This year in February, I went on an India trip with my friend and my 6-year-old son. It was the first trip to the subcontinent for my friend and she was all agog. My son, who despite his tender age, is an experienced traveler and he is (mother´s admiration aside), the most fun person to travel with. Adaptable, curious, and non-complaining, he loves food and animals and being hyperactive, needs plenty of action. Our India trip offered him everything and he came back, full of beautiful memories and incredibly creative figments of imagination. He is a born storyteller, that one, and his imagination in India knew bounds. He embellished his travel experiences with piquant doses of adventure and oodles of humour, and in general, had a jolly good time. My friend, Momo, being at least, 50 years older than him, was a watered-down version of Akash (my son), and her incredible curiosity made up for her understandable limited energy. The other party of our small group was my mom: my tiny, curious, feisty mom. She is a pint-sized woman with a humongous personality and an even bigger sense of inquisitiveness. So as Akash aptly put it, we were a team of ´Entedeckers´ (that´s discoverers in German) who set out to explore my magnificent, mind-boggling country.

Our India trip group

Our India trip mistakes

As grand as it may sound, we had only 14 days for our India trip and a huge ambition to cover as much as possible. In the end, fatigue from jet lag and very high airline ticket prices, made us change our mind. So we stuck to places in the North and West and came back from our India trip: mentally refreshed and bodily exhausted. Our itinerary took us first to Delhi, where we spent time with my friends and explored the gardens. From there, we went to Sawai Madhopur with the aim of a tiger safari and a bigger travel mistake, I could not have made (more of that in the Sawai Madhopur post). We left Sawai Madhopur to go to Jaipur by road and that was another horrible experience. It was Buddha Purnima, a religious holiday in India, and Jaipur was filled to the gills with traffic. The main city which contained the historic sites was a nightmare of honking cars and lecherous men, and we escaped to the airport as fast as we could. You can imagine our relief when we boarded our flight to Goa. The flight, as luck would have it, was delayed for more than 5 hours, and by the time we reached Goa, it was nearly 11 o´clock at night.

Beautiful Goa

A Goan night drive: India Trip highlight

We seriously ran out of travel luck that day and upon landing at the brand new Mopa airport, realized that it was a cool 2 hours drive to our homestay in south Goa. When life gives you lemons, you just make lemonade, and with that attitude, we hired a nice taxi, bought a couple of chilled juices and beer, and started our drive towards Canacona in south Goa. It was a beautiful night and the dark Goa sky was scattered with stars that twinkled like large diamonds. The smell of sap, petrichor, sea salt, and wild night-blooming flowers filled the air, as we navigated bridge after bridge and bend after bend towards south Goa. The radio clock ticked by; its fluorescent fingers ticking the time on its luminescent face and often, that was the only light in the street. The Arabian Sea was somewhere on our right and we could hear its faint murmur sometimes. Sometime around midnight, we crossed the Mandovi River; its broad, flat surface flecked with brightly lit casino boats. We raced on into the night, passing little hamlets, towns, and endless sleeping homes on the way. More rivers came and went and all we remembered were little spots of lights of fishing boats in the inky darkness. The road went uphill somewhere and the breeze became cooler when finally, after what seemed like an endless drive, we crunched into the driveway of our homestay in Galibaga Beach.

Sawai Madhopur and tiger safari during our India trip

All´s well that´s ends well

We didn´t budge from our homestay after that and our daily routine included eating, going to the beach, sleeping, playing various board games, cuddling with the house dogs, and repeat. Only once did we venture out to see the old churches of Goa and after a very relaxing stay, we returned to Delhi for our long flight to Germany. As you might have figured out by now, it was neither a very smart plan nor was it a very relaxing one. We spent a lot of time being on the move and shelled out a lot of money on transportation. Moreover, the trip was fraught with airline mishaps, hotel disasters, and quite a lot of scamming in Rajasthan. Having said that, and this I declare with the 100% consensus of my fellow travelers, that if we had to do it again, we would go for it without a second thought. Because, what is an India trip, if not eye-opening, amazing, and frustrating in equal parts? So come join us, and we will take you on an ambitious, beautiful India trip. This one will leave you wanting more.

An old stepwell in Jaipur

Cashewnut plantation in Goa

Goan fish thali

Our favourite tea-seller in Delhi

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