5 Best Places to Visit in India

I’ve been home from my two month India/Nepal trip for about three weeks now and the reminiscing is in full effect. There are so many places we stopped by and so many people we met. Here’s a list of the top 5 places in India my mind keeps drifting back to.

Udaipur

This is a fairytale city if I’ve ever seen one. I want to eat Indian food at cozy rooftop restaurants and watch the sun set over the lake every night for the rest of my life. If you know someone who invents a machine that could do this, let me know.

Goa

Sort of a wasteland of hippie travelers, but that’s what makes it fun. The beach is nice and the people are friendly. I have so many fun memories of sitting around with new friends and sipping lime sodas under the sun.

Mumbai

There is so much going on here. There’s great food options for the homesick traveler as well as the adventurous eater. Not to mention, you can work for Bollywood.

The Backwaters in Kerella

The way the rivers and canals flow through the landscape of these villages is beautiful. I loved disappearing into our village home stay, where I could swim in the river, walk through the rice fields and eat guavas from the trees.

The Taj

I’ll be honest, I hated Agra. The Taj, however, is worth the stop. I expected the site to be anticlimactic due to the thousands of photos I’ve seen of it in my lifetime. Sort of like being shocked by how small the Mona Lisa painting actually is. This didn’t happen. Screw anticlimactic, I was blown away. No photo I’ve seen has done the Taj justice. Nothing managed to capture how much it shines and how delicate it appears. It’s awesome.

Top 5: Podcasts

I panicked a little bit last month when I realized that I only had 7 This American Life episodes to last me through the bus rides to and from Bangkok, plus a week in the city. Hence, an all out podcast downloading binge. I love the way that podcasts pass long bus rides and lull me to sleep in noisy atmospheres, plus they’re free (in a legal way!). I downloaded every podcast I saw that looked like it posessed even a remote chance of being worth my time. After hours of listening, deleting and more downloading, I have settled on my Top 5 Favorite Podcasts, which I thought I’d share with you.

  1. This American Life: Because first loves never die. This is the podcast that started my love of listening to podcasts and it is still my favorite. Each episode centers around a theme such as Fear of Sleep or Right to Remain Silent and feature stories that relate to that topic.
  2. The Moth: Stories told live without notes. What I love about this podcast is that the episodes are short and sweet. Many podcast episodes are about an hour long and these are usually about 20 minutes. They’re also usually pretty light hearted and funny. Some of the stories have been used in This American Life, which is where I heard about The Moth.
  3. Selected Shorts: These are stories (usually fiction) told live by professional actors. The actors do an amazing job of making the stories come to life and evoking emotion. Sometimes there’s also an interview with one of the authors after the story telling.
  4. Two Gomers Run a Marathon: There are so many reasons why I love this podcast. I like the balance of talking about life, nuggets of running wisdom and the tasteful level of bromance shared between the hosts. Most running podcasts I’ve listen to are either explorations in utter bordem or seem to be complete bro fests in which I  can’t shake the visualization of the guys chest bumping and feeling each others muscles. I like how down to earth this podcast is about running. It makes me laugh and leaves me encouraged to continue pursuing my little running hobby.
  5. Snap Judgement: Story telling with a beat. Similar to This American Life, this podcast features a series stories relating to a theme. The main difference is that there is a DJ that plays a back beat to the stories. The story themes have something to do with a snap judgement or a moment when a quick decision has to be made.

Honorable mentions go to: Studio 360, Planet Money, All Songs Considered, To The Best of Our Knowledge, NYT Book Review, Dynamic Range, and Vanity Fair Writers Reading.

Now my iPod is loaded and ready with the many podcast episodes I’ve saved up for my trip to Cambodia. I leave on an overnight bus tonight. Can’t wait!