Local people in Rishikesh, India
Travel

Hello India

Oh, all the feelings. I am just smiling to myself and giggling like a little girl. I guess it’s the stress coming out of me, as random bursts of giggles. The stress of so many nights thinking “i can’t go to India, i can’t do it, i can’t, i can’t, i can’t.” But i did. I went to India by myself. I survived a midnight in Delhi where the driver got lost on small streets and i hid inside my hoodie at the back of the car when at least ten guys wanted to peek inside. And i survived when he drove on the highway against the traffic to get quicker to my hotel.

Local women by Ganges river in Rishikesh India

I survived the next morning when it was just me and a bunch of Indian businessmen having breakfast. I survived another crazy taxi ride. And that’s when i told my mind: shut up. Shut up. How often are you in India? Look outside and enjoy the ride. I looked out and i saw. Little boys selling fruits and flowers. A man washing his armpits in a pond. Women in their colorful scarves sitting by the road. A rickshaw with a bumper sticker: stop violence against women.

A man selling corn on the cob in india

After the most interesting security check in Delhi and a really scenic flight to the north, i found two girls from the airport who shared a taxi with me. Through the most beautiful curvy roads with nature like i have never seen before and through local villages with their people and dogs and dust and cows.

Ganga Aarti, a fire ceremony by the Ganges river in Rishikesh india
Ganga Aarti, a fire ceremony by the Ganges river

And now i am here. Sitting on my thick colorful blanket, purple curtains giving magical light to the room. A ceiling fan humming quietly and the smells of dinner preparation coming from the kitchen. Yesterday was a day full of magical ceremonies, with fire and burning herbs and listening to endless chanting. And lots of selfies with locals.

Indian boys with an offering for the ganges

The surroundings are very intense. Every time i step outside on the streets, it’s endless honking (some people even drive with their other hand on the horn, non stop. Really.) People, cows, dogs, mud, cars, motorbikes, something to fill your every sense all around. I love it but i am thankful the place i am staying in is up on a hill, away from the traffic.

A local man making a bindi on a girl
So much trash about white girls going to India and wearing a bindi – but when a local asks to put a mark on your forehead, why would you refuse?

This is my home now, until the 29th. I am here with 29 others – half from India or Nepal and half western girls. Now, it’s day two and i already have the craziest amount of feelings. The most amazing feeling of being in the right place. A feeling that was worth all the fear and the stress and the desperate tears before leaving Thailand. I feel calm. And belonging. And giggly.

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