The Top Five Secrets to Savvy Travel

Judi Dench and the Intrepid Women


From Ophelia to Queen Elizabeth I to James Bond’s boss, M, Dame Judi Dench has always been one of the stage and screen’s most intrepid actresses. She embraces each role fearlessly and whole-heartedly.

In 2012, she brought another memorable character to life in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Evelyn Greenslade is a widowed homemaker who moves to India because her recently deceased husband left her with crushing debt.

Like this week’s guest contributor, Sophia, Evelyn embarks on her journey without a plan and knowing no one at her destination. She falls in with a half dozen other British ex-pats in similar circumstances, all lured to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by some very misleading marketing materials.

When Evelyn realizes her financial situation won’t even cover her expenses at the hotel, she ventures into Jaipur in search of a job – her very first.  She’s hired by an Indian call center to teach the employees how to better interact with their English callers.

Unlike some of her fellow travelers, Evelyn is able to open herself to her new environment. She grows to love the people, the colors and the vibrancy of her new home. As she says, “Initially you’re overwhelmed. But gradually you realize it’s like a wave. Resist, and you’ll be knocked over. Dive into it, and you’ll swim out the other side.”

So here’s to Evelyn, Sophia and all the rest of you intrepid adventurers out there. Dive in and keep swimming.

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