When in India, I used an app to track where I went. This was primarily for geotagging my camera photos but it gave me a map showing everywhere I went to and how far I travelled. The total distance was about 12,000km. That’s roughly the equivalent of going from John O’Groats to Land’s End ten times. My journey is shown in the attached photo. As you can see, there are so many more places in India for me to go to!
In the three months there, for long-distance travel, I took three taxis, six domestic flights, seven trains, and eight coaches. The most enjoyable transport was the train even though trains could be several hours late! India is so big, however, that if you want to get somewhere in a reasonable time, planes are very convenient and, by UK standards, low cost.
Not knowing how or where I would be travelling, I packed light: I had an 8kg rucksack and, for daily use, a man bag containing camera/lens, water bottle, notebook, hand sanitiser, tissues, spare camera batteries and SD card, power bank, and compass.
Over time, at home, I’ve accumulated a lot of possessions, even though I regularly declutter. The trip was not meant to be an experiment in living light but it made me think about what was essential in life. We carry so much baggage – both physical and psychological! It turns out that it’s perfectly possible to live with just a small rucksack!
Whilst travelling, the most useful item, unsurprisingly, was my phone. I used it for booking taxis, rickshaws, coaches, trains, planes and accommodation; managing photos; posting to Facebook 😊; keeping in touch with family and friends; and many other things. When I realised how inconvenient it would be to lose the phone, I bought a backup phone, using it for my India number. I was so happy with this “cheap” Android phone that, when I returned home, it replaced my iPhone.
When you’re travelling alone, as I was for most of the trip, it helped to be in touch with people I knew. This was despite meeting lots of people in India. Much to my surprise, Facebook turned out to be very valuable. My India blog started out as a way to fill some empty evenings. Then, it turned out to be a wonderful way of sharing experiences – both mine and others. This was hugely welcome and I thank everyone who travelled virtually with me 🤗. There’s probably no substitute for face-to-face interaction but Facebook, when used in this way, definitely made my India trip more enjoyable.