India in Summary

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What we did: 18 days. Flying into New Delhi and out of Mumbai. Covering as much territory through these two cities, plus the state of Rajasthan, as we could during this time.

Where we went: 3 days in New Delhi, 1 day in Agra, 2 days in Jaipur, 3 Days in Pushkar, 2 days in Jaisalmer, 2 days in Jodhpur, 2 days in Udaipur, and 3 days in Mumbai. Phew! A lot of stuff in too small an amount of time.

Why the rush?: We only had 18 days to spare between SE Asia and Spain (where we have booked a very inexpensive boat across the Atlantic). We kept our plans for these 18 days open until cheap flights presented themselves. When a flight sale for India popped up, we jumped at it. Yes, 18 days is far too little for such a big area, but we figured it was better than nothing.

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About Costs: Time is money, and in our rush to see things we spent more per day than we would have had we had more time. We averaged $60/day, including hotel, meals, car & driver, and entry fees. A backpacking couple with abundant time on their hands could do this for a third of our costs. However, the convenience of having a driver- especially for our first trip to India- was priceless. India is very inexpensive, but it’s really tough traveling. The toughest traveling we’ve had yet.

Our India. In a nutshell: India is the first place we’ve been to where we wished we’d bought a guidebook. Things are just completely different- even walking around amounts to confusion to the unprepared traveler. What makes India so profound is that the culture has not been heavily altered by exterior influence. Life here is no metaphor. To arrive in India is to arrive in a place unlike anything you’ve seen before. The term ‘culture shock’ was entirely misunderstood by both of us before experiencing India. We’re both still processing it. I imagine we’ll both have more insight in time.

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