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Why Good Food Journeys

This blog is not about why you should travel with us, that is already on the website under Why Us. I just wanted to share my story about how the desire to start this concept was born, my motivation behind it and what I really want to achieve from it.

I was born in India in a middle-class family. My first plane ride was at the age of 14 which was a quick 40-minute domestic flight. And my next flight, which was also my first international flight, was 11 years later at the age of 25. I remember both those flights so vividly even after so many years like it was yesterday.  I remember thinking to myself I wish I could travel more often because the thrill and that entire experience was so exhilarating. But I also knew that there was no such opportunity and that I would be lucky to ever be on another international flight in my life. Little did I know that in 5 years I would be on a one-way ticket to New Zealand! That was July 2003.

As a child, I was fascinated with the ease with which my mom and Grandma prepared food for the family. It was simple, nutritious, and tasty and mostly a vegetarian diet. But we kids always looked forward to special treats on festivals, birthdays. etc. Luckily there are so many festivals in India that we didn’t have to wait too long between treats. We always ate as a family and always said a prayer at home and at school before the meal. Before I got to NZ, I had never even cooked 2-minute noodles. In our household boys never ventured into the kitchen… it just wasn’t a thing.

But as luck would have it, all the jobs I had after I got to NZ always revolved around food. Most of my colleagues and customers were chefs or from the food industry. I was in sales and my job revolved around selling food ingredients, suggesting recipe ideas, talking about spices, flavors, organizing cooking masterclasses, etc. That was when the food bug got me. While I was a manager at an in-flight kitchen, I enjoyed working with the airlines at menu presentations and learning about food trends in international travel. The buzz that I got was just like how I felt during those first couple of flights so many years ago.

Since coming to NZ, whenever I met people, almost always the conversations would involve Indian food and life in India. I could sense a fascination for the country and most people said that they would love to visit India one day. To be honest, I believe that visiting India should be on everyone’s bucket list… that place gives a new perspective to life. It was also apparent that people have certain myths about India. That it is a land of snake charmers and extreme poverty. Yes, India has the largest slum in Asia, but 20 km up the road is also the most expensive residence in the world! I started feeling a genuine desire, almost a sense of responsibility to showcase my country of birth, the real India.

Over the years there was another shift that was happening within me subconsciously. Whenever I went back home, I began noticing how lucky we are here in NZ. Millions of people in India struggle for daily survival and don’t have the basic things in life, many of which we take for granted. Also, how lucky my kids are to get the start they have got in life. I started feeling very strongly about doing something that can make a real, tangible difference to even a few lives in India.

That was the birth of Good Food Journeys. The concept is simple… it is about letting people experience India through the cuisine and be an enabler to make lives better. Not just the lives of some of the poor communities in India, but also of the chefs and businesses in India by giving them the opportunity to show their talent, genius, and hospitality to the world. Most importantly, I hope we can better the lives of people who travel with us – by knowing that they have helped a fellow human being in some Way and created some wonderful memories for themselves during their journeys with us. You can learn more about how we will make a difference here.

I am genuinely excited and looking forward to sharing my passion for food, travel and India with other foodies and wanderlusts, and do Good for the world while we are at it.