This trip to India has been the most exotic trip i have ever taken. I have met people from so many different cultures. We have had intimate conversations with Hindus and Muslims, Israelis, Scandinavians. I love how open they have been to discuss their beliefs and perspectives. Each have their own worries, passions and national issues of concern. My mind is open to the many different beliefs and practices that we as humans have. More than ever I see the thread that we each weave through this majestic tapestry of this earth we live on.
I am struck by the human condition that has so much more in common than not. I know that most want peace and want to discuss the issues and the world with hopes of union. We all breathe and fear and strive and hope to see dreams that come true. The connection that we feel with so many that we have intersected with is to me a gorgeous thing.
Today as we drove a motor scooter through the countryside of Goa India we saw people working in the fields, standing at the wayside market shooting the breeze, sweeping the walkways, tending the storefronts. We drove through the jungle and marveled at the coconut groves. I love India. It seems to bring front and center the best and the worst of humanity. This is a beautiful place.
Last evening I swam in the Arabian sea as the sun went down in front of me and the almost full moon, the one we all share, rose up behind me. We then went to dinner and had a beautiful greek salad and wood-fired pizza. We were told to avoid raw fruit and veggies which we have generally done. The salad was beautiful and carefully cleaned in mineral water and it tasted divine. One of my biggest fears was tiring of indian food and missing pizza. That fear has taken a back seat and the indian food has grown on me though we do seem to find pizza that is good here and there. The seafood and coconut curries in the South of India are soooo good. We were primarily vegetarian in the north. The chai and tea is such a huge part of the culture here and we have managed to find very good cappuccino as well.
We were planning to head further south to Kerala after Goa but have decided that the travel time is not something we want to do so we are staying in Goa for an extended time before we finish in Varanasi.
We have fit in some meditation and yoga but not as regularly as we had hoped and the painting has been minimal but i feel my inspiration brewing for when i return home. We have had weekly Ayurvedic massages ( so incredible and cheap) and are scheduled for our 4th one this evening.
So far we have stayed well other than a minor cold that i got and gave to my sister. Our stomachs have fared well ( fingers crossed!)
My sister Cori has been the best travel partner ever. We seem to have several things in common. A love of adventure, narrow roads where treasures are around every corner, really finding the off the beaten track spots , comfort but not luxury , a good nights sleep and most importantly seeing that which is real India and interacting with the people. Yesterday as we were speeding down a country road on our scooter Cori said to me " memories to last a lifetime". Our mother would have been horrified a little as we weaved our way around busses and cows and other scooters and our father smiled down from heaven. The other quote of Cori's that I carry with me is when i said to her "what is going on?" which we have said oh so many times and she replied " so much more than we can possibly imagine".
India has a way of really making you aware of that precious facet of life. That beyond what we we see and understand.
There is so much that we cannot possibly imagine.
The month is flying by. We had a driver for the first couple of weeks which was a God send. Now we are on our own and i think are doing a beautiful job of navigating this crazy beautiful place.
So many times i have thought to myself pinch me.
Stacia and Cori