• Books,  India

    The Essential India Reading List

    India is an incredible, awesome country – but it’s also incredibly different from any other. I love immersing myself in books to have a way to connect with and learn more about the countries I’m visiting or want to visit. India has some of the best books! My recommendations for books to read when visiting India: Fiction Books About India The God of Small Things This book is set in Kerala, so I highly recommend it if you’re headed to southern India. Even if you’re not, it’s still a book that deeply examines family life in India. I liked the interplay between the brothers, and the overall family dynamics. It’s…

  • India

    11 Reasons Why India Is Awesome

    You will be challenged unlike any other country in the world. India is a world unto itself, and I can’t say enough about how India is a whirlwind even for experienced travelers! Their palaces put many of Europe’s to shame. When you walk through the palaces in India, it’s stunning. The marble inlays, and the intricacies of the architecture are awe-inspiring.

  • India

    Taj Mahal: The 8 Wonders of the World (Part 3)

    One of my favorite goals that I accomplished was to see all 8 Wonders of the World before I turned 30. It was a fun adventure, and in this series I’ll walk you through what the eight wonders are, and about how to visit each one. Part 1: Petra Part 2: The Pyramids The Taj Mahal was always the one on my list I had the least idea how I’d do. India is so far from the US, and I knew I’d need to fly into Delhi and then get to Agra. But I’m SO glad I took the time to make it to the Taj Mahal, and to India…

  • Costs,  India,  Travel

    Spreadsheeting: How Much I Spent in India

    The one country on my itinerary that scared me more than any other was India (at least to go by myself). So I decided to buy a tour from G Adventures to handle almost all of the logistics. This made India far easier than it could have been (though not without troubles) but also made it extremely expensive compared to the previous countries I went to. But then, the people that I got to go on the tour with were amazing. So everything evens out in the end! In all, in 7 days in India, I spent $1,366.05. How did that work out?

  • General Travel,  India,  Travel

    India’s Game of Thrones-Style Fort

    On our second day in Jaipur, I woke up feeling quite a bit better. My cold was still there, and still getting worse (I was still trying not to dip into my antibiotics… I planned those for Delhi Belly, not a cold!). But the headache was gone, and I had a good night’s sleep. I also knew that we had a free afternoon planned, and I planned to use it to do nothing but take a nap and relax! In the morning, we went to the Amber Fort. It was like something out of Game of Thrones. Even by the standards of all the others we’d seen in India, this…

  • India,  Travel

    The Pink City of India: Jaipur

    By the time we got to Jaipur, I have to admit I was not in the best mood. We went straight to the City Palace, and our guide there was quite odd. Not to mention unintelligible. Plus it was (as one would expect of India in July) incredibly hot, muggy, and just sort of miserable. The City Palace would have, I think, been really cool had it not been just another in a line of impressive palaces. This one had more vendors than most, so that was also a bit of a pain. At this point, I was still feeling very under the weather with my cold and pretty exhausted…

  • India,  Travel

    Glamping: India Style

    After taking an early night in Agra (after all, we did wake up before dawn. Worth it… but still tiring!), we got on the bus to head towards Jaipur. On our way there, we had a few stops to make. The first was a fort called Fatehpur Sikri and it was the fort/palace that the Mughals used to rule from. As with everything in India, it was immense! The palace side was giant in its own right, and then there was a mosque attached that was also giant. It’s incredible just how big everything it seems the Indian civilizations built is. As we walked through, the guide talked about how…

  • India,  Travel

    Agra Beyond the Taj Mahal: Agra Fort and The Baby Taj

    I have wanted to go to Agra for a very long time, for just one reason – the Taj Mahal. But, surprisingly, Agra actually has two other UNESCO World Heritage sites that are incredible in the own rights. The first one we went to was what’s called the Baby Taj. Or the Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah. See why they call it the Baby Taj? It’s said that when Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal, saw the Baby Taj, he got his inspiration for the the mausoleum for his wife. Thus the world has both the Baby Taj and the Taj Mahal. I’m glad we got to see the Baby…

  • 30 Before 30,  General Travel,  India,  Travel

    Wonder #5: The Taj Mahal

    I feel like one of the life lessons you learn just past kindergarten is that few things live up to their hype. The Taj Mahal was one of those things that absolutely lives up to and exceeds all expectations for it. On Tuesday, we set our alarms so we would be out of the hotel by 4:30 and in line at the Taj by 4:45. It was an early early morning, but so completely worth it. We were going for sunrise, but alas, the sun never did rise. It was a cloudy day, but it didn’t matter. Our group was the first one on the grounds that morning, so we…

  • General Travel,  India,  Travel

    Chaos and Smells: New Delhi!

    Time and again, people warned me about the absolute chaos that is New Delhi. I heard them and heeded their warnings – that’s why I took a group tour in India – but still I was unprepared for the utter madness that’s in the city. Driving is not for the faint of heart. I can’t begin to understand the rules of the road here. It’s a press the accelerator and pray kind of system. It’s constant gridlock, constant honking, and just constant everything. And then there’s the smog. I have sneezed more in India than anywhere else in the world. My allergies have flat-out rejected the country. For our first…