India was such a surprise to me, I honestly did not know what to expect. I thought of Eat, Pray, Love the movie with Julia Roberts. It is accurate but times 100 more people always around. My fiancé traveled to India three months before I did, at first he was not sure why he chose India for his exotic location to backpack after college but after a month of experiencing the culture he just fell in love with India. Its tough getting used to the loud noises but once you get use it to, you really start appreciating and you realize that it is part of the experience. When Curran was in college he lived in Israel for a year, he had the opportunity to play American football in a Israel. Most of his Israelis friends would travel to India for vacation because the culture is so different but also it is so cheap to travel around so that’s how he got the idea to backpack India. After the three months of Curran being in India, I decided tag along and explore India with him. It was best decision of my life! It was the most amazing experience we ever had together, so good that we are going back after our honeymoon in a couple of months. India is just so different. Everyone is so happy to have a foreigner in their country, they will offer you lots of food even random people you don’t know will offer you their home made food. I felt so free and relaxed! A typical day in the beginning of our trip consisted of hanging out in a beach town, waking up to go do morning yoga and go eat delicious healthy breakfast. We read great books. Eat delicious local food. We would take an afternoon dip in the ocean. And sometimes we would rent a motorcycle and take a stroll around town. Ah that is life! So your probably wondering how we were able to afford this lol everyone always asks us. So Curran and I saved a good chunk of money to live comfortable but we also wanted to make sure to keep a daily budget. India is so cheap to travel around so we budgeted $20 each day and that included breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation, and entertainment. There were days we even had left over money from our daily budget. Even though we did follow our budget consistently we didn’t want to just live on vacation mode everyday, we needed a purpose. We decided that we needed to find some type of volunteer job during the day, so that’s when we found workaway. A website where they help you find places like hostels, bed and breakfasts, garden work, or English teaching jobs in different orphanages in exchange for free accommodation and food. I honestly recommend everyone to try to travel around India for atleast a good three months but if you don’t have the time I recommend these places. India is so different all around the country. You can be in tropical, desert, or jungle area within hours, just hop on the train and you will wake up in a whole different type of weather. Curran and I feel very fortunate that we had the time to have traveled all around India, we can’t to be back!
Rajasthan is a state within India. Rajasthan is exactly what I thought India would be like. The colorful culture, camels, desert, & beautiful old buildings. Rajasthan is a huge state up in Northwest side of India. If you don’t have much time to visit India I would recommend to visit Jaipur in Rajasthan. “Jaipur is the capital of India’s Rajasthan state. It evokes the royal family that once ruled the region and that, in 1727, founded what is now called the Old City, or “Pink City” for its trademark building color.” You should visit the City Palace which is a huge for built using both a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal styles, the palace has carved arches and intricately crafted columns. It is a must see! I also recommend the Hawa Mahal which is a palace built in the form of a high wall to screen royal ladies as they watched street festivities. We usually stayed in places like hotels or inexpensive hotels around India but Curran’s parents traveled to India to visit us so they treated us with an amazing stay at The Oberoi Hotel. Another place I recommend in Rajasthan is Jodhpur “Jodhpur is a city in the Thar Desert of the northwest Indian state of Rajasthan. Its 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort is a former palace that’s now a museum, displaying weapons, paintings and elaborate royal palanquins (sedan chairs). Set on on a rocky outcrop, the fort overlooks the walled city, where many buildings are painted the city’s iconic shade of blue.” Make sure to visit the Fort, it is spectacular!
Hampi is more of a number one in my books. Hampi is this small town in Karnataka state located more in the southwest side of India. We loved it so much we actually went back for the second time to show our friend around. The only way to get into this little town is through a local bus or if you rent a car. But we were on a budget so we took a 6 hour plus bus ride to get to this magical place called Hampi. “Hampi is an ancient village in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It’s dotted with numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire. On the south bank of the River Tungabhadra is the 7th-century Hindu Virupaksha Temple, near the revived Hampi Bazaar. A carved stone chariot stands in front of the huge Vittala Temple site.” On the south side of the river you get this feeling like if you are back in time when there were rulers living in all the Temples. But once you cross the river you come to this “hippie community”. There are restaurants, places to sleep, you can rent bikes and motorcycles, you can go bouldering, etc. It is such a fun town with a UNESCO World Heritage Site as your main view! It is an amazing town and it is a must see in life!
Agra is home to the iconic Taj Mahal! Agra is a city in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state. The Taj Mahal was a mausoleum built for the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal (who died in childbirth in 1631). The imposing main building features a massive dome and intricately carved white marble inlaid with precious stones. I recommend for everyone to get up early like 6:30 am and go stand in line to go see the Taj Mahal. It is usually very busy during the day but when you arrive when they first open the ticket booth, you will have the opportunity to take pictures without so many people being around. It is so beautiful and the history of a love story.
I am so excited to go back in a couple of months, this time we will be going for work but it is always a great time traveling around India. What other places in India would you recommend? Live life to the fullest, my friends!