In the last month, before returning to the States, we went on a whirlwind of a trip. We visited China, Hong Kong, Nepal, India and lastly England before hopping on the last of our ten flights that would bring us back to Oklahoma. Throughout our travels we saw some incredible sights, met the most generous of people, made new friends, crossed off items on our bucket list and had an unforgettable time. But before I get to recapping our trip (and going through the thousands of photos) I wanted to share a small bit of our time in India. While it may not seem significant, I truly believe that not only do we need to appreciate the main attractions in a country but also take in the sights, culture and experience of just everyday life there. So today, I want to share a small peek into what we experienced on the streets of India.
India is an attack on the senses to put it kindly. For better or worse. Whether its the streets filled with beautiful women in equally beautifully patterned saris and kurtas, street vendors with carts piled high with deliciously colored fruit, naan and masala chai being cooked on the street corners, or the incense in every store and street side temple that makes you want to stock up with piles of boxes (which we did). But then there’s also the inevitable downside in which we were warned about before we left. The smog and smoke from curbside fires that clings to your clothes as an unwanted souvenir and also makes the sun blaze a fiery orange. It’s as if it’s no longer the star that your parents warned you to not look directly at, but instead like something painted and smudged in the sky as the smog acts as a buffer between the two of you. You spend your days dodging past the tuk tuks that have gone rogue, testing to see how long their horn will blast without going mute and taking part in an unofficial race to get their customer to their destination. And not to mention, avoiding the wafts of odor coming from the outdoor urinals and what you hope is animal feces from the cows and dogs that roam wild. Animals, might I add, that you have to pay attention to if you don’t want to be head butted by a large cow looking for it’s next trash pile to rummage through. By the end of the day it takes you a few hours to process the chaos that you were just a part of. But as with each country, you have to take the good along with the bad and try to focus on the positive of the country you are playing guest in.
Our trip was a mixture of multiple feelings and emotions, like trying on our patience as we waited at the train station for our nine hour delayed train; chaotic as we rubbed shoulders with the almost 10 million people who populate Delhi, and at times we felt like they were all on the same subway with us as we were pushed and shoved to fit just one more person on; emotional as we saw poverty as we had never imagined before; and unforgettable as we wandered through the grounds of the Taj Mahal. It’s sufficient to say that it has taken awhile for us to process what we have seen traveling through the streets of India, but maybe that’s a good thing. As not everything we see while traveling should be easily understood. Some things are better when time is taken to evaluate them and therefore reevaluate what we know and what we consider to be our norm.
These are just a few photos we snapped of the streets of India during our ten day tour of the Golden Triangle. There are loads of places where you can book these tours, our included visiting Delhi, Agra (with the Taj Mahal) and Jaipur. In the following weeks I’ll be recapping the rest of our trip through the country.