India never disappoints. I’ve spent nearly one year solo traveling her lands, and have had some of the craziest experiences in my travels to date. These are my top 10 favorite experiences in India so far. I hope that some of these stories inspire you to come travel to this magical land.
Experiencing an Indian Wedding in Bundi
Dressed in the glitz and glam of twinkling shoes and a bright orange sari, I draped my arms across elderly women as phones and cameras were held at arms length, freezing the moment in time of my first Indian wedding. I stayed in Bundi for 10 days, and during that time attended a three-day wedding. Horses embellished with ornaments, dance offs with elderly women, crumpled rupee notes shoved in my mouth, and my aching facial muscles from smiling too much were a few of the highlights from those three days.
Hitchhiking the Himalayas for Over 30 Hours in a Truck
I spent the better half of two days hitchhiking with a very frail truck driver who held a hash joint between his lips the entire time. We crossed mountain passes over 5,000 meters high, drove through thick fog and sunshine, and ate daal at tiny mountain villages that weren’t even on a map. This is probably the craziest story I have from traveling in India.
Living in the Desert in Jaisalmer
My mornings were spent washing dishes with dirt from the earth, my afternoons swirling a paint brush around the walls of a cow dung hut creating manadala designs, and my evenings making roti under the stars and the moon. I sat with baba and traversed through the sandy dunes of the Thar Desert to neighboring farms with wandering camels and goats as company.
Hanging out in an Opium Den in Nagaland
Nagaland is home to the Konyak Tribe and Headhunters. I hung out at night while men around me cooked a spoon with blackened tar over an open fire and inhaled their medicine. Later that evening, I drank whiskey and chatted with the locals as we walked back and forth between Myanmar and India for the hell of it. Read more about my experience meeting the Headhunters of Nagaland. This is definitely one of my favorite experiences in India.
Cycling through the Villages of Assam
High-pitched hellos and squeaky giggles, hands waving with glee and crooked smiles with tooth gaps and little feet scurrying across the dirt to see the foreigner cycling past them were some of the highlights from Assam. My rusty bike took me through villages in Majuli, the only floating river island in the world, and I loved being able to see how the locals live.
Trekking to the Living Root Bridge of Meghalaya
Deep in the forests of Meghalaya, the contorted, slithering roots are as alive as the slimy tentacles on an animal in the black depths of the sea. Foot paths take you across living root bridges and to secluded turquoise waterfalls gushing off of brown, towering cliffs. The living root bridges of Meghalaya are handmade from the Khasi people, out of the roots of rubber fig trees. They can supposedly hold up to 500 people and last for 500 years. The roots are brought across a river or stream, and then over time gain strength as the roots grow together.
Taking a Road Trip in Nubra Valley, Jammu & Kashmir
Crossing the highest road in the world, meditating along a high altitude lake, and driving through other-worldly valleys with deep canyons and snow capped mountains are only a few of the incredible things I experienced while on a road trip in the most northern part of India.
Spending my Days on Galgibaga Beach in Goa
I spent several weeks living in Palolem in Goa, spending my days swimming in the blue waters of the ocean, dancing my soul out at a silent disco, and stuffing my face with healthy vegan food at one of the many cafes. But my all time favorite memory was riding my motorbike barefoot to the sandy shores of Galgibaga Beach, a secluded slice of paradise I had all to myself.
White Water Kayaking in Rishikesh
Speeding down the icy rapids of the River Ganges in a kayak is an entirely unique thrill that’s hard to match. I learned a new set of skills I never thought I would learn before, and had an incredible few days experiencing an entirely new activity.
Staying in a Homestay in Loktak Lake, Manipur
Falling asleep to the sounds of the frogs and the crickets, and waking up at the break of dawn to the sun peaking above the horizon, eating meals of nutritious vegetables and fish curry and rice with a hilarious local couple, few spoken words but many smiles. I loved my time at a homestay in Manipur, and if you haven’t already, check out why you need to visit Loktak Lake.
If these haven’t inspired you to travel to India yet, then check out 10 reasons why I love India so much.
I hope you’ve enjoy my top 10 favorite experiences in India! Have you ever traveled to India? What were some of your favorite experiences?