is surprisingly simple. It starts with looking in the right places. Continue reading →
We found shelter for the night inside the crumbling walls of a crusader castle. As dawn approached we made our descent, clamoring over rocks and sliding down cliffs of sandstone, there, hidden amidst towering hills we found the city of Petra. Continue reading →
Island of the Gods, surf mecca, shoppers paradise, land of golden beaches, big smiles and Bintang beer, Bali certainly needs no introduction, but its cuisine does! In recent years the island has become a foodie destination, with trendy restaurants in the ‘Eat Street’ district of Seminyak serving up flavours from around the globe. Those in search of cheap and cheerful Indonesian favourites still head to the atmospheric night markets and warungs (local eateries, ) but finding traditional Balinese cooking can be surprisingly difficult. Continue reading →