Well, I’m back, and here is the first of several blogs on my trip to India; personal observations to start with!
First of all I will say that my trip exceeded all of my expectations, I am so glad that I made it, for so many many reasons…AND…I’m so glad to be home! I have a new appreciation for our countries infrastructure. I”ll gladly pay whatever taxes needed to support our sewer systems, garbage disposal, clean water, good roads, simple power sources and all the other conveniences we take for granted in our everyday life. I think every American should travel to a 3rd world or emerging country. I don’t think we’d ever complain again!
However, saying that, here are the things about my trip that have literally changed my life and the way I see things, plus made it one of the most interesting and wonderful experiences in my life:
- I found the people in India to be some of the sweetest and most heartfelt people I’ve come across in the world! I almost never saw a person who looked miserable like I do on our streets every day here in the US. It makes me wonder what it takes to make you happy, right?
- The children in particular seemed to glow with security, balance and general happiness and outgoing personality. Not only were they open and smiling, but all were eager to pose for pictures, and practice what ever english they knew, from simple phrases like “hello, how are you?” to general chit chat.
- After their God and their family, they revere their animals. From Elephants, to monkeys and dogs.
- And the color…can we talk color? I who tend to be greatly influenced mood wise by color, found the plethora of color in their everyday life to be inspiring! Even my husband who patiently looked through my over 2336 photos mentioned that he could imagine how all the color must uplift their lives in general. (yes, you read that right…2336 photos, and the first 2 weeks I didn’t even take photos! I’m down to 350 of my favorites to show my friends, so we stay friends.)
- Their devotion is inspiring. Here in the US we seem to segregate our spiritual world from our everyday life. It was inspiring to see how in India it permeated everything, from their homes and decor, to their dress, their public and private temples and their daily schedules.
- The grandeur of the architecture, not only the Taj Mahal, which is one of the 7 wonders of the world for a reason, but also their other temples, forts and palaces rival any and every great architectural style in the world.
- The elephants! While I rode a camel on my trip to Egypt, I hadn’t riden an elephant until India. They are amazing mammals with incredible personalities. We literally spent a half day with “our elephant” Sampa, getting to know her, talking to her, feeding and watering her etc…before even riding them. What a thrill. To hear more just visit my post on our experience!
It is with great gratitude that I thank the following:
- My friend Janet, who gave me, in great detail, all the books, tricks and tips I needed to ease my travels.
- India by Car and Driver for their superb organization and care in taking us from place to place and making our trip as easeful as possible, at a very reasonable price. Especially Mr. Vijay, who took special care of us.
- Shalu Sharma who writes a blog with incredibly helpful and practical tips on how to navigate her country, especially as a woman, and even when traveling by yourself!
- My husband who supported my dream and never complained that I was gone for a month! I did miss him.
- And a special thanks to my college roommate, who joined me in my travels after 36 years of not seeing each other! She, who knows who she is, will never know how special she made this pilgrimage for me!
So that’s the general overview. Stay tuned for some of the highlights over the next few weeks! I’ll be sharing pictures and stories, and hope that you can stand listening to them.
Do you have a trip on your bucket list? If so, what is it? And can I suggest, don’t wait…just go! Cheers, from Sonoma County