A Rollercoaster Ride Across India: From the Bustling Streets of Delhi to the Serene Beaches of Goa IMG 6475 scaled

A Rollercoaster Ride Across India: From the Bustling Streets of Delhi to the Serene Beaches of Goa

Embarking on a Three-Week Expedition of Surprises

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Travel, they say, is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, and nothing could be truer of my three-week odyssey across India in the summer of 2018. As I zipped up my suitcase, filled with essentials and not-so-essentials, I braced myself for what was to come – a journey into the heart of a country famed for its vibrant tapestry of cultures, colors, and chaotic charm. India, a land where ancient traditions brush shoulders with modernity, promised a rollercoaster of experiences. I was set to delve into this vast, diverse land, seeking stories, adventures, and perhaps a piece of myself along the way.

From the historic alleys of Delhi to the serene beaches of Goa, my adventure was more than just a travel itinerary; it was a foray into the unknown, a testament to the joys of unplanned escapades and serendipitous encounters. Travel, after all, is not just about the destinations we visit but the experiences we absorb, the people we meet, and the memories we create. India, with its boundless surprises, was my canvas, and I was ready to paint my journey with the broad strokes of curiosity and the fine details of personal discovery. Through the bustling bazaars, tranquil temples, and myriad landscapes, I was about to uncover the multifaceted beauty of India, a journey as enlightening as it was exhilarating.

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Delhi: A Humorous Start

My Indian adventure began in Delhi, the chaotic heart of the country. Picture this: I, a complete novice in the art of haggling, attempting to negotiate with an auto-rickshaw driver. The language barrier was comical. With neither of us understanding a word the other said, we resorted to a series of exaggerated gestures.

The outcome? I ended up paying more than the usual fare, but the driver’s toothy grin and my bewildered laughter made it worthwhile.

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Rajasthan: A Royal Misunderstanding

In Rajasthan, I marveled at the grandeur of forts and palaces. However, the most memorable moment was at a local market in Jaipur. I tried asking for directions to the Hawa Mahal, but my lack of Hindi and the shopkeeper’s enthusiastic use of Rajasthani gestures led me on a wild goose chase around the city. Eventually, a kind group of students escorted me to my destination, but not before I had seen half the city in my unintended detour.

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Jaipur: The Pink Misadventure

Jaipur, the ‘Pink City’, was a treat for the eyes but a test for my navigation skills. My quest to find the iconic Hawa Mahal without a guide turned into an amusing expedition. With each wrong turn, I encountered something new – from the vibrant bazaars to the ever-smiling locals offering unsolicited, yet welcome, advice. My misadventure led me to unplanned yet remarkable corners of this historic city.

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Udaipur: A Serene Escape

In Udaipur, known as the ‘City of Lakes’, tranquility finally found me. However, my peaceful boat ride on Lake Pichola turned hilariously

chaotic when a family of ducks decided to hitch a ride on my boat. The serene waters, the majestic palaces in the backdrop, and my new feathered friends made for a surreal and unexpectedly delightful experience.

A Cosmic Head Massage in Pushkar

During my travels, I found myself in Pushkar, India, where I had the unforgettable experience of visiting Baba Sen, also known as the Cosmic Barber. Renowned for his unique approach to head massages and ASMR techniques, this encounter in Pushkar became one of the funniest and most memorable parts of my journey.

The session with Baba Sen lasted an indulgent 90 minutes. His small, unassuming shop in Pushkar was a stark contrast to the vibrant and almost magical experience he provided. His massage techniques were a blend of traditional and unconventional methods, with rhythmic tapping and soft

whispering that created a soothing symphony of sounds.

But what truly set this experience apart was Baba Sen’s extraordinary personality. He was not just a barber but a performer, infusing the session with humor, spirited chants, and anecdotes that kept me thoroughly entertained. Despite his growing fame, the price remained humble at just 150 rupees, making it not only a moment of relaxation but also an incredibly valued encounter.

In the heart of Pushkar, Baba Sen’s massage was not merely about the physical experience but about the joyful and humorous interaction with a man who had mastered the art of ASMR. This head massage wasn’t just a physical relief, but a journey into a delightful and quirky side of Indian culture, all thanks to the charismatic and unforgettable Cosmic Barber.

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Kerala: The Unexpected Chef

Down south in Kerala, I joined a cooking class. The instructor spoke limited English, and my culinary skills were questionable at best. The result? A dish that was supposed to be a local delicacy turned into something unrecognizable. The laughter that followed, shared with fellow students from around the world, was a testament to the joy of shared experiences, even in failure.

Goa: The Beachside Revelation

My journey concluded in Goa, with its laid-back beach vibe contrasting sharply with the previous weeks’ frenzy. Here, I found myself lost (again) while looking for a famous beach shack. A local, seeing my confusion, offered to lead the way on his scooter. What should have been a 10-minute ride turned into an hour-long exploration of hidden beaches and lesser-known spots. This unexpected tour, filled with stories and laughter, was the perfect end to my Indian sojourn.

Embracing the Unpredictable: A Journey of Discovery Across India

India, a land where chaos and calm coexist, taught me to find humor in confusion, warmth in strangers, and beauty in the unexpected. From Delhi’s bustling streets to Goa’s tranquil shores, every moment was a story waiting to be told.

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Hi, I’m Valerie!

I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.