Friday, November 11, 2011

India - beginnings of a plan

Yes, India! I realized while traveling in Ecuador that it was actually cheaper to be traveling down there than living in Boston. And India is even cheaper to travel in than South America. And if I volunteer at hostels or organic farm programs (WWOOF is a program my sister introduced me to) in exchange for room/board I could save even more money and get the chance to immerse myself in an area to really get to know it and the people.

A girl I met down in Quito gave me a website where I can look for traveler work opportunities by country as an alternative once in a while to the hostel idea. Also, a friend from the hostel down there knows a guy who runs a hostel in India, but couldn't remember exactly where. So he's going to get me in touch with his friend and maybe I might use that as a starting point for my trip if the location appeals to me.

My brother-in-law is from Mumbai, so I am using him as my "guy on the ground" to get ideas and to bounce my thoughts off of. He's also great as a source to ask with regards to what to bring with me. I already know that I will not be wearing my strapless cleavage bearing dress or all my tank tops... it's a conservative culture, I intend to respect the hell out of that. I'll be there when it's wicked wicked hot, so I'll likely buy some clothes once I arrive, since I don't know if I'll be able to find anything here truly appropriate for both the heat and the conservative-ism.

So yes. The lease on my apartment is up February 1. And since I didn't get the MIT job, I just felt that since travel is currently flowing and I can do it cheaply, I might as well stick with it. I can spend a few months in Florida with my parents til I leave. Save money, and also work on writing. I'd like to try to sell some of my writing, or try to find publishers for future writing while I'm in India. Wouldn't that be fucking cool? I'll likely come back to Boston for May... to celebrate my birthday and also because it's cheaper to fly out of Boston to India than from anywhere near my parents in Florida).

For the summer months I liked the idea of going north. So fly into Delhi, then immediately head south to the Tiger Reserve to see if I can see tigers! The internet said that Ranthambore is actually best November-March, but I am hoping late May/early June might prove lucky for me.

After that, head to McLeod Ganj. It's the first place I ever discovered about India, and I'd love to spend some time up there. Home of the Dalai Lama. Would also love to see Amritsar and the Golden Temple (dude, that's where Bride and Prejudice takes place!). Maybe then head east to the Valley of Flowers.

I'm thinking maybe stick up around that area til around August. Then head south after visiting the Valley of Flowers (which I've heard is spectacular in July/August). I haven't done a huge amount of research yet into other areas. I mean, I've heard of Goa. EVERYONE's heard of Goa. And About.com said something about Ooty and the toy train to get there. That could be interesting and fun.

Anyway... I'm plugging away on the internet for ideas while I wait for my Lonely Planet guide book to arrive from Amazon. I asked Nilesh (my brother-in-law) if he has any other ideas to throw them at me! And you, my dear readers! If you think there is any particular place I must see at a certain time I will add it to my list.

I'll be in India for 6 months. Going to get the 6 month visa. So late May til around Thanksgiving. Who knows, after that I may decide I'm done and come home. Or I'll throw caution to the winds and keep traveling through Asia.

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