India: five letters I couldn't believe when my eyes saw them on my Backroads trip leading schedule. Elated and terrified in the same breath, I was blown away that my dreams were continuing to come true. My heart skipped about fifty beats as the reality gracefully sunk in: I get to experience India, a land like no other.
While still relatively undiscovered in the biking and hiking world, India has so much to offer for anyone looking for great roads and trails to explore off the beaten path. India may be known for the frenetic and vibrant energy of its cities, but the peaceful rural roads and quiet pathways we travel with on our Multi-Adventure trip make for a sensational experience to grasp the country on a deeper level. Biking past the local villages, skirting around the "holy cows" and waving to the ever-so-exuberant children while smelling the fresh frangipani trees and gazing across vast deserts is a juxtaposing and unforgettable adventure.
Once you've experienced the freedom and intimacy of active travel, you're hooked for life. What can compare to feeling the wind cool you off as you climb the hills, hollering gleeful cheers as you descend the mountain passes, waving hello to the cheery farmers while you walk through their sugarcane fields, and peacefully sitting with village artists to learn more about their crafts? The kindness and generosity of the local people inspire us to be more compassionate, open and caring. There's something about this foreign land that forever impacts the way you see the world.
You see, you can't come to India and leave the same. This country has a wonderful way of impacting, teaching and gently humbling you. It overwhelms and stimulates your being, while providing a sanctuary of calm to soak in everything you've learned. It showers you with roaring belly laughter and warms your soul with the most delicious chai. It takes life in its rawest form and finds beauty in it.
We travel to gain deeper understanding, form new opinions, develop more patience, kindness and generosity, and India does this tenfold. It leaves a big mark on your heart and joy on your face. Because of this, I am grateful.