(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) 

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Gillian @OneGiantStep January 15, 2013 at 9:26 am

Yay! Congratulations! I never had any doubt that the three of you would finish or that you would absolutely love it. I can’t wait to hear more of the stories!

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:13 am

Thanks Gillian! I knew we could do it too, but I’m sort of surprised that we actually DID. I am really loving India :)

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Marie January 15, 2013 at 9:30 am

What an amazing journey! I’ve just found your blog so I’ll have to catch up on the back story. Have a lovely and well deserved rest in Goa.

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:13 am

Thanks Marie, so glad you found the blog :)

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Carmel January 15, 2013 at 9:31 am

So happy for you ladies! It sounded like a once in a lifetime adventure. Seems like only yesterday you were making the big announcement and hardly knew each other.

I hope one day we can meet up somewhere in the world (other than Portland, that is).

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:14 am

No kidding. Time really has flown by. The two weeks went fast,though some of the moments while driving through insane traffic seemed to last forever. We will definitely meet up somewhere in the world. Maybe Mongolia?

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Rhonda January 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Wonderful!!! We are so excited to hear more of your thoughts from India.. that change you refer to is exactly why our thoughts and conversations so turn to our time there. There is truly just no where else in the world like it. Enjoy re-uniting with Brian and enjoy beach life in Goa….ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

I’ve thought about you guys a lot in India since I know how you feel about it. I just have so many thoughts and feelings about this place and it is true that you love it and hate it all at once. But so far my love is winning out… and I’m sure two months of beach life won’t hurt!

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Rhonda January 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm

It’s such a complex place and we so miss how truly ALIVE we felt every moment there…lol..even in the hateful moments. Enjoy the beach! We stayed on Palolem…they have an amazing Italian restaurant there..you should try and make it for dinner.

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:15 am

Rhonda, do you remember the name of the Italian restaurant? We are within walking distance of Palolem. Love it here, so peaceful!

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Pamela January 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm

WOW, you girls made it! I love how experiences like this can give you such a different perspective of a country, what a wonderful experience, congrats!

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:16 am

Thanks Pamela. It really was an amazing experience. I would do it again.

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Pernilla January 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Congrats on finishing the race! Looking forward to read more about your adventures on the Indian countryside.

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:16 am

Thanks Pernilla. I’m excited to share the stories.

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Kim Olson January 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Congratulations, Kim! What a fun and interesting journey you must’ve had. I’ve never been to India but I’ve heard some amazing things about the people and the place. Glad you had a great time!

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:16 am

The people absolutely made the experience worth it. We met the most amazing, helpful, kind people on our journey. It has given me a whole new perspective.

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Pamela January 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Congrats. Sounds exciting and challenging. Have a wonderful relaxing two months.

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:17 am

Thanks Pamela. I am definitely looking forward to the next two months.

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Sarah Somewhere January 15, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Wonderful! All the best in Goa Kim and Brian! I think we all deserve (and need) a break to recharge the batteries… (Because seriously, we look like a couple of hobos in that photo!!!!!)

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Carmel January 16, 2013 at 8:48 am

Very cold hobos. :) But cute.

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:20 am

But also very dirty :)

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:17 am

Haha, I suppose we do look like a couple of hobos (but, you know, we ARE!). Just settled in to the apartment today and I am already loving it. I think this break is exactly what I need. Have a wonderful time in England.

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Amy January 16, 2013 at 2:58 am

Well done for completing the Rickshaw Run! Can’t wait to hear more about the adventures you guys had and to see more pics. I hope you and Brian have a nice, well-deserved break in Goa now – you’ve earned it!

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:18 am

Thanks Amy… I will make sure to post a lot of pics (and on Facebook too). I can’t wait to share the stories.

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Dani January 16, 2013 at 5:00 am

Yay, you’re alive ;-) So glad to hear that everything went well on the Rickshaw Run! Congratulations! Really enjoyed following along your adventure and looking forward to reading more about it. Two months in Goa – amazing!! Are you staying near Palolem?

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:19 am

Yes, we are in Colomb Bay very near Palolem (walkable). It is so wonderful and sleepy, I really love it. I’ve told everyone about your cow injury story- now we all run away when a cow comes towards us. Hope Santiago is treating you guys well.

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Tyrhone January 16, 2013 at 5:25 am

Congratulations on completing an amazing journey, enjoy your well deserved break in Goa :)

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Kim January 16, 2013 at 9:20 am

Thanks Tyrhone. You get Sarah back soon!! I will definitely enjoy the downtime. I’m not getting back in a rickshaw for a long while.

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Amanda January 16, 2013 at 10:11 am

I’m so proud of you Kimmy! Cannot wait to hear all of the stories.

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:12 am

Thanks sister. I will call you soon (but we have to work out a time. The time difference sucks!)

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Steve C January 16, 2013 at 10:24 am

After just finding your blog and making a couple reply’s to you, I wondered why you hadn’t replied to my latest one. Now I know!

How amazing and congrats on your “Wild Ride” across one of the most intriguing countries in the world, and through the Rajasthan at that!

I’ll be looking forward to your future posts and share some of my thoughts on my travels through this same area. You’ll have to include some stories on Brian’s journey too, (or have him do it). lol Maybe he did part of his travel by camel?

I’m also looking forward to your two months in Goa, as I also want to spend some time there myself.

As you’ve got a lot to catch up on, when you have the time, let me know what you think of what I wrote in my last e-mail to you.

I’m in total envy of you two!

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:14 am

Rajasthan was my favorite place! Brian will be writing a few posts about his experiences traveling alone (they were much different than mine, that’s for sure!). He did do part of his traveling by camel :)

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Gerard ~ GQ trippin January 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm

OMG. Read about people beating up on the accident causing driver in the book Shantaram. Glad you’re OK. And may I say you can never have too much Chai tea esp after a cold night. :)

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:15 am

I read it in Shantaram too and couldn’t believe I was seeing it with my own eyes!!

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Eliza January 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Kim! This is so amazing! YOU are so amazing!! I’m happy you will get to unpack and settle in to a place for a few months. Looking forward to reading about your continued adventures and visiting in person some day again too. Sending you love, peace and continued safe travels. Happy 2013!

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:15 am

Eliza, you need to email me and tell me what you are up to!!! Happy 2013 to you as well lady, I hope you get everything you are looking for.

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Steve Whitty January 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Congratulations Kim. Enjoy the deserved break in Goa.

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:16 am

Thank you Steve!!

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John January 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Settling in Goa for a couple months sounds amazing. Looks like you’ve had an awesome adventure. Good stuff.

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:16 am

John, it has been wonderful so far… daily trips to the beach are making me very happy (and very lazy!)

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Charlie January 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Amazing! Been following alone on Facebook and it looks like the most amazing experience! & seems like India has really made a lasting impression on you. Enjoy every moment of your two months of relaxation in Goa!

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:17 am

Charlie, I am in love with India (though now that I’m in Goa it doesn’t really feel like India). It’s such a wonderful and complex place.

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Lauren January 16, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Congratulations! So cool! Looking forward to hearing more about both your and Brian’s adventures. And how awesome that you are spending 2 months in one place, so close to the beach! Sounds dreamy :) Love you both! Your 2nd niece will be here very soon, 6 weeks or maybe less!

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:17 am

Love you too Lauren and can’t wait to meet my new niece. So soon!!!

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TammyOnTheMove January 17, 2013 at 1:17 am

Well done. You must be so proud of yourself and your team mates. India must be crazy and I am sure it wasn’t always easy, but it sure is something to tell your grandkids about one day.

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:21 am

I am very proud of us. I knew we could do it but I’m still sort of shocked that we did. It will definitely be a story for the grandkids some day, that’s for sure.

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Miel January 17, 2013 at 6:39 am

What an incredible experience! I can only imagine the adventures not yet captured in writing.

I hate to provide negative feedback, but I wanted to let you know that the new format you are using for email delivery really isn’t reader friendly. It using ugly font, only gives a couple of lines, no pictures, etc. I’ve read your blog for nearly the last two years and enjoy getting them like presents in my inbox. Now when I get them it takes extra motivation to follow up and read the post. I figured I can’t be the only one, so thought you might be interested in knowing the other feedback.

Otherwise enjoy the next adventure.

Cheers,

Miel

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Kim January 20, 2013 at 2:22 am

Thanks for the feedback Miel. I had to switch because feedburner is slowly shutting down but I agree I hate the new font and the shorter email that only links back to the blog. It’s been on my list to fix so I’m glad you’ve given me a shove. Hopefully I can change it shortly.

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Sofie January 21, 2013 at 6:35 am

Congratulations! I’m so looking forward to reading about your adventure. The pictures do look promising:)

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Kim January 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Thanks Sofie… it was an amazing adventure and I’m excited to tell the story.

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