Hello and Namaste! My name is Alka and I want to tell you about the land where I grew up, the first home I ever knew.
I know what it’s like to struggle in a foreign land. I know how hard it can be to understand the real meaning behind the sights and sounds of a new place. There are times we are physically present but don’t feel connected emotionally, culturally, even mentally. But what I have also learned is that with the right guidance and intimate experiences, we can bridge the gap and make the travel more meaningful.
I was born and raised in India. After graduating college, I got married to a man who was planning to move to America. There was a moment I remember feeling very sad that a foreign country would be where I spent the rest of my life. I knew it would be painful to leave behind my family, friends and the land of my traditions and values. But I knew that India would always be a part of me. In many ways, I brought the best of India wherever I went.
When I came to America as a young newlywed, I had to learn how to be an American and that required a transformation within me; my thoughts, my behavior, the way I interacted with the people I encountered.
America has given me the opportunity to serve my community and that has broadened my horizons and made me more culturally sensitive. My life in America has made me appreciate what it means to be American and Indian at the same time.
As I worked and raised my family, I received several opportunities to educate people about India. Through my teachings of Indian Classical Dance for more than 20 years, speaking at local universities about India and through volunteering, I shared that part of myself with my community. Now that I’ve retired from corporate America, I want to continue to teach and give those experiences in a different way. I have combined my passion for teaching and travel which has brought me to this point. And, it’s within that same vein of sharing and thoughtful presentation that I began aaRna Journeys. In creating aaRna Journeys, it’s my humble attempt to bring you the meaningful experience in your travels in India. I want to show you what makes that part of the world great and give you incredible memories that will last a lifetime.
aaRna Journeys represents my life – a seamless blending the best of two countries I am happy to call home; a seamless blending of two cultures within me. A well-balanced pairing of Indian flavors, if you will, with American ways.