India lovin’

It’s currently day 10 here in the big ol’ Rajasthan desert.. morale is high and aircon is as low as we can get it. So far, India isn’t like any place I’ve ever been or really, anything that I expected it to be – it’s so much more. If you, like the countless people that have asked me, are wondering why on earth I chose this destination then I’m here to tell ya, something in me just knew I had to see this place. I’ll tell you this too, very little – some would say scarily little – planning and/or research went in to this trip. Before you get the wrong idea, this is less to do with me being spontaneous and a whole lot more to do with me being lazy –  it really hit me just how little planning we (my travel buddy and myself) did when we were approached three separate times at the airport with the question “are you two traveling to India alone?” followed by “wow, you’re brave”. We had the sense that we had gotten ourselves into something we weren’t entirely prepared for, but we also knew there was no backing out now. If anything was a good indicator of what our trip was going to be like it was the drive from the airport where our driver was an hour late and couldn’t turn the car back on after stopping to buy himself snacks on the way to our hotel. We quickly learned that turning to laughter instead of frustration is the only way. Our few days in Delhi were spent braving the streets (just walking on them, not living), learning how to cross the roads without getting hit by multiple tuk tuks, our first taste of real Indian curry and getting conned into every situation we possibly could. It was awesome. After saying goodbye to our hotels reception – who proceeded to add my friend on WhatsApp and ask her on a date – we met up with our tour group who we would be traveling Rajasthan with for the next 15 days. Just the 6 of us running around the desert looking for strippers and cocaine. JK, just looking for some culture. So far we’ve done some really cool things together – we’ve obvi eaten some incredible food, we’ve ridden camels in the desert, slept under the stars, had amazing conversations with our local tour guide about the cultural differences when it comes to the freedom and treatment of women and we’ve met some truly kind people along the way. There are so many incredible things about India and I’ll tell ya all about them, but what I also hope to do is share some of the realities of traveling here that aren’t exactly glamorous because I think there’s a lack of this out there amongst travel bloggers. So here ya go: I’ve never sweat so much in my life – I’m talking legs, boobs, armpits constantly wet and I only pee once a day because I sweat everything out – men are constantly staring at us and make us feel pretty uncomfortable, 19 hours on a train is about 18 hours too long and squatting on a toilet isn’t easy while the train is in motion (shoes will be pee’d on), getting your period before spending a night sleeping outside in the desert with no toilets is less than ideal (side note, couldn’t recommend a menstrual cup any higher – saved me), riding camels is cool until your butt cheeks start to blister and stray dogs are cute until they chase after you and bite your leg (if I start foaming at the mouth, we know why). India is a country of complete contrast, the wealthiest of the wealthy and the poorest of the poor live right next to each other. Sometimes this country has been exhausting and others, something that can only be described as magic. India is full of moments. Next stop, Udaipur.

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