Sakshi Ojha, former Festival Director, Seven Islands International Film Festival, talks about where she’s been and what she has seen. Besides playing a key role at the Seven Islands Film Festival, Sakshi is a widely published writer and creative strategist. Sakshi has lived in Germany, India, Denmark, The Netherlands and the UK.
You’ve lived many years in Europe. So, tell us, how does one get more out of Europe than most people do:
Spend time planning your trip well, especially if you are traveling to multiple cities within Europe. There are great deals for travel and accommodation, as well as a lot of cities that can be explored that are off the beaten track. Also, identify the places or tourist attractions in a city based on your interests, not on what a travel guide or advisor tells you to do.
The best thing you’ve ever brought back in your suitcase:
A large Swiss bell that looks very grand in my living room.
The most adventurous thing you’ve ever done on your travels
Driven a snowmobile 15 kms into the wilderness in the Swedish Lapland, that falls largely north of the Arctic Circle. In those subarctic temperatures, there is great danger of frostbites and the only thing you crave is a mug of steaming, hot chocolate.
One place that spells Romance for you
Vienna. Perfect for nice, long walks any time of the day or night.
Your favourite city in the world for food:
Amsterdam. I am big on bread and cheese and they have the best of both.
An unforgettable food memory:
Being a vegetarian is not easy in many parts of the world, especially when you are travelling. When I was in Oslo, I remember I had to survive only on bakery foods for 3 days, as almost everything else had meat in it.
One place you’ll always go back to, and why:
London, as it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and also second home to me.
And one you’d never go back to, and why:
Possibly Madrid, as one of my fellow travellers had her bag stolen there, within 30 minutes of us having arrived in the city. It had all her important belongings, including her passport and wallet. It was a very stressful experience.
Favourite city for shopping and nightlife?
New York/Los Angeles
When you seek closeness to nature, you slip away to?
Mostly it has been a drive through the English countryside. A cottage in the countryside/the hills.
On a long-haul flight, you like to
Read a good book, curl up under the blanket and catch up on sleep.
The most heart-stopping sight you’ve ever seen:
A bull chasing down a man in Spain.
A hair-raising moment:
En route to Gangotri in Uttarakhand, when the mule I was on, reached out to eat the grass growing on the edge of the cliff and stumbled. I could see the deep of the valley’s pit and for one scary moment, though this was the end.
A travel secret to share with us:
Not so much a secret, as a suggestion. Always carry a copy of your passport and some cash stowed away innovatively!
Gather a few more travel secrets from our conversation with Priya Hunt!