My Trip to India

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There are endless reasons to visit India. For one, you have to try their KFC. Delicious. As spicy as fire is hot, but delicious.

I’m the type of person who enjoys dousing her food in hot sauce here in the States but in India, they bring the heat up to serious other levels (weather & spice-wise)

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Goa

Kranthi Yoga Retreat

Goa is basically the Cancun or Hawaii of India- you decide which. Are you there to party every night ‘till the break of dawn OR veg out on a beach with intermittent yoga & pampering treatments from a spa?

Uhh… I will always choose the latter.
We arrived at Kranthi Yoga Retreat, a little haven full of trees and all the loungey fixins: vibrant pom poms and dream catchers dangling from a scattering of branches, large swinging hammocks both the size and sturdiness of twin sized beds, a tree house, and communal outdoor dining hall with a constant supply of coffee, tea, and snacks. This is not a “back to basics” ashram but I was a-okay with that. This is a comforting escape from your daily grind back home. I mean, you have wi-fi, hot water, delicious meals served 3x per day, optional yoga & breathwork classes, and really, you just do what you want. It’s not a rough situation. While wi-fi can oftentimes lead to bringing the hustle with you and not fully being present, in this cozy sanctuary where dogs are scampering about or sleeping next to your feet, birds are chirping, and the vibes are so chill… your phone tends to function primarily as a camera.

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Bangalore

Family time!

I don’t see my family in India nearly enough. To think, I have FAMILY in India… It’s still a bit bewildering to me. Just outside their homes amidst the tropical climate, vendors park their carts full of fresh coconuts, ready to machete the tops open and stick a straw in one for the equivalent of $.25. Cows also roam the streets. The air carries a blended scent of spice and gardens in bloom. There’s A LOT of hustle and bustle and street noise from all the auto-rickshaw engines and horns. It’s a hectic urban craze within a manicured jungle.

This time around, my little cousin was getting MARRIED. To her childhood friend ::swoooon::

Warm hearted, intelligent, gracious, and driven, she makes me so truly proud of the woman she has become. I had no doubts that her husband would be a gentleman but after meeting him, I realized just how great they are together. His sense of humor and genuine giddiness to start the next chapter in his life with Preksha um… it melts my heart.

Spending time with my dad and my sister who met up with us there was also amazing. Here, we are all in our element with family and out of the reality of our busy lives in the States. As we drove through the streets of Bangalore, my dad, as he usually does, pointed out his old stomping grounds: his former schools, the parks he played in, the ice cream parlors he frequented during college, the bus stop where he waited for his ride to school each day and happened to meet his first girlfriend…  It’s always crazy to think that my dad’s life began here and filled up with hundreds of stories before mine could even be a thought.

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Kerala

Well, this was an adventure. I think most travel expeditions have their “uh… what did we just get ourselves into?” moments. Ours happened in Kerala, in the second half.

It started out like a dream. It ended pretty well too. But somewhere in the middle, we ended up in a 4 hour long drive with a terrible (nice but terrible) driver where the car sickness was hellish. In the 3rd hour, we made it to the jungle/tea plantation where our tree house awaited us. It was dark, raining, and the roads were narrow paths that I imagine were cliffside every now and then. When we finally arrived, our expectations for a charming hut in the tree tops were not met. It was creepy. We were silent from the moment we parked to the slow exit from the car. Finally I broke the silence with an exhaled “oh... I don’t know.” to which we all began laughing, crying, and hugging each other because, hey, at least we’re alive and the managers don’t seem like serial killers.

The hut was scary, wasps were puttering about inside, and there were definitely rodents scampering on our roof… all throughout the night.

As the trip neared its end, I’d say we had a pretty good time playing the game “Which top 5 foods are you most excited to eat when you return home?” For as delicious as the food is in India, we’re limited to what we can eat there due to the bacteria our stomachs are not accustomed to ingesting in their raw produce and water. So we have to stick to the greasy, fried, oftentimes super spicy food throughout the trip. Near the end, the cravings for a basic green salad skyrocket.

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Parting Thoughts

Leaving India is always emotional for me. There’s a tinge of yearning for deeper integration within a place that’s become part of my identity, yet that I still have so much to learn about. There’s a void I’m usually unaware of, that suddenly feels completely full when I’m around family I haven’t seen in a while and our innate bond is apparent. I miss it for days, sometimes weeks on end soon after I leave.

Alas, until next time!