It feels like a lifetime ago since I first starting planning and talking about this India trip-- but the reality is, it's been somewhere under three months since we've officially announced this. Time is slowly (and quickly) ticking by to this trip and the spaces are filling--- and rather quickly too! Lisa, from ATC let me know that trips often don't fill until much closer to departure -- so we're both pretty excited by early signups, showing us how everyone is so enthusiastic and excited for this trip - just like we are. We're ready! So ready that I've even started googling things like "compression socks" for the flight--- I mean, it's not too soon to think about what to pack, right?
So as time passes and signs up are coming in, Lisa, Rubina (our India partner/go-getter/picture taker/huge helper) and I communicate more and more often. They keep me updated on the signups and they're still planning even more special events for all us while we are there. More than anything else they keep reminding me about the details of this trip that they are both looking forward to. Since you guys have heard all about the things that I'm so excited about so far, I thought I'd share some of the stories and details about the itinerary that Lisa & Rubina have shared with me. &It'll absolutely give you a different perspective on (the amazingness of) this trip ;)
The itinerary: This trip has been crafted to balance a well curated itinerary with the freedom to explore wherever your heart may lead. Traveling with a group has a lot of great benefits. By sharing the journey with other like-minded individuals, we all get to experience the trip more fully. Each experience will touch each of us differently, we will all notice unique aspects of the areas we visit and we’ll all enjoy the trip more by sharing these with one another.
At the same time, part of adventure of traveling half way across the world is being able to explore what is of interest to you, individually. To ensure that this trip, while certainly a group experience, is executed in a way to ensure your own ability to wander as your interests lead - is to provide each of you with a cell phone (or “mobile” as they call it in the subcontinent). The cell phone will be pre-programmed with each of your leaders and all other participants numbers and charged with plenty of minutes to text or call us as needed. This way, if you choose to skip breakfast in favor of a long walk, or have found an amazing stall at the market place and want others to meet you there - you can drop us a line and no need to worry about being left behind or any of us missing out on a great find of yours!
Yoga: Yoga was born in the foothills of the Himalayas and the opportunity to practice the craft in its original birthplace is just too good to give up. The point of having it offered throughout this journey is not to become a professional yogini or as a serious workout, but as a part of the experience as a whole. Yoga has a lot of ways of being defined, but the one that has always stuck most deeply with me (and the one that seems the most in tune with travel - and travel like this) is the following: Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. By learning to concentrate and breath through the discomfort and distractions that arise, yoga helps to more deeply connect with individual things that can then be more clearly focused on.
A journey like this one is sure to be overwhelming at times. The food, the pace, the smells, the moving around, the lack of familiarity etc ... it all can become a lot to process; however, having the opportunity to take an hour of the day for yourself to focus on whatever is of interest to you can help. The yoga sessions are not the only times that this type of reflection can be done - but they are a nice reminder that taking time for yourself and grounding yourself in the surroundings can be key elements of an adventure like this one.
Her Love for Sharing India: I always wanted to work with an organization where creating unique itineraries and experience would be the focus, than just planning the logistics of a trip. And I was fortunate enough to land in a place where each traveler is given an experience to cherish and where each itinerary created is different and unique. Each and every day, we create itineraries that bring people in close contact with the destination, people, food, colors and reality. Over these last two years, I have been getting opportunities to travel across throughout the sub-continent. There are many stories and experiences to share. Each project that came my way also brought an opportunity to learn a new aspect of my own country.
Working to create the itinerary: When this project came my way, it too brought along with it an opportunity to explore and live the experience that we want to share through this journey. So with sun blazing hot I set off to experience the journey of Ohdeardrea Dreams of India. I had been to most of the places we wanted to include already, but this time I visited all the places with a different mindset, and that was to have the first hand experience of this particular journey.
This has been one of the most remarkable adventures. It has given me an opportunity to connect with the living culture of Rajasthan. The journey is a perfect blend of color, culture and cuisine - be it the beautiful crafts of this region or the interaction with the local families, cooking with the chef, learning of healing the day to day health problems through naturapathy, or rejuvenating experience to start a day with yoga. I had a first hand experience of all, which now makes me feel connected with this journey and I look forward to experience this again with you all. This journey has been a experience to remember and share.
Interested? Read more about this trip. HERE and/or email Lisa directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request an itinerary (February 28th - March 12th 2015)! Space is limited! We hope you can join :)
PS. How beautiful is this video Lisa emailed me!? Marlowe and I both ooooh and aaaahed through the whole thing! I seriously can't get enough of it. What has me even more excited is that about 90% of the places shown in the video--- we'll actually be going visiting!
Thank you SO much Lisa &Rubina. With the exception of the top photo (taken by the amazing Bohostella), Rubina has taken and provided all photos of india for ohdeardrea dreams of india.