In recent weeks, the excitement has been slowly building as we inch closer to our journey to the incredibly diverse and vibrant India. My lifelong dream of visiting this mesmerizing country is about to come true, and I couldn't be more thrilled!
Especially, as Shaun will be accompanying me on the initial leg of the journey. Together, we will delve into the bustling bazaars of Delhi, admire the grandeur of Jaipur's palaces, and stand in awe of the iconic Taj Mahal. Following these adventures, Shaun will be returning home, while I will venture forth, continuing the grand tour of India for an additional two and a half months.
The extensive expedition ahead spans an impressive 5,600 miles (about 9,000 kilometers for those who prefer the metric system), all within mainland India. It's no small feat and will involve traversing the vast Indian landscape using various modes of transportation. The itinerary includes over a dozen internal flights, a handful of train journeys, and almost twenty inter-city cab rides. And let's not forget the countless auto rickshaw (or tuk-tuk) rides that I'm sure to have.
These journeys are not just about the distance covered, but also the rich tapestry of experiences that come with it. My itinerary has been curated to reflect the diverse aspects of India, from its bustling urban landscapes to serene rural vistas, from its rich history to its contemporary dynamism.
As part of our travel preparations, we've been working on ensuring we have comprehensive health coverage for the trip. We've consulted with our healthcare providers and travel medicine experts, and have taken necessary vaccinations to guard against common diseases in the region.
Packing for this trip is going to be a challenge. Due to the tight luggage restrictions on internal low cost flights, our luggage is very constrained. We will both be traveling with only a small backpack and a small carry-on wheeled suitcase. We plan to share more on what we're taking in coming weeks, plus an after trip review in early 2024.
In terms of accommodation, our goal is to optimize our budget while immersing ourselves in the local culture. To achieve this, we will primarily stay in cost-effective accommodation such as home stays, havelis and guest houses. This approach not only allows us to travel for longer, but also offers a more authentic and down-to-earth perspective of India that might be elusive when staying in generic international hotel chains. The only exception to this is in some of the larger cities I will visit by myself, where I will be staying in larger, better known hotel chains.
As the days continue to whittle down, the excitement continues to build. I will keep you updated with my preparations as I inch closer to the departure date. And, of course, we are looking forward to sharing our Indian adventure with you through vivid stories and captivating photos.
Stay tuned for more updates as we embark on what promises to be an unforgettable journey to India.
Till then, happy reading and safe travels!