Today is November 3, 2019. The end of October marked the halfway point in my eight-month trip!
I am in Orlim, a town in South Goa in India.
Places Visited Since Last Update:
As per my last update, I started October by traveling between Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and back. Then, I flew to Delhi, India, where I last updated you from. So far, I’ve visited the following destinations in India:
The Good, The Bad and the Bizarre
I’m bringing you all of the updates on the best, the worst and the weirdest experiences on the road since I last checked in.
The Best Destination I’ve Visited
So far, my favorite city in India has been Udaipur. It’s relatively small (compared to Delhi or Mumbai) and relatively peaceful (compared to Jaipur in the lead-up to Diwali). There isn’t a ton to do, but there are lots of cafes with good coffee and breezy views of the city’s five famous lakes.
The Best Thing I’ve Eaten
I’ve had lots of one-off delicious dishes, but this month’s lifetime achievement award for consistently good food goes to the many lassis of India. Right now, bananas and papayas are in season, so juice shops, cafes and restaurants are whipping up delicious, sweet, yogurt-based drinks with these fresh fruits blended right in. I have to limit myself to one per day!
The Most Amazing Experience I’ve Had
I was completely surprised by how impressed I was by the Taj Mahal. I kind of thought it would just be another building, but from the first time I saw it (from my hostel’s rooftop) to the next morning, when I visited the Taj Mahal at sunrise, I was completely enamored.
Something Else That Made Me Smile
I love lemurs! They are way cuter than macaques and they’re everywhere here in Goa!
The Worst Place I’ve Visited
I accidentally went to Old Delhi two Saturdays before Diwali. The crowds were unlike anything I’d experienced before, and when combined with the heat, the air pollution, the construction and the general state of the streets and sidewalks, it was an experience so bad that I just had to laugh. I think it took us almost an hour to walk less than 200 meters, from a restaurant to the metro station.
The Most Questionable Thing I’ve Eaten
It’s a toss-up between the table water served in metal jugs at local restaurants and the street food I’ve eaten from some vendors who cook in a very… rustic… manner. Regardless, I have been here a month and I feel great.
The Most Frustrating Experience I’ve Had
To be honest, it’s probably my current situation. I’m honestly feeling a little bit stuck in Goa – I have two weeks until I need to be in Mumbai, but I lack motivation to deal with the transportation to get anywhere else. I’d wanted to go to Sri Lanka but the rain just isn’t letting up there, so I’m thinking about going to Mysuru or Kochin, but both involve long bus or train rides that, if I was smart, I would have booked weeks ago to get a good seat. Anyone want to send a rescue helicopter to whisk me out of Goa?
Something Else That Was Really Unpleasant
Two people in my hostel in Udaipur had dengue fever and one girl needed to get rabies shots after getting bitten by a dog in the street. There’s a real risk of getting sick here, and if you’re thinking of coming I recommend you read my post about planning for travel health.
The Most Random Place I’ve Visited
It’s probably my yoga retreat in Goa… mostly because I don’t really like yoga. I was just suffering from decision fatigue and wanted to go somewhere for a week where everything was highly controlled and I didn’t have to make any choices. It actually turned out quite well, in that the food is delicious, the nearby beach is pretty and the people are nice. But after a week, I still don’t really like yoga.
The Most Confusing Experience So Far
I remembered why I haven’t been staying in hostels on this trip when I came back to my dorm and found one girl sitting on my bed with her butt on my pillow and her friend wearing my shoes… #travel #backpacking #hostel #budgettravel #howaboutno pic.twitter.com/cJYIc6Sw8P
— Carly | Fearless Female Travels (@TravelFearless) October 11, 2019
Something Else That’s Totally Unexpected
I am always completely shocked when random strangers approach me, asking for a “selfie”. I am thirty-five years old, I’m wearing boring old clothes and my hair is nearly black… it’s not like I’m a Swedish supermodel! In Delhi and Agra it happened at least once every thirty minutes, but fortunately Goa is used to more tourists so it’s only happened once in my week here (though it was extra-awkward since I was in my bathing suit, on the beach). I’m also kind of weirded out by how many of these people are taking “selfies” with apps that totally blur your skin and change your face shape – I don’t look like me in their photos! Ultimately, though, the most unexpected thing is that anyone would want a photo with a random middle-aged (!) woman from Canada.
Want to hear more about my eight-month escape from the real world?
Month #3 was a disappointing journey across Central Asia.
In Month #5, I head to south to Goa and Kerala!