the culture and knowing the people. As all things have been with this spontaneous journey, fortune smiles on my travel plans and delivers me to one of the most stunning, spiritual and captivating parts of the country. Northeastern India is a hidden treasure of beautiful people, vibrant colors, sublime generosity and natural wonders. From the bustling blend of new and old clashed together in the chaotic cacophony of the city, to the jaw dropping majestic emptiness of terraced hillside villages and endless mountain forests, this place grasps each extreme unquestioningly and without reservation, letting their purest ideals run wild and free. The heart of the city and the heart of nature is left to thrive under their own forces, organically and without any real direction. The cities are blueprints of expansion by necessity. Buildings and shops stacked and pressed on top of each other, streets turned into a sea of humanity, frothing and crashing and churning like the tide, the soul of the urban sprawl unleashed and ingrained in every individual. At the other end of the spectrum you have the pristine indomitable expanse of nature.
Claiming far more mass and dominance than any steel framed concrete sprawl of mankind, nature is eternal and relentless. Her presence here is respected and revered, and rightfully so. The tallest mountains in the world, created before recorded time when the land mass that would become India made its headlong collision into the southern plates of Asia, is believed by many to be one of the holiest and powerful places on Earth. Buddhist monks who have lived in the Himalayas for thousands of years looked to those eternal ice capped peaks and saw the heart of the world - constant, but changing, hostile, but life giving, terrible, but beautiful at the same time. There they remain, with the ripples of their presence spread through every valley and ridge, every river and forest, untouched and following the path set out for it by the laws of the universe. Both dichotomies, both extremes, the heart of the city and the heart of nature is left exposed with unflinching honesty and a sense of rawness. This is why I love India. It’s a place that encompasses every facet fully, completely, without restraint and every day I can feel the spirit of this country seep deeper in my bones. One week and counting. I can’t wait to see what this place will show me next.
I've been a week in India and I already love this place. Let me correct that. India is a massive country, filled with a multitude of cultures, religions, customs and traditions. My time here has so far seen me scrape the surface of Kolkata, with all its flavors, spices and hints of the colonial age. I’ve strolled the steep cobbled streets of Darjeeling and savored the crisp mountain air that kisses the sleepy town perched amongst the foothills of the Himalayas. Now I’ve found myself following those icy giants that stand eternal and omniscient, into the lush untouched countryside of Sikkim and eventually the mystical and captivating peaks of Nepal. Even after all this, I’ve only touched 1% of this country. The sheer size and variety of life in India is spellbinding. In light of this, I’ve made the unconscious decision to focus on one region and really get lost learning