I booked four drives in Ranthambhore, one of India’s most well-known tiger reserves, despite having no previous safari experience and conducting extensive research.

I’ll always remember how excited I was before that first jungle drive, and I’ll always remember how it hurt to realize that finding the elusive cat is hard.

However, all of a sudden, it appeared. Beautiful in its fierce black and orange striped coat, with a killer look and a killer attitude. My very first wild tiger.

I wanted even more after that brief moment. I have seen 103 different people since I moved to Central India today, the world’s premier tiger habitat. However, whenever I look into those eyes, I experience the same excitement that I did on that first day in Ranthambhore.