Well first of all, India is the best place to determine the purpose of life (42). Second of all, India is pretty much just the greatest country on Earth in general. If you like savory spicy vegetarian food, warm kind people, ancient architecture, and low costs, India won’t disappoint. I have been eating the best food of my life. I have been traveling through mountains, beaches, and deserts. But one of the most amazing things is how empowered I feel by how little I need. I am not under the assumption that it’s absolutely possible for everyone to take the time off and have enough financial resources to travel. But information is power, and maybe someone will feel more comfortable making the jump into the unknown knowing my story. My dream would be a world where we aren’t afraid of each other, a world where we feel comfortable traveling alone thousands of miles away from home because we believe in humanity and good. Backpacking with nearly nothing should be a part of all of our educations. Anyway, I want to share that I can afford to do this as a 21-year-old recent college graduate, with just the savings I earned working as a student assistant at my university for the last several years (earning a little over minimum wage). Maybe our life path doesn’t have to be as paved as it’s made out to be. Maybe traveling is more possible than we make it out to be. Don’t believe me? Well, each day I keep track of every penny I spend. I’ve been using the information to anticipate and budget my daily costs. But here is a summary of how much I have spent, divided into 6 simple categories.
Food: $116.50 (30%)
Transportation: $125.00 (32%)
Accommodation: $51.25 (13%)
Buying Stuff: $26.50 (7%)
Activities: $48.50 (12%)
Phone plan 10 GB x2 months: $22.75 (6%)
Total spending: $390.50
Accommodation is especially low in this estimate because I spent two weeks sleeping in a hammock on a beach, one week living in a village during the Holi festival, and am now living for one week with one of my second families here in Ajmer! The activities make up the admission costs to castles, national parks, and camel trekking. The price of transport includes paying for taxis, gas for friends, and endless overnight train rides. Being a light weight backpacker, instead of carrying a year’s worth of clothes with me, I carry two pairs of pants at a time, and when they get ripped or especially worn out, I move on. The cost of buying stuff mostly makes up for new clothes and toiletries.
Over the course of the last 42 days, I have explored the West Coast of India all the way down to the southern tip, then flew to Delhi to restart touring Rhajasthan. Now I am in Ajmer and will continue to see Udaipur and Surat next before meeting my mom in Delhi in mid April! So far, I have traveled about 5000 km (3000 miles). By the way, still feeling safe and still feeling alive. More alive than ever before actually!