Arriving in India at midnight was surreal. Suddenly your senses are alerted, the constant honks, the chaos of the city and the stillness of the night was a strange mix, highly unexplainable.
I could feel my heart beating at an accelerated rate, what the hell? I have traveled all over the world but this was different, this was special.
Our sweet travel guide Sunny had mapped out areas he thought we would enjoy, since we did say we wanted the opposite of a tourist visit. Urgh, that’s our pet peeve as travelers we don’t want to go where all the tourists go, we ask for the unbeaten path. He laughed, Ha!! Ok!!
Our stops included ancient monuments, and temples. I submitted wholeheartedly attempting to understand the differences in Muslim and Hindu practices. What I had perceived India to be turned out to be so different. My immediate takeaways were.
1. Despite the poverty and chaos, Indians live quite peacefully and content.
2. Never take what you have for granted, in India I learned to be grateful and take my self less seriously. There is so much more to life than work.
3. Follow the directives of the astrologer I met in Jaipur. I came home determined that I would look to the top of the mountain with hope and determination and not look back with regret.
Shopping in the markets of India is the most dautnting thing I've ever done. Negotiating prices while finding hidden treasures turned out to be super stressful.
I did manage to find bangles, colorful earrings, decorative pillows and one a kind gems that included a letter of authenticity for each pair of earrings. I was so impressed with the customer service and the trustful nature of our salesperson. One vendor mentioned the code of conduct amongst the sellers and buyers as one of mutual trust and respect. They don't lock up their pricey gems because they live by the code of honesty, what goes around comes around.