About 7 months ago one of my best friends and I decided to plan a three week trip to India - to grow, to see a different part of the world, to open our eyes to a different way of life, to open our eyes to poverty and struggle far worse than our own, for amazing food, for spice and excitement and colour and yoga the list could go on. I saw all of these things and more - however this was not like any other backpacking trip I have been on, and when people ask me - "omg how was your trip?", I can't help but say "oh, it was an experience I didn't love it and I didn't hate it... It was an eye opener". People think this means I didn't enjoy the trip and ask why I even go if I didnt have the time of my life, and to tell you the truth I don't see anything horrible about this response and I don't see anything horrible about my experience. Sometimes you need an eye opener to life's events, and to say the least I am if anything inspired.
In a nutshell here's how the trip went
-Arrive in Chennai airport, brave the public open carriage train, jump in a tuktuk, get lost a thousand times and finally we are on our way to Alleppey a small town that sits on the Kerala backwaters. (First day not successful)
-spend four days and three nights on a blissful houseboat with one guide and one cook. Having positive vibes myself and Ebony start writing goals lists and future travel expeditions, it was calming and insightful and we also had some fun in the rice fields after a Kingfisher beer or 6.
-unable to travel to Goa with the original plan we flew to Mumbai in which we Flashpacked and stayed at the Mumbai Taj Mahal Palace, which is most probably the swankiest hotel I have ever set foot in - I mean we had a butler bring us drinks to our room. It was certainly an opposite side to the usual Indian experience, but Mumbai itself was crazy and hectic and it was a nice oasis outside of the chaos.
-after sight seeing in Mumbai we flew back to Goa to relaxed on a beach with some fellow Aussies we had met that day, this is now a vacay. Who would think 5 Australians (plus four English guys) would find a beach, with beer and epic food in the sun. Ridiculous - again... Did we again shy away from the real Indian experience. Probably... But we had our reasons.
-after having a relaxing couple of days staying in a literal beach shanty on the beach that cost a whole $7 each (it was bare minimum where I found a piece of artwork I had bought for a friend had been chewed up by rats) we headed to Dehli to finally get amongst the culture and see the taj, temples and elephants!! Woo I had been looking forward to this.
-Dehli - temples, good food and a cooking lesson
-Jaipur - epic - elephants literally in traffic as a form of transport (swoon), red fort - intricate, organised and amazing.
-Agra - TAJ and fort - simply the most epic thing I have ever set eyes on. The end.
In truth we most definetly liked the north rather than the south, but we were quite exhausted by the end of our 18 days and we quite happy to head to Kuala Lumpur for some sight seeing, amazing food and shopping. Looking back on my time in India I really had a good time, no matter how stressful and hectic it may have been. We found the tourism wasn't very up to date and helpful but hey, that's real backpacking for you right? It makes you stronger and (theoretically) puts hairs on your chest. I encourage anyone to go there, but have a broad mind people and take things lightly and get amongst the culture as much as you can!!!
Take a squizz at some photos. By the way- I was living out of a 30L backpack... My clothing options were limited hehe so I had to do the best I could with what I had! :p