Hi. It’s been weeks, I know. I have about a million things I can update you on, but I just don’t have the time (despite having quite a bit of time, actually). Hopefully there will be more posts to come soon, but I just wanted to ramble a bit on my blog rather than my Moleskine, so here goes.

India. Wow I’ve felt a whole range of emotions toward this place in the past 4+ weeks. I loved it, hated it, liked it, was disgusted and impressed by it. Today, I’m somewhere in between, having witnessed a complete and total lack of democracy (legitimate police beating & corruption). Trust me, I’ll write more on that later, don’t worry.

Traveling India with a friend who could speak Hindi was amazing. And it was nice to have a friend this past month because a certain type of homesickness was beginning to kick in. Once I was out on my own, the hassle of being a white person in India became more than overwhelming and I started looking for a way out – Thailand for Christmas? I held off on buying a ticket and, now, I’m a little less likely to leave the country so soon. But I’m leaving the North. It’s too cold, I’ve caught a cold, and I need some time to chill out and relax on the beach. The south is hopefully a bit more peaceful (probably not hassle-free, though) and I could use some time to sit quietly.

I’m not saying that the whole time traveling alone in India was hard and stressful. Just a few days. Thankfully I met some really awesome people…and met up with another close friend from home by semi-coincidence (and a “quick” 12-turned-15-hour train ride). Having good company makes all the difference. Having great company is that much better.

So far in India, I’ve done or seen the following, in pretty much this order:

  • Mumbai – really enjoyed! though I was staying with a family so I had a much different experience than as a tourist
  • Aurangabad/Ajanta/Ellora caves – very cool caves – maybe more impressive than Petra
  • Delhi – seen it two different times and in very different ways
  • Uttar Pradesh – went to two different not-touristic towns with my Indian friend, including seeing three different weddings (2 Hindu, 1 Muslim). Being the poorest and most populated state of India, this was an experience.
  • Washed my hands in the Ganges. Then cleaned them one billion times.
  • Agra – saw the Taj Mahal at sunrise; absolutely hated the town for all the hassle I experienced
  • Overnight train to Khajaharo – met some other backpackers, first big train ride and I survived!
  • Khajaharo – Kama Sutra temples were interesting, but this small, touristic, somewhat-off-the-beaten-path town was peaceful and enjoyable
  • Last minute decision to ditch my pre-booked tickets to Jaipur to instead visit Varnassi where I knew another friend
  • Varnassi – even more hassle than Agra and if I were doing it alone, I’d absolutely hate this place. With 3 awesome friends, it was much more enjoyable
  • Overnight back to Delhi – and here I am.

Wednesday I have a flight to Goa. If I decide to stay in India past Christmas, I have a lot of things I want to see in the south, from fried fish in Kerala, to a tea village in Munnar.

You’ll hear from me again soon. I promise. But, uh, I’m working on India Standard Time, so don’t hold your breath.

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  1. Anonymous

    Hey Adam, thanks for the India updates.

    India is one of only 2 countries on our itinerary where neither of us speak the language. It is also the country I am most excited about and scared of at the same time.

    If you had one piece of advice for someone traveling to India, what would it be?

    • Adam

      Hey Jenneil,
      One piece of advice? Have some patience, maybe. And don’t be scared. You really don’t have to be scared as much as people may try to tell you otherwise.

  2. enrolled agent cpe

    There’s always the good and bad in any situation. Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences. I have also seen corruption and police brutality and that first hand experience is truly an eye opener.

  3. Yes, India can get to you…. I’m in Mangalore today headed for Kannur and Coorg. Just came from Goa – it’s lovely right now but do pick your beach with care (I was at Palolem this time) and Panaji and Old Goa are worth seeing. Will your budget stretch to the Panjim Inn? And are you going to Hampi? Less crowded than I expected and the Mango Tree is a great place to eat. Don’t skip Mysore, it’s the only place I’m revisiting.

    Sorry you didn’t like Varanasi – I loved it. Did you stay on the river?

    • Adam

      Hey! I’m headed to Palolem as well. Hope you enjoyed it there. I am definitely hoping to get to Hampi – just about everyone I know has recommended it.

      Varnassi wasn’t terrible. Just the most overwhelming place I’d been in a while. Enjoy Mangalore!

  4. Hey it’s good to know you’re having a good time. Just want to know: are you doing couchsurfing through india to stay for a long time? you have a friend already in india or what?

    cheers

    • Adam

      I had a friend who was planning to travel to India at the same time (just for a few weeks), so that’s who I was with. I’ve been trying for Couchsurfing but it’s a bit of a challenge here, actually. Everyone has been very nice, but people spend too much time going back and forth over e-mail.

    • Adam

      I had a friend who was planning to travel to India at the same time (just for a few weeks), so that’s who I was with. I’ve been trying for Couchsurfing but it’s a bit of a challenge here, actually. Everyone has been very nice, but people spend too much time going back and forth over e-mail.

  5. We also escaped the cold of North India by flying back down south to the Andaman Islands – we highly recommend them but you need to fly there from Calcutta or Chennai. We much preferred the south – Kerala is a LOT less hassly, great weather and it’s small so less tiring journeys. Also don’t miss Hampi, it’s amazing and you can get there on the train from Goa.

    • Adam

      Oh I’d love to get to the Islands. They sound amazing. Can’t wait to get to the South – much of what you recommend is already on my planned itinerary :)

    • Adam

      Oh I’d love to get to the Islands. They sound amazing. Can’t wait to get to the South – much of what you recommend is already on my planned itinerary :)

  6. It’s funny that you mention a police beating……one of the major moments that sticks out in my mind from my India trip was just that-a beating (by citizens actually) and then a follow-up with police. Police that offered us tea and went on merrily as if nothing had just happened.

    • Adam

      Claire, everything I’ve seen in India – whether good or bad – is hard to judge whether it’s just a small part of the picture or an isolated incident. It seems this kind of thing happens more than it should, and it’s a sad sad sign.

    • Adam

      Claire, everything I’ve seen in India – whether good or bad – is hard to judge whether it’s just a small part of the picture or an isolated incident. It seems this kind of thing happens more than it should, and it’s a sad sad sign.

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