Ahhhh! I can’t believe it’s been (just over) two weeks since I’ve been home! Actually, to be honest, it feels longer! Sometimes it feels as if India was ages ago. You know, I had this post (mostly) done a week ago, but I’ve gotta tell you– I’ve been struggling a bit. I mean, life has been great, really amazingly great, but my wrist are flaring up again. Really, really bad. My carpal tunnel really took off this summer with the book and the constant go go go, cook, clean, cut, photograph, edit, blog, email, edit, write, over and over again, blah blah blah, 16 hours a day— it was bad, but later it seemed to settle for a bit once I was done. But since India? I don’t know, it’s gotten out of hand (ha) again. I personally think there’s got to be a more serious issue going on in my left wrist– because truth be told, I haven’t been over-working at all lately…. And I obviously wasn’t over working in India. With the exception of picture taking on my iPhone, I was really living in it and experiencing it– far from a computer and social media and all that jazz most of the time. So this wrist thing happening again (and worse) is kind of a big shocker to me. It’s been difficult to say the least, and one of the more painful things I’ve gone through in a long time. So here I am, two weeks after returning to India and finally putting (a small percentage of) photos and some words to my trip.
India was amazing, truly amazing. And I want to share a million thoughts and stories about it and I want to share all the fun places we visited and amazing people we met— and I want to tell you about all the amazing girls that joined Lisa (Above The Clouds) and I on this trip— because really, they were (are) amazing. I mean, as I speak, I’m texting with a few of them for a summer meet up— I miss them! I feel blessed by this experience and I know many of them do too.
So I think you guys know this was a bit more than some overpriced weekend retreat– we really planned every detail, activity and surprise like you wouldn’t believe. Not just heres a hotel, some food we provided, do some stuff—- every fun, magical part of this journey was planned, with back up plans, and more– because you know, in life and in travel, shit happens, it’s totally natural and we wanted to make sure that for every plan and adventure or detour we could provide an extra touch of sparkle for the ladies to make this well, perfect? Or not perfect, because you can’t make perfect, but to make this a truly, amazing and unmatchable two week journey. At the end of it, I think Lisa and I can look at each other and say we succeeded. I’m so happy to have been able to experience India like this– with real connections to real people— and of course, I can’t wait to go back. And those who have been asking— yes, we’re planning to most likely do this again. Planning to plan, ha. Pre-meeting for meetings. Pre-excitement to the excitement.
So what did my first two days in India entail? Well lots of this game face. Simply put, Lisa is a boss. (I mean, she looks like a boss, right?) If you have ever thought about planning a trek on the other side of the world or a real adventure to some unknown place and needed a hand? Her company is pretty much the boss company to do it with. I watched her dad plan trips growing up. I watched her learn to plan trips in our adult years and now I’ve finally experienced first hand what goes into it. It’s an adventure— and pretty tedious, but in a good way. Well, in a good way, if you’re good at it and enjoy those things– she does (I do too).
I felt upside down the first few days in India. Like I was standing on my head most of the time. I couldn’t have been further from home or have experienced a more intense time change (10 1/2 hours). Aside from the time, the air is thick in india. The dust is everywhere. The haze is constant. And it’s slightly cooler and dryer than home, but not by too much. So within the drunken off time change mood everything feels a bit extra dreamy in the first few days.
We said outside often, going over schedules and arrival times and every little detail. We adventured— in and throughout Delhi, to make sure that the restaurants we would take the girls to were perfect— that the food would be welcoming for a first, second, and last meal. That rooms were set up for early and late arrivals. We had drivers and gifts for each of the ladies. And of course this all with me adjusting to the time change, in a place so new to me, far from home, out of touch with family, and with someone I’ve known now for 25+ years— the beginning of a real adventure.
Sitting out in the heat felt like home. Sun blaring down, little wind, lots of sweat. It happened often, but its weird how many times a moment reminded me of home.
We explored Hauz Khas market and tried a dinner venue there. A place that I loved and was excited for the girls to try too.
As mentioned, there were many surprises planned for the ladies. One, being saris. Now, those who know me well, would understand how truly amusing it would be to stick me in three story fabric shop for sari choosing. Decision making is rarely my strong suit. I mean, I know very well, what I do not like. And giving an affirmative “no” to things that will not work, I can do. But millions of choices of things I love? Well, you’ll have better luck with a magic 8 ball. So yes, it was rather amusing to Lisa and Arundunti to throw me in this incredible decision making scenario. I definitely see the humor in it. I also see how unassuming it may be for the amount of time it took me, haha. No, I’m kidding, we all had a great time— and I think everyone was pleasantly surprised to be gifted a custom picked, custom made beautiful sari 🙂 Seriously– the girls looked so gorgeous all dressed up!
We found restaurant venues we loved and didn’t love. Some we enjoyed but wouldn’t easily fit into our schedule or many of the girls up coming jet lag situations 😉
My first few days In Delhi, though upside down and expensive, were wonderful. I’m happy to have had a moment to get over jet lag and have a bit of a buffer point between me and India, the gang of ladies and India, and Delhi and the rest of the very populated area Rajasthan. Really, it couldn’t have gone much better.
I have ten million more posts on india with many more photos coming your way– way more of Delhi too. Yes, I’ll be sharing all the names and details— this is just the beginning. I saw countless inspiring things, met even more inspiring people, and experienced countless inspiring moments. Delhi, you were rad.
All photos of me were taken by Above The Clouds. all others were taken by me and my oh so trusty iPhone. Still figuring out how I feel about the fact that I only pulled out a camera for 1% of the trip. It’s maybe mostly amusing. Most of the girls had real cameras, so I’ll probably be sharing a few of their gorgeous photos too 🙂 And there should be a movie or two coming your way (I’m crossing my fingers anyway). Curious to adventure yourself and you can’t wait for Ohdeardrea dreams of India part two? Well, you can alway check out the upcoming trips with Above the Clouds of course! 🙂
You can see previous india posts: HERE.
I hope you guys all had an amazing week! It was a good one over here— a great one actually. We’re planning lots of little and big things– and booking family travel of course too 🙂 Happy friday, friends!
I have always wanted to go…someday 🙂 Love these shots!
I have been looking forward to seeing your photos! I saw some through your instagram account while you were there. I am truly hoping that I can make it on the next trip! Do you think it'll be around the same time next year?
I often stop by and read your posts. I live in the Netherlands and have never been to Florida (or Delhi for that matter).
I enjoy reading about the things you do and the things you make. I'm sorry to hear about your wrist. That must be worrisome because you make a living on the web and social media. I hope you can avoid an operation.
Delhi must have been overwhelming! Your iphone makes these pretty pictures?? I must get me a new iphone 😉
Ohhhh my goodness so many small holes, my trypophobia is going crazy!! Besides that, I love how bright and colorful everything is! Loving these photos.
looks so amazing!! love all of the colors!
I love this post. Looking forward of reading more about your amazing trip! If you do a travel like this in about four years (when I'm finished with my studies haha) it would be a dream come true to do this kind of adventure! That is, if it's okay to go along even though I'm from Sweden 😉 You are a real inspiration. Lots of love, Emilia
Looks amazing! Wow I would just love to go to India. I have an aunt and 5 cousins who live in Sri Lanka and we have been meaning to go and visit them for years. Now we feel like the kiddo (s) need to be a little bit older though to fully appreciate it. Do you think you could imagine taking Marlow on a trip like that with you at her age? Just curious?
I would take her! alex and I have discussed it in the past and have decided that most places (like india) we would prefer to visit first and then go from there before deciding. I would bring her back with me when I go again 🙂
I couldn't wait to see the photos, Drea. What a wonderful experience, day after day, meal after meal, conversation after conversation. I wish I could have joined you but I know I will see it through your eyes and can't wait for more. And I'm definitely having my eyes peeled for more adventures, I'll make sure this time I can make it 🙂 xx
What a vibrant colourful place for an adventure. Sensory overload I think! It looks gorgeous though, India's somewhere I'd love to visit one day. Glad you had such a good time. Enjoy the weekend Drea. CJ xx
So incredible, like a dream!
Looks amazing! I want to go next time!
Also, ok, Florida must be SUPER humid if you found India cooler and drier! I actually love humidity, but my Englishman pretty much melted when we went to Kerala. Might be different in the South though.
haha! yes, south and north are VERY different. South India is more like Florida— very humid and tropical— the north was more dry and cooler 🙂
Andrea…I read your blog as regularly as I can and love the honesty and freshness and color in each of the posts. Your India trip sounds interesting – I live in India!
🙂 I love your country!