Sharell grew up in a small country town in Australia, but has been traveling and exploring different cultures since her early 20s. She first visited India in 2000, and found it to be a complete assault on her senses, confronting but strangely uplifting and exhilarating. This hasn't changed, only now Sharell lives in cosmopolitan Mumbai where she writes full time and grapples with Hindi.
Sharell arrived in Kolkata, not knowing anyone, in late 2005 to do five weeks of community work. One thing led to another and despite returning to Australia a few of times, she never ended up staying there for very long. Instead, she's traveled the length and breadth of India, exploring the diverse attractions that the country has to offer.
Sharell has managed a guesthouse in the beach town of Varkala in Kerala, worked on the set of a Bollywood movie near Manali, driven an auto rickshaw from Chennai to Mumbai, ridden a yak in Spiti, and dined with the royal family of Udaipur at their palace. She's also survived getting bitten by a monkey in Rishikesh, a bout of malaria, and numerous encounters with the infamous Indian bureaucracy, with sanity kept (mostly!) intact. She fell so much in love with all things Indian that she even married an Indian guy.
Sharell has been writing about India travel for Tripsavvy (formerly About.com) since 2008. She is also the author of the transformational memoir Henna for the Broken Hearted, which narrates her life-changing move to India.
Sharell holds a Bachelor of Business from Monash University in Australia.
After I left university, I found myself working for the government in Melbourne. It wasn't inspiring, but it was comfortable and funded my travels. I never dreamed I would end up living in India. However, it's interesting how life turns out. My life in no way resembles what it used to, but I have more fulfillment and purpose than ever before.
India can be an overwhelming and challenging country to visit. It's a country that will break your heart and test your sanity if you let it, but its also a country where you can discover a deeper appreciation of life and a new way of thinking. India's resilience and determination will inspire you, and its history and traditions will fascinate you. One thing is certain, India will leave a firm imprint in your heart and mind. It's an incredible country where you can expect the unexpected. I look forward to helping you get the most from your time in India!
Want to get in touch? You can send me a message on my Facebook page. You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram, and add me to your circles on Google+: Sharell Cook. Or, for more information about me, visit my personal website.