As much as I love India, it’s not for everyone. I’m not just saying this – Indians have told me this (specifically my fiancé and his family) as a forewarning to prepare me for my first trip which occurred in March 2022. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the people – ALL of these aspects differ greatly from those of the United States, the environment that I was born and raised in. Monish’s sister actually told me that she’s had friends come visit her in India from different parts of the world, and that some of them are just overwhelmed by everything this incredible country has to offer. Understanding this, Monish began preparing me for my first trip to India back when we first started dating, which happened to begin right before the 2020 pandemic lockdown occurred.
Today is finally the day that I will travel to Monish’s childhood home and spend time in the place where he grew up. But first, we’ve got to take a 5-hour train ride from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India to Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
This morning began by saying goodbye to Mom and Dad as they are heading back to Vadodara to prepare for us to come stay with them. After sending them off to the train station, Moni and I ventured out to purchase fabric for me to take home! I’ve been looking forward to this moment for months now because as an aspiring fashion designer, I know that India manufactures large quantities of textiles and that I will be able to purchase good quality fabrics at a lower cost while here. Moni and I hopped into an auto and made our way to Tirumala Shopping Centre – let the fun begin!
Bailey recalls her first trip across the ocean when she went to Italy in 2011 as part of a high school trip. Read on as she recounts the first 3 days of the trip which include checking out the Colosseum, rushing to the Trevi Fountain, freely roaming through Rome unchaperoned and almost getting lost.
We woke up a little before 5am to begin getting ready to head to the Taj Mahal! Of course, Moni and I not only woke up late, but we also took longer to get ready than everyone else, meaning that we left later than we had originally planned for. We were hoping to arrive right at 6am when the gates opened so that we could beat the crowds and watch the sun rise over the magnificent Taj Mahal.
Planning a trip to The Grand Canyon? Trust me from experience, it’s a worthwhile trip! My friend, Maddy, and I crossed this item off our bucket lists over an extra-extended Memorial Day Weekend, so I’m here to share tips, must-do’s and don’t-misses to ensure that your experience exceeds mine!
We made our way up the steps and as we walked through the entrance, which was shaped like the mouth of a rakshasa, my eyes became filled with wonder and grand curiosity. I was in awe that I was finally entering a temple in India, especially one so iconic! As we made our way through the narrow hallways of the temple, we found many different colorful idols as well as art forms which depicted stories from the Hindu epics. Dad briefly explained some of the stories to us, which I plan to learn more about via the Hindu books that I bought days before in Mumbai.
We awoke mid-morning after a full night’s sleep and began to frantically get ready for the busy day ahead. First on the list were our salon appointments that we were on the verge of being late to, so breakfast was scarfed down in a hurry just moments before we rushed out the door. We scurried down the street, hailed an auto and made our way to the salon. Upon arriving, Moni notified the salon staff that we needed to leave no later than 12:30pm as we had a flight to catch that afternoon…
As Moni and I laid there for a moment, allowing ourselves to fully become awake, we began to notice sounds from the streets below as Mumbai was also beginning to wake up. We ate breakfast in the house prepared by Auntie, then Tanvi walked us down the apartment building and up the street so that we could catch a ride in an auto (also known as an auto-rickshaw) to take us to Westside, a clothing store local to India.