I’m back from India and what an amazing, incredible journey it’s been. A tale of heart-warming smiles, gasps of wonderment, a meeting of minds between some amazing human beings, along with equal measures of heartache, longing thoughts of the comforts of home and stress.
It was a trip that I shall never forget, one that I shall treasure until I turn old and grey, for to see how people in India live will leave you downright flabbergasted. The divide between the rich and poor is ever-growing, and boy does it show. In fact we didn’t really come into contact with many ‘rich’ people, but then again on a traveller’s budget we were resorted to taking the ‘traveller’s’ form of travel – inexpensive overnight coaches and sleeper trains. Train journey’s were a heady mix of noises and sights. A feast for the eyes and ears, children cry, old men snore and wallahs pass through at a pace shouting ‘chai, chai, chai.’ You really begin to understand their true sense of family unit when travelling through this huge sub-continent. Family is very important to the Indians, as is socialising and religion. On not one street will you see stillness or calm. People conduct their business through the lanes, whether it’s business in terms of money exchanging hands or if one must need to do their daily ablutions. It all goes on for all to see, and to be honest this is what I kind of missed when I returned to the UK (well, not the latter mentioned). I just loved the buzz and the atmosphere, although I can’t really say that I miss the pollution, dirt, rubbish and bulls scaring me onto the other side of the street. I really hope that if I return to India, and I’m sure one day I will, I will see a much cleaner country. Time will tell.
During the 3 months I was there, you may have read about my experience in both Goa and Mumbai. Due to the rather frustrating Internet connection in some parts of India, I had to resign myself to the fact that my blog would have to be put on hold until I returned to the UK.
Well, now I’m home, and for all those who are purely only interested in fashion, I will keep my travel tales short and sweet.
Here is where we went. 16 major ‘places of interest’ in total, including that of Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand. India is unfortunately just too big to see in 3 months. There is so much more I’d like to see, and Kerala and Varinassi are top of the list. It’s a vast place, and where else would you be lucky enough to witness desert, beaches, snowy mountains and jungle without even flying from that country.
This was our itenary for our trip, which most of which was decided on a limb – the beauty of being free.
Mumbai —> Goa —> Bangkok —> Chiang Mai —> Kolkatta —> Darjeeling —> Guwahati —> Cherapungee —> Delhi —> Rishikesh —> Amritsar —> Bhagsu —> Vashist —> Delhi —> Agra —> Pushkar —> Udaipur —> Mumbai
I shall not go into detail about my trip because it would simply take too long, but here are some of the things we were lucky enough to do and of which I’m quite proud of…
- Explored North Goa on an Enfield Bullet – I got the motorbike bug.
- Visited the living root bridges in Cherapungee (the wettest place on the planet but luckily didn’t rain when we visited!). As seen on Human Planet.
- Walked by the side of a slithering Cobra in the wild.
- Completed the hardest trek of my life.
- Completed 5 lessons of yoga in the yoga capital of the world – Rishikesh.
- White water rafted down the Ganges River.
- Rock climbed in the Himalayas.
- Paraglided over the Himalayas.
- Went to a teaching by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, who by the way, seems like a very funny chap.
- Made 3 pieces of silver jewellery by my own fair hands.
- Tried my hand (and sadly failed) at learning Poi.
- Learnt a bit about who I am. Astrology is a wonderous thing.
- Saw the amazing Taj Mahal.
- Taught a Tibetan Monk the English language.
- Watched the sun rise over Mount Everest.