The crowd at the Kicking Horse River Lodge was treated to the colourful and visually stunning images of India on Friday evening as photographer Cheryl Goodwin told tales from her recent journey.
“My passion in life is photography. And I’m kind of a wanderlust, so usually every fall I take off with my pack and my stuffed dog and my camera, and go travel,” said Goodwin.
This was her first trip to India, but photographer from the valley, formerly Golden and currently residing in Fairmont, has been to just about every exotic and mysterious place you can think of. “I like to go to places that you have to google to figure out where they are,” she said.
In her two months in India, Goodwin covered quite a bit of ground. And although her original plan didn’t quite work out, she had the trip of a lifetime.
“My goal for this trip was to start at the headwater of the Ganges, however by the time I got north, it was already snowed out,” she said.
“But it transformed my life. I was in ashrams, and it was just an amazing place. For a photographer, India is almost overwhelming.”
After two months in a place as culturally different as India, Goodwin found it very odd coming back home. She was in Zurich afterwards, and all the Swiss business people dressed in black surprised her.
“That took my breath away, and I had to remind myself that I’m back in the west, where we have to behave so proper,” she said.
“When you come back from a trip like that, the culture shock isn’t so much going in, but coming home.”
After years of travelling around the world, and experiencing different places and cultures, Goodwin explained why she waited so long to visit India.
“I was finally ready to go. I think someone really needs to be ready to go to India and experience it, because it really is unlike anything else in the world,” she said.
“The people who live there are so devout. It’s amazing how spiritual everything in the country is. You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it.”
Goodwin decided to come to Golden and share her experiences in India, which she often likes to do after a trip.
“So many people don’t get an opportunity to go to places like this. I think especially in this day and age, it is so important that we appreciate other cultures before we go rushing in and blow them up because we don’t understand them,” said Goodwin.
“If I can have somebody leave tonight and pick up a book and read about India’s tumultuous past, but yet they’ve made it work, then I feel like I’ve really accomplished something.”