I'd wanted to visit India and the Taj Mahal ever since I was a kid and finally my dream came true and the trip did not disappoint, India is a fabulous, crazy, intoxicating country to visit - I am already missing it and want to go back!
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The feel of Varanasi compared to Jaipur and Agra - the atomsphere was so different and more 'relaxed'.
Queueing to see the Taj Mahal - I felt like I was awaiting to see a superstar in concert - very exciting.
How pleasant and polite Indian people/staff were and how they appeared in their everyday lives, energy and positivity - such a contrast from home.
The group leader was an inspiration!
- What did you think of your group leader?
Chetan Jha - such a beautiful man! He is so full of energy, enthuasiasm and life - he is an inspiration! He made our trip so smooth and hassle free as he worked at 100mph to ensure it was so. I was gluten free and he accommodated this and spoke to restaurant staff when needed which I appreciated so much. His knowledge and local connections were great. I would definitely like to travel with him again.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Take a chain and padlock for train as well as a duvet cover (not sleeping bag liner) so you can put your bag in it too on train.
Take some pro-biotics for stomach (I didnt have any problems).
Toilet seat covers and toilet roll a must and so invaluable.
Take the most comfortable light clothes you can get and only about 2 sweaters.
Insect repellent a must!
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Go with an open mind, patience and be prepared to go with the flow of India. If you do that, you'll have a great time and be very relaxed. Take a good camera that takes photos at night and in misty conditions.
Sleep on the top bunker of the train if you are scared of mice (and dont look at the train tracks either!)