This time last year I was spending my last few days in India, a country that means so much to me. I spent the first four weeks of my trip in Bangalore and fell in love immediately with the food, the people, and the chaos. My last two weeks in India, in Goa, were very different and much more challenging for a few reasons, but my time in Bangalore remains one of my favorite experiences of my gap year (and a half). Bangalore is also where I’ve spent the most time aside from NJ and NYC in a number of years.
Just a day after our successful morning at Nandi Hills, Lauren (another Leave UR Mark volunteer) and I ventured off on another day trip – this time to Mysore. We knew there were several buses a day from Bangalore so without any planning, we took an auto rickshaw to the bus station to buy tickets. Communication was tough at the ticket window so we weren’t sure if we had the correct tickets or bus until a man standing outside the bus started to yell “Mysore, Mysore, Mysore” in a sing-song voice for the next 15 minutes. The ride took 3 hours and we arrived just in time for lunch.
When I first arrived in India, my jetlag was so bad that I was waking up every morning at 3 AM. That would have been a good time to visit Nandi Hills for sunrise, instead of two weeks after, when my body had adjusted to the right timezone. But alas, I woke up for sunrise anyway that November morning, as a car was waiting for us at 5 – but yes, you know where this goes, as all early morning adventures are, it was worth it.
Travel is incredible for the soul and the mind, but can be extremely difficult on the body. New timezones, new cuisines, and new biting insects to watch out for are just the beginning. I tend to have stomach issues when I travel, especially cramping up on any flight over 5 hours. It takes a while to adjust once I reach a destination. I would imagine I’m not the only one with this issue. I also tend to fall off of motorbikes. I may be in the minority with that particular issue.
I’m writing this month’s recap on a bus on the way back to Bangalore, India from the town of Mysore. In the past few months, I’ve spent more time in Asia than in America and I wouldn’t have it any other way, especially right before the election.
“Where are you? I hear birds,” asked my mother the other night while we were talking on What’s App. I told her it wasn’t birds, it was actually the nonstop beeping of the auto-rickshaws and other vehicles. Considering I was on the 17th floor of our apartment building and she could still hear it in New Jersey, you can imagine how loud it is when you’re actually on the road.