Let’s Talk About India

Before I go into where in the world I am now, I want to be sure to give India it’s due time in the spotlight. More accurately, it’s people. Because they deserve to praised.

Not surprisingly, we were treated like queens the entire time we were there. We never carried our bags, opened doors, or even poured our own drinks. The room service memorized our favorite snacks and would bring them unannounced (and free of charge). They took notice to when we were leaving our room for the afternoon, so they could clean and organize our room at that time instead of knocking on our door.

img_1288Eventually they caught on that we were eager to learn and experience their culture at which time we clearly became the friendly American women in room 210. We had a table that was designated as “our” table whenever we were seated. The same waiter sought us out so that he could talk us into trying a new dish (again, at no additional charge). He tried to learn how to pronounce our names. And tried to teach us a word or two as well.

Eventually they caught on that we were eager to learn and experience their culture at which time we clearly became the friendly American women in room 210. We had a table that was designated as “our” table whenever we were seated. The same waiter sought us out so that he could talk us into trying a new dish (again, at no additional charge). He tried to learn how to pronounce our names. And tried to teach us a word or two as well.

As for outside the hotel, there was no shortage of friendly advice on where to go. One taxi driver, after playfully teasing that we must like to shop, stopped at the coolest temple mall, not charging for the time he waited for us to have a look around. Inside that mall, we got ourselves a free singing bowl treatment. That man seemed amazed that we had decided to explore India on our own. The jury is still out if we should have been concerned at his reaction.

Now, the food. For purposes of full disclosure, I struggle with spicy food. So 90% of the food I tasted was fabulous, but just too spicy for me. So, I found the things that lacked in heat and stuck to them. The dosa was one of those foods. It was amazing and not something I would have tried if it wasn’t for the previously mentioned waiter. He didn’t tell me that he was going to bring me one, instead, just put it in front me of me:

“But I didn’t order that.”

“No, no. But you try”

Well alright then. Good thing too because it turned out to be my favorite dish. It’s basically a giant crepe stuffed with potatoes and curry. The coffee was also spectacular. If I could have a carrier pigeon deliver me Indian coffee daily, I may just give up my right arm for payment. That gem was found at a shopping center, and was bought for us as we found ourselves in a flurry of pashminas, singing bowls, crystals, and jewelry. That was the same adventure that busted open my very weak bartering skills. Shopping in India is not for the shy or weak hearted.

Traditional dosa, although this one is missing the yummy filling
Traditional dosa, although this one is missing the yummy filling

But it really isn’t the food or the textiles that I’ll be keeping in my heart from India: it’s the generosity and the warmth of the people. They are just so happy. They have far less, materialistically, than what I’m accustomed to and live in a city that is the very definition of developing. Yet, they appeared to be happy just to be living the day. In the case of the hotel employees, they took immense pride in doing their job well, whatever that job may be. The joy that beamed from them when we were open to hearing and trying what they deemed as a favorite part of their culture was beyond heartwarming. But also has a sad implication as to what their normal experience with foreigners is. So while many people will tell Americans to be thankful for what they have because they are far richer than they realize (which is true), I challenge you to disconnect from all your “things” and find time to seek out some joy in just living in the day: it makes the seemingly poor fabulously wealthy.

But it really isn’t the food or the textiles that I’ll be keeping in my heart from India: it’s the generosity and the warmth of the people. They are just so happy. They have far less, materialistically, than what I’m accustomed to and live in a city that is the very definition of developing. Yet, they appeared to be happy just to be living the day. In the case of the hotel employees, they took immense pride in doing their job well, whatever that job may be. The joy that beamed from them when we were open to hearing and trying what they deemed as a favorite part of their culture was beyond heartwarming. But also has a sad implication as to what their normal experience with foreigners is. So while many people will tell Americans to be thankful for what they have because they are far richer than they realize (which is true), I challenge you to disconnect from all your “things” and find time to seek out some joy in just living in the day: it makes the seemingly poor fabulously wealthy.

And finally, a note on the energy of Chennai: it radiates a certain kind of healing. The kind that engulfs you completely, challenges you to broaden your views of the world, and puts your own conditioned limitations on the chopping block. All while putting you in a space that makes you feel like you can dive into those shadowy bits and be supported. I had some of the most challenging parts of myself exposed during the week that we were there, and honestly, things that only that particular situation could fish out of me. Head over HERE to read my India confessional.

While I was guided to India to have these kinds of breakthroughs, because that was the best place for me to be to learn about various parts of myself, I think the important thing here is to know that you have to put yourself into new situations to grow. Sticking to what you know, and likely have become very good at, is perfectly fine if you want nothing more than what you have now (which is also okay! IF that is what your heart’s desire is).

But if you want to make changes, you have to give yourself new experiences so you can heal and move past whatever it is that is anchoring you in your current situation. If you don’t know what it is that you want to do next, but you know you want to move into something more positive, all you have to do is do. As you put yourself into new situations, you will find your heart’s desire (and likely what isn’t your heart’s desire as well).


A note for those of you who plan to go to India and stay in the popular American hotels: They reserve the right to charge a luxury tax per transaction. This means that every time you’re charged for a night’s stay, the luxury tax will also be charged. This isn’t something that is disclosed. Keep that in mind when looking at prices. Our hotel room went from $75/night to $108/night.

With that being said, the Rain Tree hotel was amazing. It is well worth the money and it’s in a fantastic part of the city. Very green, friendly people, and lots to see.


While my travel partner and I were talking about where we felt compelled to go next, we remembered a conversation that we had on the plane to Germany (catch up on what happened at the German airport HERE). I had dismissed it entirely at the time, but it was begging for attention.

We knew our connection at the German airport was going to be tricky, since we did not have enough time to comfortably make it to the next gate. When we were waiting to get off the plane, I turned to her and said that I had seen what looked like us staying in Europe for an extended time, visiting different cities. I wondered out loud if that meant we were going to miss our connecting flight. When we didn’t miss it, I dismissed what I had seen as something that perhaps was potentially going to happen at some point in the distant future. I even joked that my spiritual connection must waiver with international travel.

A week later we were on a plane to Spain.

In a couple of days, I’ll be taking you through the very dynamic streets of Barcelona: from the very rich, the diverse, and the gothic. Later, you’ll be hearing all about the spiritual haven inside the Sagrada Familia and the experiences I had while I lost all sense of time for three hours.

Check in soon to get a taste of Barcelona

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