SF Travel Profile: The Spiritual Seeker

Ami Mehta, 39
South Beach; Director of Innovation, Hinduja Group

Obsessed with: Yoga, surfing, meditation, Vedic astrology.

In the past five years: Been to India, Thailand, Hawaii, Costa Rica.

Best tip for surviving a retreat: Pack light, open your heart and go with the flow.

Most memorable trip?

During a four-day trek to Machu Picchu, both of my big toenails turned completely blue and fell off. Even though at times I felt like I wouldn’t endure the hike through the Andes, the motivating goal was to see the lost city of the Incas. It made me realize how strong their spiritual faith must have been to ascend those peaks for the sole purpose of building great monuments to worship their gods.

What do you start your spiritual quests with?

A prayer to Ganesh, the Hindu god of all beginnings.

How is the act of travel related to spirituality?

Different people, cultures and places are all connected through love. Travel reminds us that no matter how different we are, we’re still the same at our core.

Your most transcendent moment?

While staying at an ashram in Southern India, I unexpectedly experienced a burst of energy that felt like pure bliss. I had just woken from a nap. Half asleep, or perhaps in a trance-like state, I walked through the ashram grounds, where the trees, the birds, the flowers all appeared to be unreal, dreamy. I remember thinking, “If this is what dying feels like, take me right now.”

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