Sunday, 26 May 2013

I Bow to Thee, Mother India!

by: Vaniedosa

12th of November 2012

"There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind." - C.S. Lewis

As I glanced at this quote on the New Delhi airport's advertisement board, I was so itching to head back to my home country and leave this country behind while its own people were partaking the celebration of Diwali, popularly known as India's Festival of Lights. Through all my senses, I know there are far better things why I keep wanting to come back home.

On this day, we were saying goodbye to India while others marked their calendars so as not to miss this traditional holiday no matter what. The simple reason we didn't opt to stay for Diwali was simple Mathematics, "others" was way way more than "two (of us)". (I and bestfriend went). We didn't want to compete against the many locals and tourists in every way on getting in, around and out of the country with the second highest population in the world. Besides, at this point before we embarked, we thought and felt that we already have had more than enough of this so called land of thousand colors. Yes, more than enough. Err, well, just for now...

Some Days and Months before November 2012

Tell me how deep your pocket is and I'd tell you how well you may plan your travel itinerary then.

You will always have two options in planning your own travels. Either EASY or TOUGH. EASY is for those who have deep pockets and willing to spend more for the convenience of having a guided package tour including all the accommodations, meals, transfers, tours, etc. TOUGH is for those who have allotted a limited budget and are willing to go over the details of the travel from the complete itinerary, flight booking, accommodation, transportation and hell yeah, to everything; in short, DIY (Do-It-Yourself) way.

We did fall under the tough DIY planners because we had no choice since we didn't have deep pockets. Besides, I love planning our travels. I totally love the process. It is a play of mind, it's like putting the little puzzle pieces together into something our thoughts have carefully imagined.

RDFAT. These letters don't make sense, do they? But for us, they did and still do. A LOT!!!

Route. Dates. Flights. Accommodations. Transfers. In this order, we took care of the arrangements and bookings ourselves.

we got by rickshaws, trains and planes..with Sudoku in tow

Route. The Golden Triangle of India. New Delhi-Agra-Jaipur

Dates. Within November. We chose this month because we preferred cool weather. A big NO to excessive sweat and odor. These were the things we desired to share the least to everyone (or the other way around).

Flights. Manila-Bangkok-New Delhi-Bangkok-Manila via Cebu Pacific and Jet Airways, versus direct flight Manila-New Delhi RT via Philippines Airlines. Former was still cheaper and a night in Bangkok was a bonus. I always had wanted to introduce Bangkok to my bestfriend, not to mention that I long craved to go back to this lively city.

Accommodations. Here, we relied heavily from our cyberfriends Tripadvisor, Agoda and It was like a gamble. You're betting on the unknown based on other people's experiences and feedbacks. We decided with the additional consideration on the proximity and accessibility of the hotels from our destinations.

Transfers. Again, you have an option to avail a tour package from Indian tour operators to make it a lot easy and save yourself from headaches on figuring things out around. But still, we were so frugal and masochists we planned and did it ourselves. We also intended to commute like how the common locals do. Booking train tickets for foreigners in India is a complicated matter. I needed to open an American Express account to be able to get tickets in advance, Visa and Mastercard got snubbed on this instance. If you want to be enlightened visit Seat61 for the detailed step by step instructions. A few months after this trip, I cancelled the Amex and kept the free miles. Not bad, eh?

Budget?How much? You decide.
We spent around USD1100 each which included everything, yes, all of the expenses from home to back home. Is it expensive to travel in India? Or is it worth it to spend that much in India? Tell me after I have told you what we have seen, tasted, smelled and experienced during this full of colorful and exciting moments several-day-long adventure in India.

they were Starstrucked...aren't these enough proof? haha

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About Dee

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I was born and raised attune with nature, grew up from the countryside and a strong believer in endless possibilities. I am drawn to adrenaline rush and was never a girly kind but I dig chick flix and plays some music. I started this site during a 6-month distressing/long sojourning away from the corporate world. I gathered all the travels I went and translated them into words. I am not fond of sharing details of my trip and thought looking at the photos I've effort-fully taken was enough. Yet to my amazement reading through it flashes back more wonderful memories like a gush of throwback Thursdays. This is also a good venue to practice writing and to connect. So, thank you for stumbling upon my corner. Sorry I can't update regularly but I hope you'd visit again as my journey continues, find some useful information here and most of all be inspired to go on adventures your own. See you on the road!