Best way to test one’s position on the impact we have in our world? Put oneself ‘out there’ in direct conversation with Mother Nature.

And so, the moment came. Destination: Antarctica.

For over 3 decades, I have been incredibly blessed to work worldwide on a professional path and within critical economic sector that has always stretched my vision, pushed my mind, and filled my heart: global Tourism, Aviation & Development. Acutely aware of the scope and scale of interdependencies of the sector that must, must work together to ensure a world connected by travel is truly good for not only the visitor but the visited to be able to stay true to principle of travel as a force for good for all for generations to come, the past 3+ years acting as a ‘behind the velvet curtain’ advisor to leaders across the globe rebuilding their economies, societies and environmental policies has been the honour of a lifetime.

As we as an industry work to reconnect the world the right way, at the right time, through the right decisions, as captured in my latest book authoring THE CALL TO LEADERSHIP, we as global leaders are being loudly, clearly and urgently called on to own the impact we will have on those near and far, now and in the future.

Which is why a recent hit of the professional pause button to undertake a journey of a lifetime to the bottom of the world was, without question, one the most penetrating tests of my position on the value and values of Tourism Development.

11 days on serious expedition including 4 days of intense sea kayaking through iceberg waters, visiting the frozen world homes of tiny little tuxedoed locals waddling about as sea lions stretched out on shorelines, while Orca and Humpback whales puffed out signs of their presence nearby…all across Mother Nature’s breathtakingly beautiful canvas of icy blues, greys and whites. And of course, the Polar Plunge – joining creatures great and small in their frigid environment of play.

‘Holiday’? Perhaps in traditional terms as a carefully crafted time laptop-free (especially as anticipating network challenges being at the southern tip of the world where creatures great and small have absolutely no interest in email). Very, very special thanks to Al Merschen for turning a lovely, loving, milestone-celebration idea into an adventure of a lifetime.

Soon, very soon however, and as sensed it would be, active vacation time to be shared became a call to action connected to vocation. As soon our port of departure started to fade into golden sunset light, an ‘Impact Immersion’ began, masterfully executed travels to the bottom of the world by the team at Quark Expeditions –, leaders and firm advocates of our possessing a deep, sincere understanding and sense of responsibility towards the world we are blessed to explore.

Their mission was on. Day after day, both at sea and when anchored, time was filled with not only seeing a truly untouched part of the world, but understanding it, feeling it, and deeply appreciating it, stop after stop, paddle after paddle, landing after landing, sight after sight. The awareness and appreciation building was not through simple exposure, emotional osmosis. The learning was direct, the expertise of the expedition staff positioned front and centre so that each leg of the journey carried with it exceptional insight into what was there before, what will be found now, and what is at risk in the future. Lecture after lecture, the learning added layers of richness to the experience: maritime history, marine biology, natural physics, ornithology, glaciology, climate science, safety, the keyholes of understanding were there for us all to unlock. Participation was mandatory, as was commitment to protection and preservation because this we all knew and felt to be true: presence in the places we explored was an absolute privilege.

Returning ‘home’, back to the busy days, streets, and screens that shape what we define as our real world, it is impossible to simply release the pause button and return to business and busyness as usual. Our vision has changed. What was once conceptual is now crystal clear. What was once take for granted now stings as we see, and feel, what is being taken.

To Mother Nature, my immense, loving thanks for not only making the journey through the notoriously treacherous (8m – 12m swell high) Drake Passage extremely unusual with its (relative) calm, magically accented with a magnificent golden full moon rising over wide open waters, but for allowing us, through your daily (often hourly) changes in climate to stay, to see, to silently absorb, and to so deeply feel both the blessing and the responsibility of the awe you have created all around us.

Why write this post?

Because her message is clear: our ability to see her increasingly fragile world is a privilege, not a right, and we as her messengers must never forget that. Nor must we fail to remind others – especially the decision makers shaping the future of our industry, and therefore sharing responsibility for the shape of the world we are influencing, impacting, and hopefully inspiring, near and far, now and for generations to come. Talking about the climate crisis, embedding the word ‘sustainability’ in our strategies, hash tagging the need for action is one thing. Seeing the impact of inaction is quite another.

Mother Nature, I see you, I hear you, and I thank you. x


Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2024


As time passes,

as we grow older,

as we grow up,

it is so easy to forget the moments, and the people, who define the DNA of who we are.

It is so easy to forget the moments when we made decisions, made invitations, to others who unbeknownst to us at the time, ultimately shaped our way of approaching the world, shaped how we approach others,

Moments that had a lasting, invaluable impact on how we process individuality, celebrity, humanity,

Moments that unlock the realness in, and of, our connection to others.

Years and years and years ago an incredible person, iconic personality, globally recognised performance powerhouse, was met.



Privately in a small group in a performing arts venue as part of a professional (sponsor) line-up, As happens in such moments once an artist has come off-stage, off to the side of VIP lounge stand a handful of formally dressed fans, their grown-up presence hiding the excitement of their inner child. We were no different. We could feel our hearts beating faster, smiling wider. Here. Now. Just behind that door. Here he comes!

Our focus? A lion of a gentleman with a legendary voice of raw velvet. Harry Belafonte. The Harry Belafonte.

Our blessing? He was just so real.

So real, in fact, that while those around me put out their hands to extend a handshake to accompany their words of appreciation and praise,

I spontaneously put out the request for a hug.

No idea where the request came from. No idea how it would be received. No idea it would lead to a number of special meetings and remarkable moments with he and his team across the map across months of their Canada/US touring schedule – a period of being exposed to a bigger world. He, his team, together they wove me in as their tour unfolded, concert after concert, city after city, memory after memory, as the soothing sounds and swaying dance moves of Paradise in Gazankulu filled people’s hearts.

And then life moved on, the tour shifted continents, our paths went in different directions.

Time moved on. We all continued to grow up. We continued to drift apart.

And then years on suddenly something happens – news breaks, and unexpectedly your heart breaks. Moments long past reveal themselves again as sparks, sparks that turn into flames as news of the passing of a remarkable gentleman blows oxygen onto them, and they rise.

The light of these flames suddenly reveals how those moments years and years ago have come to define who we are today:

how we connect with others, how we speak to those who matter to us, whatever their status, wherever their security detail may stand, Title, profile, position, all are respectfully put aside. They are human, and with their realness, with their warmth, they helped shape our hearts.

One person, one blessed period of time, shaped how I, for the rest of my life, have engaged with others of remarkable position, title, status, security detail.

He taught me they are all human.

He taught me the beauty in passing a sincere complement and then simply asking for a hug. He gifted me the beauty of a hug back. He taught me the power of real connection recognising a young, naïve admirer simply wanting to celebrate someone standing right there, someone special – an especially talented elder, deemed remarkable.

And yet for all the excitement that unfolded in that defining time, it was a time with one simple message, one that perfectly reflected the beauty of the heart of this great lion: above all else, seeing others for who they are without the titles, trimmings and trappings, makes the greatest, truest impression. It makes the connection real.

It is so beautifully simple.

And in being so simple, it is so human, and so enduring.

For this, in a whisper weighted by sadness, I give such thanks and say a loving ‘goodbye, dear Sir,

As a great lion now rests. x


Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2023


Morning, and a news story spreads across the world. A seemingly simple story coming out of Istanbul, Turkey: CNN INTERNATIONAL: Football Fans Donate Stuffed Toys to Quake Survivors 27 02 2023

A football match. Tens of thousands of people in a stadium. Sports fans excited to see their favourite athletes take the field, make the goal(s).

And then suddenly fans across the stadium start throwing items onto the field. Distinctly foreign objects for a football match. Fluff. Fluff is pouring down. Soft, fluffy toys – stuffed bears. Thousands of stuffed bears are being thrown onto the field.

It was an act highly unusual for a football match as global football regulations impose severe penalties when anything is thrown onto or near the pitch.

But these items, these gifts, were different.

These stuffed toys were for victims, tiny little victims who had suffered one of the greatest losses of their lives. The earthquake on February 06th, 2023 had taken everything. It had taken their home, and for so many it had taken their hopes. To date, it has taken over 44,000 souls across the country. (Source: Turkey Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD)

These fluffy gifts thrown forward by from football fans across the stadium to help move forward the lives of so many little ones could easily appear to be a simple gesture – soft, fluffy toys in white and blue, in pink and purple, in yellow, green, in beige and brown, all tumbling to the ground in the greatest of spirit, with the largest of hearts, with joy and ease.

These soft, stuffy toys, thousands of them, looking to make their way to little hands desperately needing to hold something special close to their hearts. Something that is theirs.

This simple, sweet little gesture can be looked at as a simple news story that sparks a smile, setting a positive tone for the workday ahead. But there’s so much more to be seen, and felt, beyond these fluffy little toys.

These little toys are symbols. They are symbols of hope. They are symbols of healing. They are a hand of care reaching out to someone seeking compassion, needing to be seen, held, cared for.

At the Anita Mendiratta Foundation we are acutely aware of the huge impact that these small, seemingly random acts of kindness can have on the tiniest of people in times of crisis, how outreach to the tiniest of hands can provide strength to the most broken of hearts.

Which is why as soon as the news story broke the critical role of these toys was recognised, even if the gift givers themselves did not realise their significance. These toys are, in fact, tiny little sponges – little sponges that are going to soak up so much fear, and so many tears, from so many small children. In their own wooly way, they will block the cold, they will banish the loneliness, they will be the safe companion children need. In doing so, these toys will be a vital part of the healing of these tiny, wounded souls, victimised beyond comprehension by the falling apart of their world. Their healing will help sooth the hurt of their wounded families, their guardians, their community.

It is so easy to underestimate in times of crisis how even the smallest gestures of kindness can have the greatest healing power. The impact is beyond measure. These gestures, these simple gestures, see what is impossible for many to see: how a gentle touch of the shivering hand of a small child can help them know, and feel, that they are not abandoned, they are not lost. They are safe.

These little toys are going to sooth the nervous systems of the young children that hold them, children that have spent the last three weeks in tears outside of their homes now heaps of rubble, outside of their comfort zones, outside of their safety, outside of anything they knew that loved and protected them.

These little toys are going to become their homes.

A simple gesture – a toy – thrown onto a football field by people who simply wanted to show that right here, and right now, they care.

And what better way than with a bear hug. x



Seeking a safe, trustworthy way to help those suffering the impact of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria? Please click on CNN IMPACT YOUR WORLD:

Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2023




Who created the first map of the world?

It is an interesting question, and there are many possible answers.

Historically speaking, many cartologists would argue that it was the Grecian world, when back in the 6th Century Anaximander, a respected academician in Philosophy and Geology who, through careful charting of equations, drew the world as he saw is – cylindrical.

Then there was the Greco-Roman world. Eratosthenes. Claudius Ptolemaeus, also referred to as Ptolmey. He, a celebrated astronomer, mathematician, and geographer back in the end Century, saw the spherically.

And then of course, there was Eratosthenes. He, a Greek geographer, astronomer, and mathematician, who applied his unique skillsets to create a system for looking at the world with greater accuracy. His measurement of the circumference of the world and establishment of longitude and latitude were critical in how we all see the world today.

But then there was of the Arab world. Building on knowledge of the history of conquests from across the world, Al-Idrisi, Arab Muslim geographer, scholar and importantly traveller, created a view of the world as he saw it – a vast collection of rich geographic and geological detail that revealed to us all a more scientific view of the world.

Many different possible creators.

Many different views of the world.

And yet they, as contributors to our view of the world, all possessed similar traits:

A firm belief in all of the possibility that can be unlocked when we understand not just what is known in the world, but yet to be discovered.

A courage to apply their thinking to create a world that makes the future stronger, better, wiser, and more fulfilling.

A respect for detail and difference across the world, and yet a belief that all are still connected.

A genuine desire to give to others a richer world.

Each made a remarkable contribution to honour shared world has expanded and evolved. Each left a legacy for generations to come. Each is to be thanked, however long ago they gave of their gifts to give us greater insight and appreciation of what is now ours to explore.


But then one can ask the question a different way: who created the first map of your world?

In a second we all know for ourselves the answer, the person who, first and foremost, shaped our world.

We all know that one person who gave us greater understanding all of the possibility that can be unlocked when we understand not just what is known in the world, but yet to be discovered. We can easily identify who showed the courage to apply their thinking to create a world that makes the future stronger, better, wiser, and more fulfilling for us all. They are the ones who, uniquely, demonstrated respect for detail and difference across the world, and yet a belief that all are still connected. And through all of their greatness, through all of their personal ambitions, they had a genuine desire to give to others a richer world.

You know. I know. And it is important they know.


Rani Raad,

for the world you created for me and literally millions of others through your shaping of a more truly connected, curious, and compassionate world,

for the view of the world you inspired in all of our minds,

for the compass you have been in our hearts,

and for the legacy you leave,

we thank you, we salute you, and we love you.

Safe travels. x



Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2023



2023: WHAT NEXT?

The close of 2022 is just a few sleeps away.

2023 beckons.

Which begs the question: what next?

2022 has been a year marked by the quest to re-establish some sense of ‘normal‘ following two extremely trying years. The global pandemic pushed the global community apart – billions of hearts kept apart, unexpectedly, unwillingly, unknowing for how long. By being apart we were united in what we said would happen when we were able to reconnect. We said we wanted to be together. We said, after so long of having our world disrupted by extreme, extended uncertainty, that we understood better all that we had, all that we valued, yet all that we took for granted. We said we wanted to work together. We said we wished we could do better. We committed to doing better, together.

Importantly, we committed to there being no ‘back‘ and no ‘normal‘.

We felt proud, purposeful, embracing responsibility to create a better world not just for now, but for generations to come. Focus was ‘forward‘, fully aware of ‘normal‘ no longer being good enough.

We quietly said to ourselves “we now matters to me“.

2022 was our chance.

And yet here we are, so close to the final days of this year of opportunity of reforming a global community, refocusing on global priorities, reconnecting as a global community, slowly drifting apart. Not because of a virus. But because of, well, the muscle memory we all carry that is ‘going back to normal‘.

So close, but yet so far.

Which is why now one has to wonder: “what next“?

As 2022 comes to a close we see all around us issues great and small that have marked the year soon closing – issues that have been flagged as forces of change that are needing to become our collective call to action. Discussions, debates and dialogues around the issues – these were dutifully done. Decisions were made along with investments, along with policies, along with promises. Documentation is in place.

Which again, begs the question: “what next?”

Global climate crisis storms continue to paralyse lives, reinforcing Mother Nature’s frustration – what next?

COVID cases growing in China yet borders re-opening – what next?

Inflation rates rising – what next?

Recession is threatening – what next?

The crisis in Ukraine, the devastation of life for the people of Ukraine, is reaching its first anniversary – what next?

The global energy crisis leaving billions in the dark – what next?

Equality – what next?

Sustainability – what next?

Transparency – what next?

Circular economy – what next?

Carbon neutrality – what next?

Travelling purposefully – what next?

Caring for community – what next?

Making poverty history – what next?

Leaving no one behind – what next?

Looking back on 2022, please may we not find this to be a year onto which we can apply Shakespeare’s painful words: “Sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

We have a choice: wait and see what will happen next or shape what next.

Next‘ is so near. Now, in these final hours of 2022 may we feel in our hearts a shifting from ‘thinking about to ‘doing something about’,

from looking at ‘we’ to ‘me’,

from ‘being inspired’ to ‘being the inspiration’,

from ‘when’ to ‘now’.

So, what next?

So much, if we wish for it. And what better time to make a wish, a special wish to last a lifetime, than on the eve of a new year?

May 2022 close with clarity of heart of all that 2023 can be,

and all of the blessing of the ‘what next’. xx



Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2022