Where were you born?
I was born India. Jamshedpur, India.
Where’s your family from?
My mom’s side of the family is from there, but my dad and mom were in the army. They were doctors, and so we kept moving around within India all my life, up until I came to America when I was in high school when I was 13. I stayed here until I was 16 and then went back to India.
How did your parents meet?
(Laughs) At a party.
What do you think of as “home?”
Usually an airplane right now, but Mumbai. I’ve spent the most amount of time in my life in Mumbai, which is 15, 17 years almost. So it feels like home even though I’m in America most of the time now, my house is there. That’s why I feel like my home has become a plane a little bit, right now, because I have homes around the world at the moment. No roots, only wings.
How has travel changed your life?
It’s changed my life completely. The fact that my parents made me travel around the world since I was a kid. When I was young I used to be really upset about having to move, and [my dad] would play a game with me, saying that if you decided what you are where you were, when you go to the next place, no one is going to know you. You can be whoever you want. So I used to plan, “Alright, when I’m in this new city I’m going to be dancer or sing or whatever.” It made me very disciplined and made me be able to deal with whatever life threw at me because I could handle it.
Why will you never stop traveling?
If you want to be stagnant and never grow, that’s when you stop traveling. I think traveling is an expansion of your creativity, your experience, and life. Life is really just a journey.
Why is choosing to travel important in 2017?
I think choosing to travel is important anyways. I think in 2017, a lot more because I think it’s very important for people to understand each other’s cultures and the differences between us, so we can find similarities and live as one people instead of so many differences. And that happens when you travel, when you travel you learn about cultures, people, and how there are so many differences but we are humans. In 2017, that will be a really important thing for people to do.
Why I Travel: Priyanka Chopra – Condé Nast Traveler