Anita Kapoor recounts some of the best stories from her travels and gives us insights on how to connect, chill and chomp away like a true glocal citizen.
"My philosophy is that food is the way to the heart of a country," said Anita Kapoor, the self-professed ambiverted foodie.
Anita Kapoor is ever-refined and ever-ready. With no prior knowledge of our impromptu decision to shoot her during our meeting, the stylish TV host posed and gave us an array of artistic angles, clearly knowing her best features. Her dynamic package of beauty and brawn not only translates well in person but also through the lens.
Though one thing did stump the well-travelled 40-something media personality. In response to a statement that she’s been in the show business for 13 years, she looked genuinely bowled over. “Wow, sometimes I forget. I keep telling people it’s been a decade, but it is actually more than a decade!”
So what’s been on the exuberant emcee’s plate throughout the fairly forgotten past three years? Food, definitely, but the self-professed foodie is also hard at work – hosting shows, meeting people and going all over the world to pioneer quirky holiday stories. In addition, Kapoor is a judge for the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards 2016. She will award a choice hotel that has gone the extra mile to enhance guest experience for the awards’ Above and Beyond category. She is also currently hosting a travel programme called Enjoy Slow Japan, introducing attractions in the San-In area such as the Tottori sand dunes (yes, Japan has natural sand dunes).
Here, she recounts some of the best stories from her travels and gives us insights on how to connect, chill and chomp away like a true glocal citizen.
1. Grab some grub and go
The first thing that I do in any country is to look for food. I’m greedy that way. And there are certain countries that make me extra greedy. I was recently in Hoi An, Vietnam for a school reunion and had my entire meal options planned beforehand. My philosophy is that food is the way to the heart of a country. If you choose to eat like the people of the country, you can then fully immerse yourself in the culture and lifeline of the city.
2. Skipping a tourist attraction isn’t a monumental issue
I don’t particularly find that visiting a monument should be at the top of my list. Not that I wouldn’t go. If I’ve not seen a popular tourist attraction before, I would go and see what the hype is all about. But I wouldn’t be too worried if I didn’t get to see it.
3. Connect on a personal level
My tips for connecting with the locals are to be interested in their lives and how they live. Don’t go to them, asking: “Where can I find the best food around here?” and instead, ask: “Where do you go to eat?”. You’ll then be able to see their world through their eyes. And believe me, you’ll see so much more.
4. Learn the local language
I never assume other people to know my language. We cannot think we’re superior because we speak English. Mandarin, Hindi and Spanish come in handy for many people converse in these languages.
5. Break down cultural barriers
I love China. Some people may not fully understand the way the Chinese behave but after going through the Cultural Revolution, you’re bound to have a nation that needs time to catch up socially. I believe they will change in ten years. But what we can do now is continue to connect and convey ideas positively. I was shooting once in China and there were a bunch of guys discreetly trying to take pictures of me. I told them to come over and posed for a photo with them. “You want something, so let me offer it to you,” I told them. It wasn’t infringing on anything but this is how they’ve known to act all their lives. So moments like these provide opportunities to surprise them as well as invite them into our world.
Follow Anita Kapoor on Instagram (@AnitaKapoor) and read more about the good work she is doing in the Giving issue of Billionaire magazine, which will hit newsstands in November 2016.