I come from a family of necessary nomads. My maternal grandparents moved to China in their teens to help earn money for their families back home in India. After more than twenty years and three kids who were all born in Shanghai, they all moved to Hong Kong, leaving everything they had and knew behind.
My father left India, the place he was born and raised, to be with my mother in Hong Kong and to take a chance at a different life. He had a desire to write a different story for himself. One that was his, not one that would be written for him by family history or tradition.
My parents left Hong Kong to give my brother and I the most opportunities we could find. I moved because I wanted to make the most out of those opportunities, opportunities that took me to Toronto, Atlanta, London, and currently back to Hong Kong.
Leaving my comfort zone wasn’t easy but it felt necessary. Life pulled me in different directions and those directions meant I travelled the world from Kazakhstan to Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai to Sydney to name just a few. From presenting on the Great Wall of China, reporting from Havana, flying in a 1940s Spitfire in England, to anchoring events at CNN, events that will be remembered by history–be they wars and even global sporting events, each has broadened my view not only of the world but of me.
In my 20 years in television, the majority if which I anchored at networks in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and Hong Kong (14 years of which I was an anchor at CNN International), I’ve have had the privilege of meeting some of the most interesting people on the planet. I soon realised I found them fascinating not because of their fame or their fortune but because of how they thought, and felt. For me, the conversation became more than a story or an interview, it became a lesson in life. Their struggles, accomplishments, and courage to chart a different course taught me there is no ladder to climb, rather our experiences are stepping stones across a sometimes difficult but awe-inspiring river. The river may not always flow smoothly, but it always flows.
I love finding out what motivates people.The people I’ve interviewed, whether it’s the Academy Award winner who went for roles that weren’t about box office numbers, or the successful structural engineer who questioned established roles, they’ve all risked the unknown and were rewarded with a life worth talking about. Like my grandparents and parents, avoiding the unknown wasn’t an option. The fear was felt but they risked anyway because they had to. They had no choice. I keep reminding myself of their story so that I never take anything for granted. My journey continues.