Incredible India

After traveling in Myanmar last year, my next question was “Where will I go next?” There was one answer in my mind and it is India.

It was a childhood dream to travel in India. As you know, I am a history junkie since I was a little girl. We had books at home from Asian History to World History. One of my favorite chapters in Asian History was India. I was mesmerized of The Great Ganges River and Mahatma Gandhi. From reading these books, my childhood was filled with different wonders. I was one of the great fans of Taj Mahal and Shah Jahan.

While growing up, India contrasts in my mind. Our society stereotypes Indians as smelly, unhygienic and mostly as an uncivilized race. Let’s admit it, Filipinos. We know them for 5/6 loans (lending money with high interest rates), selling DVDs and umbrellas, eating spicy curry dishes.

As social media invades our lives, there are also articles and videos of men harassing or raping women and even animals. Human trafficking was mostly reported. We heard of their dangerous travels via trains and worst heavy traffics in their cities. More slum areas are known. We declassified as well their Caste system. These are the things we know about India now.

Nevertheless, I decided to make a game plan on how to travel to India. My family and co-workers were surprised where I am heading to. I was also surprised! 😛 Somehow, I want to break these stereotypes. I want to experience their culture first hand. I want to know how incredible India is.

golden

My initial plan was to avoid the Golden Triangle trip. I wanted to get out of the average travel in India. I wanted to include Jodphur, Calcutta and Ganges River on my itinerary. But if I will do this, a week won’t be enough! India is massive!

Most of the backpackers spent 2-3 months to travel across India. My week itinerary will be grueling if I go further. So I decided to use the Golden Triangle trip. This includes New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. I also included Abhaneri Village which is in between of Agra and Jaipur.

Here was my itinerary for this travel,

Day 1 – Manila to Kota Kinabalu/ Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur

Day 2 – Kuala Lumpur to New Delhi

Day 3 – New Delhi DIY Day Tour/ New Delhi to Jaipur

Day 4 – Jaipur DIY Day Tour

Day 5 – Jaipur to Abhaneri Village/ Chand Baori Tour/ Abhaneri Village to Agra

Day 6 – Taj Mahal and Agra City DIY Day Tour

Day 7 – Agra to New Delhi/ New Delhi Short DIY Tour/ New Delhi to Kuala Lumpur

Day 8 – Layover in Kuala Lumpur

Day 9 – Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalau/ Kota Kinabalu to Manila

My travel itinerary this year was a bit squeezed. I wanted to make every minute count in India to make “sulit” of how much I have spent. Yes, this was the most expensive travel I had. I was overwhelmed to pay everything. Basta lang ma-suportahan ang pagka-kaladkarin ko, this travel should be worth it. 🙂

 
There were many times that I wanted to quit planning for this travel but wanderlust is winning! HAHAHA. From airfares to processing visa to accommodations to pocket money, it was a challenge.

Over the years, backpacking changed my perspectives as well my priorities. You can still travel on a budget! It’s not all about the luxury. For me, it was always about the experiencing different culture, meeting new people and learning new things.

As I wrote on my previous blogs, I am sharing my expenses not to brag but to encourage. I make my own money so I know how hard it is to spend it to unworthy things. If others collect shoes, bags, make up kits; I collect photographs, new friends, and memories.

 
These are things that can never take away from me. I pray for a day that people will stop stereotyping travelers as rich people. Traveling is not like winning a lottery. Traveling is for all. Traveling has no limits.

Here were my travel expenses in parts of Malaysia and India that were paid between February to July,

TOTAL

It was a gamble to booked 2 flights from Manila. I booked a flight to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. My first plan was to book a direct flight to Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately, I haven’t got a cheap flight.

I always looked for a nearby city before going to my destination. Booking a flight directly from Manila is very expensive so a layover is the answer. From my last year’s travel in Myanmar, I flew to Thailand. After a month, I booked another flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur.

I strategized everything to not miss any flights. I prayed hard to Mother Teresa, India’s well known modern Saint to let me visit her country.

 
With all the luck and blessings in the world, I made it to New Delhi! ❤

While on #train going back to #NewDelhi, I met an Indian family. They are missionaries. The mother asked me, "Is it good here (India)?". I suddenly paused and said, "Good and Bad". She replied, "It's very different here.". Maybe it's the same here in the #Philippines. Good and bad but you still love it. Moreover, #India is like #TajMahal on construction. It may look in bad shape but it is still good! Or may I say exquisite! And like everything else, though things get bad or rough you always try to see the goodness. This is the beauty of traveling. It elongates your patience, widen your horizon. Always, reminds you on how to see things in different, diverse ways. India opens my mind to recognize the bad things but always retain the good ones. Namaste! ❤ #travel #solotravel #backpacking #backpacking2017 #fujifilm #photography #mirrorlessrevolution

A post shared by Jesselle Santos (@heartofjess) on

Hope to hear your comments! Happy travels! ❤

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