Let's be real for a second. Traveling really isn't easy. There's a lot to consider. First off, how are you going to get there? Flight? Train? Bus (don't take the bus)? Next, where are you going to stay? Airbnb? A hotel you can't afford? A hostel where you don't know anyone? And finally, the hardest question of all; what are you going to do when you get there?
So far, I have been privileged enough to travel to Varanasi, Mumbai, and Visakhapatnam. All cities that I have greatly enjoyed and loved and all cities that presented their own challenges while I was there. Varanasi was through the CIEE program so it was a lot of fun and not much work had to be done which was nice. My directors told us where to go, what to see, paid for everything. It was like a mini vacation. But the other trips turned out to be a bit stressful at times. A lot of a trip can be defined by the people you go with. It's a bit hard to drag people along if you want to do a lot of activities, or it's hard to keep up with people if you want to just relax. Either way, something I wished I had done was make a better itinerary. The funny thing is, I did make an itinerary. But it wasn't followed at all, and I ended up missing a trip to Araku Valley which was most of the reason I had travelled to Visakhapatnam in the first place. Another important aspect is agreeing on a budget. Make sure no one is spending more than they can afford and for the love of God and all that is holy, please plan your trips ahead of time. I have found that trips that are scheduled last minute, end up being a bit hectic and you miss out on important things you wish you had done while you were there.
But I guess at the end of the day, the thing I've had to remind myself is how privileged and lucky I am to get to travel around India at all. Many people wouldn't be able to do so, but I am and that's something to be grateful for. I also want to remind myself that as much as I want to take advantage of my time here, I will most definitely be back to India very soon. That's the funny thing about this country. Literally every single city in every single state has some sort of history or scenery that will take your breath away. So there will always be more to see. For my next trips, I am heading to Bangalore and then Tirupati. A few family members are also coming to India next month so I'm sure I'll do some traveling with them as well. And in November, I am planning a trip with my good friend to the beautiful state of Kerala. To end my time in India, I'm hoping to take a trip to the northeast on my own. Better start planning now if I want it to work out!