The last six days have been truly truly amazing.
For a while there, consumed by the anticipation of home, I lacked the energy of travel. The enthusiasm. The love. But by some divine guidance, somehow, it came back again - in the form of two AWESOME Spanish people I hung with. We met on the train on the way to the holy town of Puskhar - perhaps my favourite place in India so far. A small quaint little place with awesome views and a sacred Brahamin Lake in its centre. Manuel, Maria and I kicked off very quickly - by the first hour, we were in discussions about life, philosophy, movies...the usual list of things you talk about with travellers. But Manuel and Maria were different- they were on my level. As a result, I have was consumed by a sense of clarity, inspiration for everything. I was back. We didn't do all that much in Puskhar - wandered around, hired motorbikes and explored the Rajashatan desert, and sat by our hotel pool, laughing with the owners and engaging in deep conversation. After Puskhar, the three of us headed off to Bikaner - home of the infamous Rat Temple, argued by some as the 8th Wonder of the World. This temple, located in the middle-of-fucking-nowhere, was filled with Rats, packed with rats - on the floor, on the walls, in the walls, on our feet. And the dreaded thing was we had to enter barefoot; consequently I spend about one hour cleaning my feet afterwards. Somehow I thought the temple was going to be filled with healthy rats; but, no, in true Indian style, the rats were all disease-ridden, disgusting things. It seemed like a good idea at the time to go into a place as disease-permeated as war is to Iraq; but in retrospect, perhaps it wasn't the best idea. If I get home and I start getting sick, well....blame the rats.
Manuel and Maria just left me about 30 minutes ago - they are heading back to Delhi, from which they will be returning to Barcelona. I am headed off to Jaimsamler, which one Israeli told me "a place where you feel like you are in the Middle East, rather than India." God, I am going to miss Manuel and Maria. I gave them my Australia flag - a sort of gesture that we have to meet again. (Sorry June, they were so awesome - I just had to do it.) I don't know if it was them, or something else, but I feel alive now. I had this strange goal in my head that wanted to discover myself on the road, explore the great indoors so to speak. The goal has been achieved. Sometimes divine inspiration happens in the most strangest of places.
In other news, I have 11 days left of my adventures. I am nervous as hell to go home - how the hell I am going to adjust to normal Australian society is beyond me. What is life like without a backpack? I will have to take it step-by-step and just see how the ball rolls.
And while I am rambling, I would just like to say. SOLO TRAVEL IS THE BEST THING EVER. DO IT. GET YOUR BACKPACK AND GO TO A RANDOM COUNTRY WITHOUT ANY AGENDA. GO TO A RANDOM TOWN AND MEET SOME LOCALS AND GET YOURSELF IN PAINFUL SITUATIONS. DO IT, DO IT, DO IT. The art of simplification - having nothing but your backpack, a book and a diary makes you grateful for what you have got; but also the realisation that you don't need anything to be happy. The strange irony of solo travel is even though you goat that you are "solo travelling", you never really are on your own - you meet a local, you hang with some travellers, you have a conversation with a hotel owner. It is so easy- much easier than I expected - I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to do it In the last six months, I have only really been alone for more than four days. Its so so so so so good, I will miss this life so much. I wish I could do it again. No, I will do it again. And if I sound like a lunatic, well, I don't really care to be honest - I don't give a shit.
Anyway, home in Bris 17th October. If I am acting weird, it is probably because I am suffering from some form of Post- Reverse-Culture-Shock. That, or it is the rats.....
Looking forward to seeing all of you and catching up on what you have been doing this last year.