It was my last moments in India as I sat in the tuk-tuk on the way to the airport in Jaipur. My driver was seventeen and had been driving since 11. His driver name was Chapati and he went to art school during the day and drove at night. He told me a crazy story about how Macklemore bought his old tuk-tuk and actually bought the one we were driving in. The tuk-tuk had a big Macklemore sticker on the front and the story actually checked out. The dad has a photo with Macklemore and everything. Chapati was hustling hard. I told him he inspired the shit out of me with his passion for life.
Anyway, the point of this anecdotal opening to this week’s weekly is that Chapati made me miss India before I left. He was everything about India that I loved. I didn’t love the blistering heat, spicy food or the craziness at times. However, the rawness of the human spirit and just of human life, in general, is India. It’s how I will remember India in all of its glory and all of its downfalls.
I’ve now spent three months in India this year. I think the reason I stayed so long was to prove to myself and to anyone who reads any of my stories that India is a good place and the root of Indian culture is good.
I will go into this in greater detail in a blog post in the next week, but I think India was less of a sightseeing, adventure mission for me. It wasn’t like my backpacking trip to Guatemala where I was on the hunt for awesome views and attractions. India as a solo traveler was challenging in so many ways. I think it matured me a lot.
I didn’t find the poverty eye-opening. I just found the curiosity, the positivity, the courageousness and the tenacity of so many strangers and locals to be overwhelming. To the point that they affected me quite a lot. There are certain interactions that never leave you. I had at least one a day in India.
Without going into more detail, (I’m currently writing a personal, somewhat emotional piece about my India experience) India just gave me a lot. So many moments left me overwhelmed and overflowing with emotion.
To all the strangers who welcomed me into your home for chai, thank you. To all the people who give me free rides and directions thank you. To the kid who picked my wallet up off the street and handed it back to me, thank you. * It had over $400 USD in it. To the tuk-tuk drivers that tried to rip me off at every turn but made friends with me over some awesome conversations, thank you. To the kids that hung out with me as if I was their older brother from minute one, thank you.
Thank you, India.
A few crappy red-eye flights that you don’t care to hear about later and I arrived in Bali, Indonesia. It wasn’t long before I heard an Aussie accent and even less time before the taxi drivers at the airport tried to charge me $40 for a 20-minute cab ride. I walked out of the airport, found a guy on a motorbike who drove me the whole way with my three bags of luggage for $3.50. Choices.
I’m staying at rad hostel for $6 a night. Wifi is premium and it has a nice pool although its 10 minutes walk to the beach so I haven’t used the pool yet. I am back to the dorm life for a few days and this hostel has a bit of a party crowd so it isn’t quite. It’s Hostel Kayun in Legian if you are interested. Probably one of the better hostels for cheap I’ve stayed in during my visits to Bali.
Instagram is again the winner of the week. I met up with a guy I had followed on Instagram for a while. With a name like @thenomad, it’s an easy one to remember. Cody the man behind the gram is a great guy and has been driving me all over the island on the back of his moped along with his mates.
A waterfall visit to the north after two hours of driving was absolutely insane. After a group left when we arrived it was our little oasis to enjoy all to ourselves for an hour or so. The next day we headed south to Uluwatu and hung out at Bingin Beach for sunset. Exploring the rocks, ripping out the drone and chilling with new friends. This is Bali.
In two days I join the Indonesia Tourism Board for a 12-day media trip to three different locations to do some adventuring, scuba-diving and content creation. 12 months ago I was also on the same trip with the tourism board and it was my first ‘work’ trip. I felt like a huge rookie and was quite nervous. I’m definitely no expert at travel, blogging or content creation now. However, I feel much more relaxed going into this trip having experienced, survived and thrived in the world of content creation, travel and blogging.
Here’s to week 59. Hope you all hustle this week and make someone smile!