Why I deserve to win the National Tourism Award for Foreign Journalist from India Tourism
Okay, I didn’t win the National Tourism Award for Foreign Journalist from India Tourism for 2011. I am disappointed, but still hopeful. I am starting now to campaign for next year while I still have 364 days ahead of me.
Here are my top 5 reasons why I should win the National Tourism Award for Foreign Journalist — let me know in the comments if you agree. I am gathering support and yours will help!
Everyone who knows me in person or online — and that’s a LOT of people — knows I am passionate about India. I went to India for the first time in 2005 and the trip changed my life. You can read My Story here. And you can read how I feel about India in this piece, The dust of India, just published yesterday on the Travel Wire Asia site.
Read on for the other four reasons and to leave a comment!
I have very often said, and written, that my passion is to “share the beauty of India’s wisdom and culture.” I know that India has alarming social problems, political corruption, pollution, inefficiency — I am not blind. But I let the rest of the western media cover these things. I’m a travel writer, and I try not to judge, but to report experience. And my experience of India is that: The people are the friendliest, warmest and most helpful I have ever met. The culture is the most colourful, richest and dazzling I have ever seen. The spiritual traditions are the wisest, most profound and most beautiful I have ever encountered. That’s truly the way I see it. In India, I see beauty.
I have been writing about India for six years, since my first blog on Travelblog.org. I have almost never stopped — it has been a ceaseless outpouring of travel adventure, cultural fascination, spiritual enquiry and much more. Breathedreamgo launched on August 23, 2009 (Ganesh Chaturthi) and since then I have written literally hundreds of blog posts; plus I write for newspapers, magazines, many online sites and contribute regularly to Vacay.ca, TravelWireAsia.com and TravelandEscape.ca. Please see my portfolio on the About Mariellen page.
In the six years I have been writing about India, I have written dozens of magazine and newspaper articles, hundreds of blog posts, countless Facebook updates and Tweets, even a book, Song of India — all promoting travel in India. I have also spoken at events and seminars, organized tours and fundraised for worthwhile charitable causes in India, like World Literacy of Canada — and even won a trip to India for my fundraising for Intrepid Travel Foundation / Deepalaya. And I have duly collected everything, put it in a nice new binder for the folks at India Tourism and, for two years in a row, sent it off to Delhi before the deadline for nominations for the National Tourism Award for Foreign Journalist. I am starting my third binder now.
I have not received a lot in the way of official or monetary reward for my writing, but I have received lots and lots of comments from readers who were inspired, and from Indians who appreciate the way I write about their country and culture. And believe me, that is very gratifying. Here are just two quotes of literally thousands I have received over the past six years:
“I am an Indian national and I have traveled around my country quite a bit. Am deeply aware of my history and the challenges we have faced since independence in 1947. It’s very easy for westerners, who haven’t seen what poverty is in their countries, to lose sight of India’s history and focus only on the poverty here. I read (your blog) to appreciate your detailing and the fact that you dared to scratch the surface. You went for India’s inner beauty – not an easy thing to do. Its is like a breath of fresh air and your consistent positive tone is what sets it apart. I can’t wait for you to take this blog to whole new level and this become the benchmark for travel/online journalism. All the best! I will continue to cheer for this site’s success. Regards, Vinayakan”
“Hi Mariellen, I work for a client in San Francisco, and was preparing for a trip for them to spend a couple of weeks in India. I was searching on the internet for experiences that foreigners have had during their travels to India (since I’m an Indian, and may not have the perspective of an outsider) to prepare them for the good things and the bad. I am ashamed to say, that I was afraid there was more bad than there was good, but your article has truly reminded me of what my country really is – a land where real understanding of our true spiritual nature once formed the basis of social life and activity, and the affects of which still exist. Just after reading your article I feel a lot better about showing my country off to my American friends, so thank you for reminding me of the great things about my country! Sarvesh”
Please comment if you want to show support
If you think I have done a lot to promote and encourage travel and tourism in India — and if you think I deserve the National Tourism Award for Foreign Journalist from India Tourism — please leave a comment below. A simple “you go girl” will do. Thank you.
If you enjoyed this post, you can….
Get updates and read additional stories on the Breathedreamgo Facebook page.
Buy Song of India, a collection of 10 feature stories about my travels in India. E-book version is now only $1.99.
Subscribe to the free — and inspiring! — e-newsletter, Travel That Changes You.