A 3:15am wake up call roused us to catch our plane from Kerala in South India, to Delhi in Northern India. We were ready! Let the next adventure begin! As we arrive in Delhi, we meet our guide who will accompany us throughout Delhi, Agra and Varanasi. As we navigate the airport to our driver, it is had not to notice that we are definitely in the minority here; as Americans, but as women as well. Many sideways looks from the men, that honestly, made me a bit uncomfortable. This feeling will serve as a reminder to me whenever I may see someone back in the States who looks different or out of place. Rather than balk or stare, a simple smile may serve as a simple gesture that can relieve a stranger’s anxiety. The lessons and reminders have been subtle, thus far, but grow in intensity as our trip progresses, but more on that later! We meet up with our other travel companions and venture out to see Old Delhi. We visited the oldest mosque in India, the India Gate and were given a “private tour” of a Persian rug store. I say “private tour” because we have been informed that the guides receive a cut if the people they bring in buy something.) After an authentic dinner that evening- and the first “adult” beverages we have had in quite some time, I might add—we head out into the streets to shop. The hustle-bustle and energy of Delhi is different from that of the resort-y, beach-y Goa or the relaxing, Ayurvedic rejuvenation of Kerala. You actually feel like you are in a real city much like New York. It’s quite refreshing, actually! In the markets, we find all sorts of different treasures from jewelry to stationery to journals. It is a welcomed change of pace from the retreat center in Kerala. On the move again tomorrow! Until then…
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