Since we’re talking about traveling (many bloggers seem to have that subject at the moment) I have to mention one of the most real travel experiences I’ve had in my life. I’ve traveled a bit; around Europe mostly with my family, two times in India, Nepal, Egypt, Jamaica, Mexico Kenya and Tanzania and of course the US.
I had just turned 18 and met this Indian hindu monk in my town in Finland who was visiting the country lecturing about alternative medicine (or something). We became friends because that time I had India-obsession and I wanted to know everything there was to know about it.
I adored their clothing and bought lots of fabrics from India stores in Helsinki, I got a job in Indian restaurant helping the chef in the kitchen so that I got to know their food (I think it was called Himalaya and the chef did not speak any English or Finnish, but simple sign language works in the kitchen world very well), I bought Indian music from ethnic/folk music store, burned incense (I still do), bought books about Buddhism and Hinduism, visited Hare Krishna temple and had lecture and dinner with them, took classical Indian dance lessons at this tiny dance studio and dreamed about traveling to India.
Few months later I was in India (and Nepal) with him, the monk, traveling up and down from east to west visiting orphanages, schools for underprivileged children and meeting so many great teachers and humanitarians and learning about the good work they are doing around the world. I now forgot the name of their organization, but I still stay in touch by email with two of the main figures.
Truly the most gorgeous building and estate I’ve ever visited, Taj Mahal. Took my breath away (sorry, really bad photo. Below, feeding the holy cow some cane sugar. What a cutie.
Needless to say, this trip was no 4-star hotels, cocktails and massages. It was long train and bus rides, little guest houses, street food and home cooking, temples, schools and curious children. It was everything I wanted to satisfy my hunger for knowledge. I wish to go back one day soon. Although this time I will have that 5-star hotel.