Following Eric
Took off in September 2013 for round two in Asia. 6 month internship in Beijing. Two months Nepal, three months India and about to wrap up a month in Sri Lanka before heading to Myanmar

Wandering Through India: Maharashtra

Maharashtra is the richest state in India and one of the largest. I started reading Shantaran when I entered India and the story focused mainly on Mumbai and Maharashtra. I landed in Aurangabad and met some good people running the guest house. There isn’t much in Aurangabad. It is mostly a place to base yourself as you explore the Ellora and Ajanta cave systems. I didn’t run into any other travellers, but I did get to know one guy from the guest house. After Gujarat it was nice to be back where the Indians are friendly and helpful. I hit up the Ellora caves on my first day. Although the caves were interesting, there was only one cave, the famous one, that had some wow factor to it. After having ridden four night buses in a short period, I was worn out, not so enthusiastic and a little disappointed by the Ellora caves. I got a well needed sleep that night and felt much better when I visited the Ajanta Caves. A little more out of the way but still relatively easy to get to with government buses, it turned out to be much more enjoyable. The cave system was much larger and looked good as it rounded around a curve in the river (which was empty). The monsoon was behind schedule and there was no water in the river and nothing but dead plants. The place didn’t photograph well, but I enjoyed it much more than the day before. I managed to arrange a train ticket and hoped on a night train to Mumbai that same day. That made five night trips in one week.

My only mistake in Mumbai was staying one day too long. I booked my ticket to Goa when I arrived but booked it for a day too much. Mumbai was mainly fun because I had been reading Shantaram and seemed to know the city from the authors point of view. Which was completely inaccurate since it was written 30 years ago. I met a great Indian guy, Jigar, from Ahmedabad and we really hit it off. He invited me out for some beers at the Hard Rock Café and I got to see modern India. A lot of India is seeing how under developed, poor and far behind the country is to the rest of the world. But Mumbai and the night at the Hard Rock opened my eyes. Mumbai was a modern city like many others I have been to around the world. The Hard Rock was better than most in North America and the scene was modern Indians eating beef burgers and throwing back expensive drinks and jager bombs. I used Mumbai to get back in touch with the modern world. I ate less Indian food, enjoyed coffees at Starbucks and even checked out the new Transformer movie in theaters. I didn’t find Mumbai had too much to offer on sightseeing, but I enjoyed it never the less. I was back on another night train and this time to Goa.

Mumbai - India

European Architecture in Asia. Never gets old

Mumbai - India

Not my best effort. Mumbai just didn’t want to be photogenic for me. Still a great city with some really interesting Architecture. 

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"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment" - Buddha

Taken at the Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra - India

Ellora & Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad Maharastra - India

World Heritage Sight

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Wandering Through India: Gujarat

Gujarat was not great for me. You always hope you follow up a good place and good people with even better places, but doesn’t always work out that way. I headed to Gujarat and didn’t run into any other travellers or friendly Indians for six days. It was also the start of a bunch of night buses in a very short time. My plan was to stay a night or two in Bhuj, but as soon as I arrived, I knew I didn’t want to. I looked around for ages to find a decent place and never found one. I finally found a really cheap place and just rented it for the day. Enough to clean up from the 14 hour bus journey from the night before and enough time to walked around the city. That night I got on a government bus (a.k.a non sleeper) for another 14 hour trip down to Diu. Diu was a pretty sweet place, but the lack of interactions made it a tad boring. I didn’t meet any friendly Indians or any travellers. The highlight of Diu was renting a Honda Hero and cruising around for hours checking out the small fishing villages that surround the city. After a few nights there I was back on another night bus to Ahmedabad.

My plan was never to stay in Ahmedabad. From the minute I arrived, Ahmedabad became difficult. At six in the morning I was already battling with a travel agent trying to get a ticket to Aurangabad that evening. Something was not right with him so I trusted my gut (which was right) and left. Then it took me ages to find a guest house that would just watch my bag for the day so I could try and get some sightseeing done. I managed to do a heritage walk which was pretty interesting, but missed out on seeing the Gandhi Ashram. I was too busy fighting with rickshaw drivers to get a fair price back and forth from the train station. The train never worked out and they couldn’t give me foreign quota. I had to race back to the guest house and managed to get the last seat on a tourist bus to take me to Aurangabad. It was time for another 14 hour night bus. The fourth in six days.  All in all Gujarat was just not the place for me. I was glad to head out and onto something new.

My #instagram may be a month behind my actual travels but today is a special day. This day last year i boarded my one way ticket to Kuala Lumpur which lead to 6 months work in Beijing and 6 months backpacking over Nepal,India and Sri Lanka. Today i sit in the Kuala Lumpur airport about to board a plane to Myanmar. This will also be my third consecutive year spending my fall months in Asia. To anyone out there who dreams of doing the same thing then i say do it, there no reason not too. #India #travel #dreams #Asia #travelblog #borntobunk #traveltreasures #gopro #selfie #backpacking #lonelyplanet #worlderlust #liveauthentic #neverstopexploring #wiseguides

My #instagram may be a month behind my actual travels but today is a special day. This day last year i boarded my one way ticket to Kuala Lumpur which lead to 6 months work in Beijing and 6 months backpacking over Nepal,India and Sri Lanka. Today i sit in the Kuala Lumpur airport about to board a plane to Myanmar. This will also be my third consecutive year spending my fall months in Asia. To anyone out there who dreams of doing the same thing then i say do it, there no reason not too. #India #travel #dreams #Asia #travelblog #borntobunk #traveltreasures #gopro #selfie #backpacking #lonelyplanet #worlderlust #liveauthentic #neverstopexploring #wiseguides

Wandering Through India: Rajasthan

I had heard so many good things about Rajasthan that it was probably my most anticipated state I was travelling to. I kicked it off with an unintentional one night stay in Jaipur. Heading out from Agra I had full intentions of staying a few days in Jaipur, but you can never predict what will happen and who you will meet. Right off the bat I wasn’t feeling Jaipur too much, big city, with everything too far apart. I caught my first Bollywood movie, Heropanti, which wasn’t half bad. Even though I couldn’t understand most words and there were no subtitles to go along with it, it was written in a way that anyone could follow the just of the story. I got lucky and later that evening met a Canadian, an Australian and an English traveller and plans quickly changed. I decided to team up with them and visit Amber fort the next morning and then head off to Pushkar.

Pushkar turned out to be a really sweet hang out and built for backpackers: a small place that is walk able distance to all the sights and not an overwhelming amount of things to do. Perfect for laid back travellers. John And I headed off on a one night camel safari after our second day in Pushkar. I had heard that Jaisalmer was the better place, but I didn’t want to miss out and the chance to do the trip with someone. Turned out to be a little cheaper in the end and was pretty fun. Over all we didn’t ride the camels that much, but enough that you didn’t want to ride them much longer. The heat took its toll and we slept like babies that night and took naps the next day as we made our way back to Pushkar. We met up with Lockie and headed for Jodhpur.

Since John and Lockie had limited time before heading north we did a quick stop in Jodhpur. We had heard mixed things about the city, but I thought the amount of time we spend there was just right. One day we checked out the old town where we were staying and checked out the massive fort, Mehrangarh, that looks over the famous blue city. We found a good lookout that gave us an amazing view of the fort towering over the city and landscape. We hung out up top just looking down on the city. The city had a view from something in a movie and a reminder of a previous time where the big mighty kings ruled in castles above their city. John and Lockie headed north and I headed to Jaisalmer.

Although I didn’t fall in love with Jaisalmer, I had no problem seeing the appeal of the place. The main part of town still exists in and around the fort, where time and modernization is taking its sweet time. You could walk the old streets inside the fort where people have continued to live since it was built a few hundred years ago. Most forts or castle in India are no longer inhabited. They are reserved for heritage sights only. I met up with Kayla from Jaipur and Pushkar and we did a sunset camel trek and dinner in the sand dunes. It was probably my favourite part. I got to ride a camel again and got to listen to Kayla yelp and cry at every little movement the camel made. We also got to play around on the dunes (not as big as Africa I am sure, but big enough) and take loads of fun pictures. We enjoyed a home cooked meal from a small mud hut and then headed back. The following day we split as she went north and I headed down to Bhuj in Gujarat. I decided to skip Udaipur which might have been a mistake as everyone loved it. Guess I needed to save something to see for next time.