Snapshots and Stories from Mumbai

My last stop in India was Mumbai, I spent a few days here to rest and gather myself before leaving the country. By this point I was pretty exhausted and traveling through India had definitely taken a toll me. Looking back on my time in India, I think I moved through the country a bit too fast. I only spent about 3 to 4 days in each city which did not give me a lot of time to adjust to the fast paced and intimidating environment that permeates the big cities of India.

Regardless, I was still extremely excited to explore the city of Mumbai, I had heard and read so much about the city and wanted to experience a slice of this megalopolis for myself. Here are some snapshots and stories from my time in Mumbai:

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How to Buy a Train Ticket in India (2019)

India is very well connected with their extensive railway system, and once you figure out the train system and build some confidence in using the trains, it opens up the subcontinent in an amazing way especially for a budget traveler. Nowhere else can I travel to another city hundreds of kilometers away for $2-5USD (I’ve gotten tickets for day trips to nearby town for as little as 20 rupees, which is about $0.30!!). India is so varied too that each city can feel completely different than it’s neighbor and there’s so much rich culture to explore.

There is a bit of a learning curve though in figuring out how to buy a ticket as a traveler. There’s a lot of trail and error, it’s not super well documented and sometimes it’ll randomly fail without any explanation. I’ve written down a step by step guide to hopefully shed a bit more light on the process and help other first time travelers to India.

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Exploring the Hills of Southern India - Ooty

I’m currently in a small town in Japan right underneath Mt. Fuji, and I’m making some time for myself to unwind and live some normal days instead of running around so much sightseeing. Picking up my photo journals from where I left off, which was when I was still in India over a month ago!

My last photo journal was from my time exploring Kerala, India. The next place I ended up at was a town called Ooty which was nested in the hills of Southern India.

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When Should I Go Home?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about when I should go home. I’ve been traveling for nearly 4 months now, some days I want to buy a ticket back home soon, other days I’m planning and figuring out when the best time to go to Africa is. When do I know when to home? I used to just think to myself: Well I’ll go home when I’m too homesick or when I run out of money, but I realize that it was just an easy way for me to say ‘I don’t really know when I’ll go home’.

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Falling Behind on Blog Posts

I am falling behind on writing about my travel adventures. My latest travel post is from my time in Kerala, India which I visited between November 27th-30th. Since then I’ve been to a couple more cities in India (Ooty, Mumbai), left India on December 7th, then went to Thailand for 10 days and spent some time in Krabi and Bangkok. After that I spent an amazing week in Vietnam over the holidays, where I stayed with a close friend’s Dad, who runs an English school for locals. I got to meet so many amazing people there who took me around the local city, and it was one of the most fun weeks I’ve had on my trip so far.

Now I’m writing this from a Starbucks in Tokyo. I’ll be spending 3 weeks in Japan before heading to China to spend Chinese New Year with my relatives for the first time since I was 5!

Here’s a brief digest of my travels since my Kerala post. There’s so much that I’ve learned and experience that I want to write about and so many more photos to share but I don’t think I’ll be able to catch up while I’m in Japan because there’s just so much to do and explore. I’ll have a TON of downtime in China though as I’ll be staying with family for 3+ weeks with not much to do. I plan to catch up then.

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What I've Learned After 3 Months of Travel

It’s just passed the 3 month mark of when I first started this trip around the world. It feels strange to write that out because, my old life feels like such a long time ago, but on the other hand I also can’t grasp the fact that I’ve been on the road for 3 months already. I’ve now been to New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Nepal, India, Thailand, and I’m currently writing this from Vietnam (I’ve fallen a bit behind on blog posts but I’m hoping to catch up soon). Between those countries I’ve taken 14 individual flights, countless buses, trains, autorickshaws, subways, and met people from all around the world. I’ve also experienced a ton of new things and learned a tremendous amount about myself along the way. This is a quick retrospective on my trip thus far and a subsection of some of the things I liked, did not like and what I’ve learned about myself. It’s not an exhaustive list because there’s just too much.

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Ferry Through the Backwaters of Kerala, India

My second stop in India was in the far south, where I went to the state of Kerala and spent some time in Kochi and Alleppey. This area was so different from Delhi, there was greenery and palm trees covering every inch of the countryside and overall it felt more relaxed than the bustling New Delhi. I took my first train in India and ended up on the wrong train, but it actually worked out better in the end and I got to take a ferry through the scenic backwaters to see some of Kerala’s famous countryside.

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A Walk Through New Delhi, India

I flew into New Delhi as my first stop in India and spent 5 days in the city. I was expecting it to be more overwhelming than any of the other places I’ve travelled to so far: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Nepal, but I don’t think anything could’ve prepared me for New Delhi. There was so much going on in the city, on every street, and for a first timer in India it was total sensory overload. The amount of people, culture, merchants, shops, traffic, poverty and pollution packed into this city was overwhelming for somebody coming from a place where you’d be lucky to see more than 2-3 people walking down the street at any one time. By the time I left Delhi I felt like I had gained a new perspective from having spent some time in a place so different from home.

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