All the beauty of India – Part One

I haven’t written anything in a lonnnngggg time. I guess life just takes over without you realising.

Over this past weekend though, a friend that I hadn’t seen in a very long time was home to visit (she lives and teaches in Hong Kong now and I live at home in South Africa). She told me that she loves following my page. It’s weird; I never really consider that anyone actually takes the time to read what I have to say. Nonetheless, one of the items on my “35+ things to do before 35” is to maintain my blog, even if nobody reads it.

SOOO, thanks Cay for giving me the kick up the butt that I needed. Now I can finally tell the story of our magical journey through India (8 months ago!).

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Packing Lists

travel list
travel list

I’m a planner, a list maker, an organiser…but when it comes down to it, I’m still always open to the idea of dropping my plans, to do something better!

4 more Mondays, and then we’re off on our trip to India. So what do you think I’m doing in the meanwhile, PLANNING! I can’t contain my excitement.

What would you take on a 3 weeks trip to India? Thats one week up in the Himalayas in December (cold), and then 2 weeks down South causing along the beaches from Kerala to Goa. A bit of a contrast in climates.

So…my thoughts are:

2x leggings

2x warm top (no jacket…to bulky and annoying)

bikinis & underwear & socks 🙂

1x scarf/sarong (good for being conservative and covering up, but also great for using on the beach)

2x maxi skirt (have to cover those legs in India but still cool enough for the heat)

a few tops/tshirts/vests

antibiotics (in preparation for delhi belly) & toiletries

flipflops & trainers

Am I missing anything?

1x boyfriend

iPhone & goPro & selfie stick –> (am I seriously even considering buying one????)

passports & tickets & book (the sequel to Shantaram which has just been released!)

happy energy and a sense of adventure

And I think that should just about do it…

What do you think?

Bare in mind that I’m going to be shopping up a storm while I’m there. I’m bursting with excitement.

It’s been too long since I went on adventure of this scale. ❤

India… AT LAST

It’s this crazy thing…INDIA…I’ve been dying to go there for so long, yet the planets just wouldn’t align to make it happen. I’ve previously even had flights booked to go there, yet the wind set my sail in a different direction, and I ended up going back packing in South America instead. I’m not complaining. South America was AMAZING. But India, let me visit you please!

At last, it’s all working out as it is meant to. The world is a strange place, and I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. My boyfriend and I have been saving hard, and having a boring year of the “real world”, but it’s worth it, because tomorrow, we are finally going to pay for our flights, and in December, we are FINALLY going to spend three magical weeks gallivanting through the cultural pot of India. INDDIAAAAAA!!! (I hope I’m not jinxing it by writing this little over excited piece).

 

But…it’s meant to be this way. Both our jobs granted us leave. Fantastic. It’ll be great to travel this route with a male. I’m not a nervous traveler by any means, but I do think it’s good to take precautions when required, and I think this will be a good instance where, having a strong man by my side will be a wise choice. And finally, I get to touch down in India.

I am beyond excited. I now also finally have something radical to blog about. Sorry for being so quiet lately!

If you have any tips or tricks about India, please let me know. We will be doing Northern India, and then spending New Years in GOA. Oh my goodness pinch me now please! 

goa-sign-in-sand

3 months probation!

3 months probation! It’s not what you think. it’s the good kind of probation.

I’ve now been at my job for almost 3 months. What defines 3 months to you? When I look back, 3 months to me equals 3 horribly difficult, soul numbing months of banana farming in Australia. 3 months was just under half of my trip through South America. 3 months can drag by, or it can fly by, depending on what you’re doing. But this time, the 3 months have flown by,  3 months of probation at my new job, and at the end of this month we will (hopefully) sign my permanent contract.

So, what has been happening in the past 3 months (other than me neglecting my blog)?

Well, to summarise…

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Change of Plans

Change of Plans!!

As a fellow traveller, I’m sure you will completely understand the concept of changing plans without much notice. Making long terms plans is scary. Planning ahead is a difficult concept to understand. I love planning, but I never seem to stick to my own plans… and it has happened again.

Steven and I had big plans to go Teach English in Thailand. We’ve been working hard at our TEFL courses. Steven had resigned from his job. We’d even booked our one-way flights to Phuket. Aaah too much pressure, we’ve pulled the plug on that idea for now.

I’ve become quite happy being home. Just having a place to call my own. Having my family and friends around. Having a stable life again. It’s a nice change, and I appreciate my city so much more after my time away. So, we’ve come up with a new plan. A 2-year plan (I silently laugh at myself… Let’s see how well this one sticks).

2015

– Stay home and find a job (I’m in the process of job hunting… It is SCARY!!)

– Spend the time exploring around my city. Cape Town is magical and there are sooo many things to do. I’m busy working my way through a book of hikes called “Easy walks in the Cape Peninsula

– We have our flights booked and paid for to Thailand, so we’re going to date change them and destination change them and either go to Nepal (trekking in the Himalayas!!) for a couple of weeks.

2016

– Work work work (making my CV look more solid again, getting some more work experience and making sure my two University Degrees don’t go to waste, and saving money)

– There is an organisation called Greenpop, based here in South Africa. Every year, they do a big expedition to Zambia and spend a few weeks planting trees, in a big push for reforestation. I would love to get involved in that. It’s been on my list for so long. That’s mid year.

– Then in December, I can hopefully, finally, get my feet on Indian soil. India is this illusive place to me that I just don’t seem to be able to get to.

2017

– If all goes to plan, in 2017, we (Steven the boyfriend and I) would like to relocate to London. Work from there, and travel from there. It is expensive as a South African, with our poor exchange rate, to relocate to London. So we need two solid years of saving to make this a reality.

London's calling

London’s calling

– Europe is a huge open door waiting to be explored. Although I’ve seen my fair share of Europe, there is still just sooooo much more waiting to be seen…. and when in London, it is just a hop, skip and jump across the Channel. I also have a British passport, so that doesn’t hurt.

Travel is in my bones, I always want to do it, but I’m a bit burnt out. We all get to that point. I think it’s more than okay to settle down again. Nobody said you had to travel full time. Now I’ve had both experiences. Full time home living. Full time travelling. Now I’m going to try out a combination of the two.

Voila! Look at me being so mature and focussed. Anyone have a job for me? 

The Simple Life in South America

So much has changed since my last post. As of a month ago, I was taking leave from work and heading off to Namibia to go visit my good friend Jaco, and have some time out from the madness of Cape Town, and planning my trip to India in December. While in Namibia, I made a huge life changing decision, one that has been playing on my mind for awhile now.

As soon as I got home to Cape Town, I quit my job, and decided to sell up all my stuff, cancel my India trip, and go on a wild adventure through South America with my friend Sam…I’m just going to South America indefinitely.

I’ve always read of people doing crazy things like this, and now I’M DOING IT!! My family and friends have been very supportive of my choice even though I have no actual plans set at all from the moment I touch down in Buenos Aires. But that’s all part of the journey.

The intention is to go work on organic farms, help build and learn more about sustainable houses, learn about permaculture, work in hostels, couch surf between towns, learn Spanish, learn to surf (finally!!), and just stop conforming to this 8-5 lifestyle which drains my soul. The incredibly vague idea is that we will be exploring Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, maybe Ecuador, and wherever else the wind takes us. Nothing is set in stone. This is a journey like no other.

So, 2 weeks to go before we leave. Any advice? Any ideas of how to actually make money (not just save money) as we travel? Any good places to go? Anyone we can come stay at? I AM SO EXCITED!! I think I should probably organise a little fairwell party for myself…

Flights booked! UAE, Oman (maybe) and India here we come!

I’m too excited. We have finally booked our flights for our trip in December 2013. My friends Danni & Cameron (and myself of course) are flying to Dubai from Cape Town where we will stay for two nights with my friend Jay from Uni. He’s living and working in Dubai. (My dream job I might add).

While we’re in Dubai, Jay also wants to take us on a day trip to Oman (if time permits), because there are apparently some beautiful rock pools and caves to see there, and its really not that far away! EPIC! And maybe while I’m there I’ll even be able to set up an interview or two. Fingers crossed. I also have friends working for Emirates as Cabin Crew, so it will be lovely to see their home base.

And then we’re off to Delhi. We haven’t booked yet, but so far, the idea is to see as much of India as we possibly can in the limited time we are there. So, we fly into Delhi, and then want to go to Jaipur and Agra. This is known as the Golden Triangle.

From there we intend to fly from Delhi to Kochi (all the way down South), and gradually work our way up to Goa for New Years, and then up to Mumbai.

We fly back to Cape Town from Mumbai (via Dubai)…

eeeepppp sooo excited! There just seems to be so much magic in India. I cannot wait to get there. I’ve been reading so many blogs about Indian travels. Trying not to get ill from the food. Staying safe. But mostly, just about the magic of it all.

I’m still hoping that my other friend Stacey is going to join us on the trip. But it’s just that first bite of paying for the main flight which frightens people. But once thats done, and you’ve committed, its only excitement from there on.

Anyone want to join us en-route? You’re always welcome!

Getting ready for India

Found this rad link for preparing for my India trip. Anyone wanting to get their bearings on India… check this out!  India.

holi one

holi one

Advice on India

2013-03-09 00.17.09I need your travel advice…
india calcutta bookstore

india calcutta bookstore (Photo credit: FriskoDude)

We’re busy throwing around ideas related to our trip to India. We’ll be there for about 5 weeks in Dec 2013/Jan 2014. So far there are three girls doing the trip, but with some other friends potentially coming with us too.

The idea is to fly from Johannesburg to Mumbai, and then hop straight onto another flight down to the South of India. Suggestions of epic places to go in the south, from people that have been? Please! There is also the option to potentially spend one week in Sri Lanka if finances allow for it.

We then want to slowly work our way up the West coast, exploring as we go, and ending up in Goa for two weeks of mind exploding happiness (with the intention to be there for New Years Eve too). I’ve got my eye on Goa Base!!

After that, we want to get to Delhi (flying or bus or train?? – I heard that this bus route is VERY daunting as the roads are so dangerous). Go to Agra, see the Taj Mahal, and then fly back home to South Africa from Delhi.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Deutsch: Taj Mahal im ...

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Deutsch: Taj Mahal im indischen Agra. Español: Vista del Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Français : Le Taj Mahal, à Âgrâ, en Inde. Русский: Мавзолей Тадж-Махал, Агра, Индия. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thats the rough idea, but any input would be fantastic. Obviously nothing is set in stone and as we go our plans will change, but we’d like to have a guideline of where we want to go and how to get the most out of our 5 weeks. Please fellow travellers, advise me? 🙂

Have an epic day wherever you are. And remember…

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Locator map showing India and Sri Lanka