By January 18th 2018 I had already travelled to four countries. After welcoming in the New Year in Thailand I returned to Dubai for a couple days and an opportunity to wash my clothes before going somewhere completely new: India.
I arrived in Kochi, Kerala, a state on the South West of the country, ready to explore a brand new place and to celebrate the wedding of my good friend and former classmate Jijo!
I think that this blog would be helped by building a picture of the pre-conceived notions that most Brits and Westerners have about India. A lot of the media and stories that you hear focus on poverty, traffic, pollution and the general 'third-worldness' that India does have, but this trip proved to be quite an eye-opener.
Another useful piece of information to have is that quite a large number of Keralites work abroad, most notably in the Gulf, and so a huge amount of resources and finances are being sent back to this part of India where, in general, the prices of things are quite cheap, resulting in a well-developed society which boasts shopping malls, restaurants and high end hotels like the Marriott in which I stayed.
I could go on and on about my time there as it ended up being one of the best holidays of my life and I'll be back in India before long, for sure.
Day by day I visited gushing waterfalls, tea plantations and factories, the old Portuguese and Dutch colonial area, beautiful lakes and spent a day cruising the canals and rivers of Alleppey. The weather was nice, the people were welcoming and the food was spicy. And in a whole week I didn't get 'she shits'! Not even once!
Honestly, India has blown me away and, whilst I was going to 'find myself' a bit and experience something a bit more spiritual whilst on holiday I had no idea that it would touch me so deeply that I teared up when I was checking out of the hotel.
Anyway, a blog post and a gallery can show some things, but for everything else here's a short VLOG: