I have been to India five times. I’ve gone via Delta, Air France, Swiss Air, Air India, and probably more. I’ve gone for trips of 2 days and trips of three months. It’s my favorite place I’ve ever been and the place I’ll be calling home for the next year or so. I thought it’d be fun to have a fun summary of my past trips so tada.
Trip 1 – November 2012 – 2 Weeks – Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar
The first time I went to India, I had only flown one other time (London with my sister). I was afraid to go alone, but I did because it was something that I really wanted to do. My initial ticket was for one week, but I “had my passport stolen” and got an extra week tacked on to the end at no charge because I felt it was too soon to go home.
Mumbai was so much fun. I had never been to a place so opposite of everything I ever knew. There were people everywhere, shops everywhere, animals everywhere. People stared at me and asked for my autograph or for photos with me. I went hiking on an island and got lost in the jungle with a friend of mine. We almost missed the last ferry back to the mainland and the locals were shouting at us.
The food was incredible and I didn’t get diarrhea at all.
The trip to Mahabaleshwar was spur of the moment and an 8 hour bus ride away. I really had to poop but the only option was a squatty potty with a bucket beside it. The bucket was full of visibly dirty water with no fresh water nearby (including sink) so I got back on the bus and toughed it out. I feel a bit like a diva thinking back on it, but it was my first time.
When we got there it was gorgeous. Hills everywhere and strawberries. The hotel we stayed at (Park Plaza) was incredible and we had a balcony that had a swing and had a great view. I was attacked* by a monkey who wanted my bottle of water.
*Not actually. He came within a foot of me and I felt threatened so I threw the bottle to him.
Trip 2 – December 2013 – 1 Month – Mumbai, Goa
This time I was way more excited since I knew more of what to expect. I spent most of my time in Mumbai with the final week in Goa. I spent Christmas in Mumbai actually which was an interesting experience. There were a few places to buy trees and random restaurants had Christmas carols, but it wasn’t until I went into a mall that I saw how Santa-centric Christmas was in India.
I had street food for the first time. And got diarrhea.
I ate more food. Restaurant. McDonalds. Train food. You name it, I ate it.
I saw a huge expensive apartment building next door to a slum. I saw the inside of a slum. I saw too many people on a scooter. I saw a bank guard with a rifle looking thing. I saw nature. I was followed by a group of creepy teenage boys in a bookstore.
Then we went to Goa. It was a long, overnight train journey. But definitely worth it when we got there.
Hey there, amazing beaches. We also went to a casino and stayed in the absolute cutest yellow villa.
The only bad thing that happened was this lady trying to steal my phone after our selfie.
Trip 3 – January 2015 – 3 Months – Varkala, Kollam, Delhi, Rishikesh, Massoorie
This trip started at the beaches of Varkala in Kerala.
More beaches! It was a nice little place with some good shops and a huge variety of restaurants. I spent the weekend there before heading to a small village in the district of Kollam. For the next two months, I taught at a school and met some of the most awesome kids ever.
It was also a beautiful place and there were these really exciting religious parades literally almost every day. Christian, Muslim, Hindu – everyone participated in every event.
After a couple of months of playing teacher I went on a week long tour of Northern India through Delhi, Rishikesh, and Mussoorie.
It was fun and had breathtaking landscapes, but my heart was still with my new friends so I wasn’t able to fully enjoy it.
Trip 4 – February 2016 – 1 Month – Kollam
Because I was still missing my everyone, I came back for a month to visit. I really realized how much I suck at teaching, but tried to make the most of it by becoming close friends with the hostel cook and hostel warden. It was fun to see all the old faces and new faces and how much they had grown in just a year.
Saw some more beautiful places.
Saw a cemetery and received a bouquet of flowers from some of the hostel boys.
Went to a religious feast and was finally able to take a picture of the inside of the church for the first time (despite having gone every Sunday for three months) because everyone was always staring at me too much for me to every sneakily take a photo.
It was a fun trip and I was happy to reunite with everyone. I’m not sure if I’ll be going back to teach but I definitely want to go back for a day or two to say hi to everyone.
Trip 5 – Summer 2016 – 2 Days – Trivandrum
My most recent trip was for my friend’s birthday. I jetted across the world for the weekend so that a bunch of us could celebrate together.
Long Story Short:
The End! Next trip in T-Minus 65ish days! 😀