If traveling is like a fine wine, traveling India is intoxicating. I’m sucked in, tranquilly so, like a willing captive on a pirate ship. The danger feels enlightening and there is a mystical captain I don’t yet understand.
My eyes are droopy and I’m incredibly tired but I can’t look away. The tuk-tuks, cows, rubbish and people are everywhere. Black-faced monkeys climb though the city and into my heart. The constant honking and death defying driving — I’m hooked on this drug.
As I ride north, I contemplate how many other times I’ve been intoxicated so. Falling in love, head spinning, heart pounding, waiting for the first kiss. Will he love me too? I never know the answer but that doesn’t stop me.
Perhaps the most intoxicating of all is the ancient wisdom that lies in the hills here. I can feel it with each new place I see and person I meet. There is an underlying knowledge that pulses through the streets. This is the place where Yoga, Buddhism, Hinduism and Muslim converge. Where I stay in Rishikesh is a place where the words on the street are “positive energy”, “connection with the universe”, “individual consciousness”, “universal consciousness” and more of the like.
A place where a crystal shop lies around each corner, ready to provide me with all necessary tools for energy healing. A place where no one talks about religion, the only focus is on feeling positive and at peace. Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa classes are offered everywhere. Monks and Gurus merge with café owners, children and pilgrims to form the eclectic scenes. Ayurvedic Doctors are ready to provide stress relief and heal my ailments. The views of the Himalayas and ashrams are spectacular. Sometimes, I watch the rain fall heavy as locals set fire to their dead on the sacred river Ganga.
I think I’m in love.
“Falling in love…
…sounds like an adventure”