(A)live from India

by Kim on January 15, 2013 · 50 comments

It’s been almost three weeks since I last posted on the blog, the longest break I’ve taken since I wrote my first words here two years ago.

On January 1st, 2013 I set off to drive 3,500 kilometers through India in a rickshaw. Two weeks later, on January 14th, 2013, my teammates and I pulled that hunk of junk through the finish line. We were proud and exhausted and sweaty and thrilled that we’d managed to navigate 1/10th of the world’s circumference in a glorified lawnmower fit for absolutely no road at all.

Rickshaw run finish line

Team Namaste Outta My Way at the Rickshaw Run finish line

The experience has changed me because India has changed me. The people of India have changed me. They have frustrated me and confused me but they have astounded me with their kindness. They have taught me to accept things as they come. They have taught me that there is always time to help, to chat, to wave, to smile.

But this post isn’t about the rickshaw run and it isn’t even about India. I hope you’ve been following the adventure over at Rickshaw Run Diaries. I will certainly be writing much more about the wild experience here on So Many Places in the coming weeks.

This post, however, is just to let you know that I’ve survived the craziest adventure of my life and am currently at the rickshaw run finish line in Kochi. Tomorrow I fly to Goa and reunite with Brian who has had his own chaotic Indian adventure traveling by train and plane from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur to Jaipur to Goa.

We are going to settle in Goa for awhile until it’s decided if from India we will travel next. For now we have rented a beautiful apartment, 10-minutes walk from the beach, and a moped to zip around on. We will be living there, off a sleepy dirt road, for the next two months. Words cannot describe how utterly excited I am to leave my toothbrush on the sill, cook my own dinner and unpack my backpack for the first time in eight months.

Happy New Year everyone. I’ll leave you with a couple of photos from the last few weeks and will get back to my regular writing schedule shortly.

Mother India journal

 A journal gift from Sarah at the start of the Rickshaw Run

Sunny the rickshaw

Sunny, our rickshaw, takes a break in Rajasthan

Rickshaw run breakdown

A few of the countless number of Indians who stopped to help us (we broke down every single day!)

Sleeping outside on the Rickshaw Run

Morning chai after spending the night sleeping outside in a tiny village

Udaipur, India

Udaipur, India, where I may or may not have smashed the rickshaw into a motorcycle

King of the road

King of the road

From the window of the rickshaw

Typical view from the rickshaw. “Hiiiiii. Where you from? What country?”

Our rickshaw takes on the bumpy roads of India

Rickshaw vs. bumpy roads of an Indian State Highway (the road won, but only temporarily)