Why the world is traveling to New Delhi in 2017

15 February 2017

The bustling country of India has seen a sudden, yet not-so-surprising rise in tourism recently. In New Delhi alone, foreign tourist arrivals notched up a 6.8% growth in January 2016, compared to the previous year, what more is luring so many people from across the globe to this melting pot of culture and color?

If you’re not already convinced, here are a few of the many reasons why traveling to New Delhi is the coolest thing you could do in 2017!

Culture & Sightseeing
India is one of the world’s oldest and most diverse cultures. language changes every 20 kilometers and people from Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Christianity, Sikh and Islamic faiths live together in one community. The well-preserved historical monuments are like storybooks carrying great tales of the past.  taking a tour around them anywhere in the city is truly mesmerizing. New Delhi is home to the famous India Gate, Qutub Minar, Hauz Khas Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Safdarjung Fort and the likes. And it’s not just the history that’s worth experiencing, yoga in the parks and gardens around the city is a popular activity. Yoga sessions are held at sunrise in the beautiful Lodi Gardens.

Daytime activities and a vibey nightlife
Apart from being the capital of India, New Delhi is also the party capital. During the day, you can be entertained by a myriad of plays, musicals, and sightseeing tours. At night you’ll find a majority of the young crowd flocking to bars and clubs to unwind. Serving a population of 20 million, Delhi boasts over a thousand bars and restaurants. Whether your preference is relaxing in a quiet wine bar, or letting your hair down and dancing the night away in a nightclub, there is something for everyone. Nightlife means fun and entertainment: dance clubs, bars, parties, festivals, shows, restaurants and live music bands. Popular areas include Hauz Khas Village, Connaught Place, Khan Market, Nehru Place, Saket and Greater Kailash – N Block.

An exotic culinary adventure
If there’s one thing every single person needs to do, it is to visit New Delhi solely for the food! Although Indian food is heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions, the use of herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables in combination make the food an out-of-this-world culinary experience. Apart from the famous ‘curry’, it is worth trying the street food called chaat. Indian chaats are typically savory snacks found on roadside food carts and are very tangy and spicy. Nowhere else in the world can one find so much variety in food! Some of the highly recommended food markets include Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, Paharganj and Lajpat Nagar.

Shoppers’ Paradise
Where’s the fun in going to malls and paying at MRP (maximum retail price) to quench your shopping desires? Luckily, New Delhi is more popular for street markets and offers a range of authentic and fashionable goods at great, negotiable rates. From saree shopping in Chandni Chowk to shopping for artifacts in Connaught Place, Delhi is a paradise one can get lost in. For heavier pockets, of course, there’s no dearth of upmarket malls such as DLF Emporio, Select Citywalk and others.

Transport and Infrastructure
There is an abundance of options for getting around the city and its surrounds, depending on your destination. To make things easier, there are four main methods of getting around using public transport – metro, bus, auto (tuk-tuk) and cabs. The New Delhi metro system is the newest form of public transportation in the city and rapidly becoming the most popular. It has been touted as Asia’s best rapid transit system. It’s also possible to book Uber and Ola cabs, at all times, with your smartphones. Delhi, being the capital and home to the country’s parliament and ministries is very well-maintained. The wide roads, the lush parks, and the colonial architecture is quite breathtaking.  

Upbeat Hostels and Backpackers
It is heartening to see that even in far-off corners of the country, a new travel culture is sprouting, one that is against the tried and tested clichés. As more and more Indians travel to distant lands, they bring back novel ideas and experiences that challenge the status quo. One such concept is backpacking and using hostels as the primary choice for accommodation. New Delhi being the capital of India, attracts more than 180 000 foreign tourists a year and the city is seeing a rising demand for quaint and quirky hostels and backpackers. if i could… works with some of these hostels which we have pre-vetted and are reliable, clean accommodation options.

The Golden Triangle
India is seeing an ever-increasing number of visitors who come to experience the unique blend of headiness that the subcontinent so effortlessly brews. The route between Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur has, for many years, been a veritable ‘India 101’ – an introduction to those on tighter travel schedules. Most international travelers either fly into or out of New Delhi, hence making it a perfect, yet quick stop, for DIY-ers.

With so much to offer it’s no wonder the world is traveling to New Delhi in 2017. All in all, there is one phrase that best describes India, and that is ‘unity in diversity’. When will you be making your first trip?

Follow the link for more information on if i could… internships and contact us to find out how we can create your unique internship opportunity in India.

Must-attend Cape Town events that contribute to making a change

25 January 2017

There are many theories behind Cape Town’s affectionately dubbed nickname the ‘mother city’, however, we’d like to believe it’s attributed to the city’s ability to create space for new ideas and cultivate a culture of positive change. 

Not only does the ‘mother city’ play host to the most magnificent natural landscape, there is also an endless list of things to do, places to see and activities to get involved in. Because this list is so diverse, we’ve broken it down for you into a list of must-attend-at-least-once events, taking place between January and March, which also contribute to making a difference in the city.

Open Streets Cape Town

Copyright www.openstreets.org

Copyright Open Streets

Open Streets Cape Town (OSCT) is a community-led initiative inspired by the need to create shared spaces in the city and with the aim to bring people together regardless of who they are or where they come from. Since it’s genesis in 2012, OSCT has grown into an annual highlight for locals and visitors. People from all over the city come together and the street is turned into a car-free playground of creative arts, yoga and anything fun, creative and inclusive. The heart of the initiative is rooted in ‘challenging paradigms of urban mobility…and ultimately drive behavior change around the role of streets in the life of the city’. 

The concept originated in Bogotá, Colombia where it’s known as “Ciclovía” and attended by approximately two million people on a 120-kilometre stretch of car-free streets every Sunday and public holiday. It has since been adopted by 400 other cities around the world.

Check their website for the next Open Streets event taking place in Mitchell’s Plain www.openstreets.org.za

Lace up for Cancer Fun Run

Runners world dot co dot za

Copyright Runner’s World

This World Cancer Day Hospice Palliative Care Association in collaboration with the Cancer Alliance (CANSA, Choc, Love Your Nuts, People Living With Cancer and Sunflower Fund) hosts their annual, family-friendly fun run to raise funds for all living with and affected by cancer. 

If you’re not in the greatest shape, that’s okay too, show up in your craziest outfit and come and enjoy the live performances, food trucks and plenty of prize giveaways.

Lace up for Cancer Fun Run takes place on the 4th of February 2017, take a look at their site for more details www.hpca.co.za/about/lace-up

Cape Town Cycle Tour

Photo by Sam Clark /CTCTT / Gallo Images

 

The largest, timed cycling event in the world takes place annually in Cape Town. Sunday, 12 March will mark the 40th year of Cape Town Cycle Tour and will see 35 000 cyclists lining up to ride the 109km, picturesque route with one of the world’s seven natural wonders as the backdrop. Seriously,  what more inspiration do you need?

For a fee, you can sign up to ride for one or more of the charities listed on their website. The Cape Town Cycle Tour was the first cycle event to include a comprehensive Environmental Management Plan which subsequently led to the International Cycling Union requiring a similar plan for all events under its organization. This definitely an event worth supporting, and no you don’t have to be Eddy Merckxo to participate, if you can ride a bike, you’re good!

www.capetowncycletour.com

Hope@PaulCluver Summer Festival

Copyright of www.cluver.com

This community-based performance series boasts its fourth successful year of bringing communities together to share high-quality and thought-provoking, musical and theatrical performances. The Thembalitsha Foundation and Paul Cluver Wines invites you to a night of comedy and classic films under the stars at the magnificent Paul Cluver, outdoor amphitheater. Support a worthy cause while being entertained by some of Cape Town’s top talent.

The Thembalitsha Foundation works to serve those in needy communities by equipping them to be self-reliant through the provision of health care, education and training initiatives.  

This event started in November 2016 and will run through February 2017, take a look at www.cluver.com for more details. 

There you go! You have no excuse not to be a change-maker especially if you can have fun while doing it. Look out for our upcoming April- June list of must-attend-at-least-once, change-making events in Cape Town.

8 pieces of advice to ensure a memorable and incident-free trip to Cape Town in 2017

9 January 2017

With Cape Town coming to the forefront as one of the best tourist destinations in the world, I’m sure by now you’ve heard your fair share of stories about the Mother City from those people you know who have visited before. While each person’s trip here is sure to go differently, there are still a few basics that you can stick to, to ensure the smoothest and most memorable internship experience in the oldest city in South Africa. Like any other popular tourist destination in the world right now, there are times when innocent individuals fall prey to petty crime such as theft, but we assure you that if you stick to the following tips, you will be able to keep those unfortunate incidents at bay and allow you to absorb Cape Town in whichever way you choose to.

cape-town-passport

When travelling abroad, documents such as your passport need to be kept safe at all times.

  • Documents and Cash  – Always try and separate your credit cards from your cash so that if anything happens to either of them you aren’t in a tough spot. Never carry large amounts of money with you and try and find out how much money you will need for the basics when getting around the city, such as train fair and taxi fair.  Try not to carry more than what is required for any given excursion. Do not accept any help from strangers at an ATM and always report any lost or stolen documentation to the authorities immediately.
  • Insurance – It’s always a good idea to take out some sort of travel insurance. Whether it be for your property or for medical care, insurance will stand you in good stead should anything go wrong. South Africa has excellent medical care and any hospital will be able to take good care of you should you get injured while hiking or during other similar activities.
  • Know the numbers that count – A few relatively simple numbers to jot down and keep close by just in case you should fall victim to any petty crime. You can call the police from any public phone or landline using 10111 or if you are using a cellphone you can reach them on 112 (both free calls). Being voted as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, most of our reputable tour guides have excellent first aid skills, but should you find yourself needing emergency medical attention you can reach the National Ambulance Service by dialing 10177.

cape-town-emergency-numbers

It’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with emergency numbers in the city you are visiting.

  • Staying at your accommodation  – During your flights, make sure to never leave your luggage unattended and always keep your bags within arms reach. Careless tourists make for soft targets to opportunistic thieves anywhere in the world. Avoid allowing strangers into your room and never disclose any of your passwords with people. Additionally, most places have some sort of security deposit box so that should keep important valuables safe for the duration of your stay.
  • Considering driving? – Always remember when driving in Cape Town to keep to your left! Another important thing to consider is that most cars in South Africa are of the manual or ‘stick shift’ variety and the automatic cars are usually the more expensive option when looking to hire. Cape Town drivers are generally laid back and are for the most part courteous drivers. Just remember to not panic, stick to the basics and always try and be mindful of jaywalkers as people down here have the tendency to not use pedestrian crossings.

driving-a-beetle-in-cape-town

Remember, when in Cape Town, always keep to the left!

  • For outings – Try and get your hands on a map of the city as soon as possible. The geography of the city can be confusing to many, as essentially Cape Town is a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides with a massive mountain range running through the middle. We have quite a straight forward street layout, so you should be able to get the hang of finding your way around in next to no time.
  • When swimming – With so many beautiful beaches littered all over Cape Town, you will more than likely find yourself venturing out for a swim or a tan at some point or another. When using any of the beaches, always make sure that you swim only if there is a lifeguard on duty, always try to swim in a group or with someone else and never alone. Make sure you have a good sunscreen as the African sun does pelt down some powerful rays, so protecting your skin is of utmost importance as temperatures in summer often exceed the 30 degree Celsius mark most of the time.

swimming-in-cape-town

Cape Town’s beaches are one of the city’s main attractions.

  • For hiking  – With one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature taking center stage in Cape Town, Table Mountain alone offers you a variety of different trails of varying difficulty that caters to all sorts of fitness levels. When exploring the great outdoors, always try and stay in a small group of about 4 people, keep your mobile phone fully charged and with you at all times should you get stuck or lost. The weather is known to change on the drop of a dime, so even if it appears to be hot and sunny outside always take along something warm just in case the weather decides to take a turn for the worst. Again, a map will come in handy when trying to get around here too.

hiking-in-cape-town

A group of students together on a night hike.

Simple enough to remember right? While these may sound like the downright basics of travelling to anywhere in the world, it’s usually only when these relatively simple things to keep in mind get overlooked that things go wrong, so be sure to always be aware. Otherwise make the most of your time in this wonderfully rich and diverse city and submerge yourself into our fabulous culture while you spend your time interning.

For more great reads on Cape Town and other tips and tricks for making the best out of your internship, be sure to join our Facebook page where we have regular updates on interning in Cape Town, South Africa!

(images in this post are sourced from the internet)

5 ways to change the world this holiday season

5 December 2016

The fact that it’s almost the end of 2016 seems crazy — there are still so many journeys to go on and so much good to do! So as we approach the warm and fuzziest (maybe only metaphorically if it’s winter where you are right now) time of year, we thought of a few final ways you can make a really good impact on the world and have a happy holiday at the same time:

  1. Donate your christmas: instead of getting gifts from family or friends, why don’t you pick a cause close to your heart and ask them to give gifts or donations to that charity instead. You all get the good vibes and a hard-working cause gets some extra help. Hooray!
  2. Have a community christmas: it’s not just a holiday for family, you can have friends, colleagues and anyone you know in your community who doesn’t have people to spend the day with over to your celebration to let them know they’re special.
  3. Up your ‘random acts of kindness’ quota this season: it’s as simple as that — commit to being extra nice to everyone you meet for as long as you can. One kind act for a stranger every day? Sounds amazing!
  4. Make instead of buy all your gifts: if you’re giving loved ones gifts this year, why not see if you can make them instead of buying them? The recipient will appreciate it more because you spent extra time on it.
  5. Book an internship with an NGO for 2017! (We couldn’t resist.) If you want to make long-lasting change with a cause that’s working really hard in a beautiful part of the world, there’s your answer. We’re accepting applications for 2017 now!

However you’re celebrating the end of the year, we hope you’re safe and happy, with people you care about, and are relaxing after another crazy year!

christmas

 

 

 

Let’s have 365 Days of Activism

28 November 2016

“No woman or child should be sexually harassed, beaten, raped, stabbed, shot, or attacked in any manner, anywhere in our country.” ~ South African President, Jacob Zuma

According to the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is described as any act ‘that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life’.

2015-16-DAYS-FB-Web-banner_600

It was this Declaration that inspired the 16 Days of Activism in South Africa, a national awareness campaign that has been in existence for the past 17 years. Every year from the 25th of November to the 10th of December, various organisations create awareness around GBV to educate individuals and also to serve as a platform for abused persons to come forward and seek assistance.

During this time, South Africa is committed to protecting the vulnerable persons in society by ensuring the below objectives speak to the needs of the country. The efficacy of these objectives, and the 16 Days of Activism campaign as a whole, have been questioned of late. South Africa’s shockingly high rate and violent nature of sexual offences call for much more than just 16 Days of Activism. Awareness, protection and care for survivors must be a 365-day campaign.

Some of the objectives include:

  • To change the behaviours of current and past perpetrators
  • To increase awareness levels amongst citizens in relation to the rate of violence against women and children
  • To highlight the stories of survivors of gender-based violence and child abuse, and the impact that the campaign has had on their lives
  • To enhance and increase partnerships between government, the private sector, civil society, organised labour, sectoral groups, faith-based organisations, the media (electronic and print) and the diplomatic community in an effort to spread the message
  • To raise funds for NGOs that work within the sector, providing invaluable support to the victims and survivors of violence;
  • To communicate through the most effective and appropriate channels aiming to reach the maximum number of people across the country, particularly women and children residing in rural areas, and
  • To engage actively with men and boys in the discourse about combating violence in our homes, our communities and in the workplace.

During these 16 days, people wear white ribbons to show their support. Individuals are encouraged to get tested for HIV/AIDS at various testing stations, made available by government, around the country.

The 16 Days of Activism is also a time in which people should be encouraged to speak about their experiences so that others may find the courage to come forward and end their suffering. Awareness should not only be confined to the Days of Activism, but throughout the year. Creative Consulting & Development Works Research & Evaluation Manager Susannah Clarke reiterated this view by saying that “16 Days of Activism is important because it raises awareness on the issues we have in this country. Human rights cannot be protected if a person is not aware of their human rights… there is a need to have 365 days of activism not only 16 days; we should always be cognisant about these issues and not only at a certain time of the year.”

Gender-based violence is rampant in this country and millions of women live in fear, many within their own homes. It is vital that communities become proactive in combating GBV. Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko mentioned that although much “… has been achieved since the dawn of democracy, things such as gender-based violence, poverty and unemployment continue to be a big problem for South Africa and other countries.”

We are told that a woman is raped every 17 seconds in this country, but only one out of nine report it. A shocking one in six men report they have been a perpetrator of sexual violence. Violence against women knows no race, culture or class; it spreads across all communities. We must recognise that these numbers and statistics are not just numbers, they are people – South African women and girls. We must stand together against gender-based violence 365 days of the year, and do something. We must reach boys at a young age to dispel the myth, and tradition, that power over a woman makes a man. We must stand up against domestic violence instead of covering our eyes and turning up the music. Dr. Mamphela Ramphele writes, “Violence against women and children is emblematic of a society at war with itself.”

if i could… wishes that all South Africans unite to help combat gender-based violence. After all, there is strength in numbers… and in knowledge.

Contact us for more information