Behind the Scenes of a RTW Trip – Month 7 Travel Review

Posted By Jeremy in Asia


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Living the Dream at the Taj MahalWith the end of Month 7, we are also approaching our end of our time in India.  Originally we were a bit terrified at the prospect of India, especially the northern cities, but circumstances outside of our control had us traveling to the south far sooner than we anticipated.   As a result, we ended up exploring some of the most beautiful places the country has to offer and having a fantastic time.  With just a few days left, we find ourselves wondering something very unexpected: should we have stayed longer?

As with our last report, each month we feature a travel review of the highlights, lowlights, and spending we had during the course of our adventure.  These are provided as a snapshot of what our RTW trip is like for your reference, although we know that every trip is different.   

Spending

Gorgeous Beaches in Gokarna

During our seventh month of travel we spent just a few days in Chitwan National Park, Nepal and spent the rest of our time in the massive country of India (Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Goa, Gokarna, Udupi, Munnar, and Alleppey) which is still ongoing for a few more days.

Our total out-of-pocket spending for the month was about $2,660.  This is about $200 more than expected ($2,470), primarily because we had purchased a flight in India where we were originally planning on taking trains (and taking a second this upcoming week, unfortunately increasing our costs even further).

This spending includes the following breakdown on a per day average for the two of us combined (in USD).  The following figures for India are based on our current spending which will change during our final week in the country.

Accommodation Food Transportation Sight Seeing Souvenirs Misc. Purchases
India $29.35 $18.44 $29.04 $10.78 $0.79 $3.56

As always, our full spending log is available from our menu under “Plan Your Trip.”   When our stay in India is completed, our updated averages will be available under the India tab on this page.

RTW Tally Snapshot

Kingfisher Birds in Alleppey

Overall this month was a bit boring for the RTW tally.  We saw only 5 minutes of rain (more of a mist really), could barely drink any wine, and only went to one new country.  The only notable change was our sick days, because we both had a bad case of Delhi Belly because, well, it is India.

Days Traveling: 215 (+31)
Countries Visited: 22 (+2)
Dollars Spent (USD):  $45,802 ($8,739 due to this month only*)
Pictures Taken (Jeremy):  14,987  (+2,198)
Miles Traveled: 19,818  (+2,587)
Planes: 14; Trains: 43
Vehicles: 37; Ferries: 2
Days of Rain: 2.5  (+0)
Sick Days: 9.5  (+4.5)   India…
Itinerary Changes: 2  (+1)
Arguments: 4 (+0)
Days Apart: 3  (+0)
Nights in a Dorm Bed: 19  (+0)
Combined Books Read: 27  (+4)
Bottles of Wine: 32  (+1)

*We should note that most of our spending for the month was pre-purchases for our Mystery Destination (full reveal coming soon).  So while our RTW Tally increased considerably, only $2,660 was due to spending while in India.

Random Thoughts

Endless Tea Plantations in Munnar

As with the last RTW trip covered on this site, these monthly updates are a great place to put in the little random details that we found interesting in the countries we visited that may not find their way into a full blog post.  The following are some of our favorites from the countries we visited in Month 7:

  • Everyone in India is incredibly nice.  We’ve been overwhelmed with how friendly everyone is, especially the children who wave hello and goodbye every chance they can get.
  • Unfortunately, being foreigners, we are often overwhelmed with people asking to take our photo.  It is not just one photo either, but one per person, with each camera, and with a group.  Then shaking hands, introductions, and so on over and over again.  It got old real fast and we had to start saying no, especially when it is a group of guys on the beach when we’re only in our swimwear.  Awkward.
  • We can easily see why people get frustrated with northern India and leave before giving the country a second, third, or fourth chance.  It is an incredible part of the country that can only be described as sensory overload.
  • Southern India, on the other hand, was completely different and like a whole new world compared to the north.  We highly recommend anyone who has issues in the north book a ticket to the south immediately.  It is worth it.
  • We celebrated Christmas and New Years on the beach in Goa because our plans in northern India got messed up due to scammy travel agents and our inability to get a ticket on the routes we wanted.
  • The food in India is quite delicious, and varies based on where you’re at.  The most popular dishes taste exactly as they do at home (most of the time), making Indian food the second most authentic cuisine we can get at home (behind Thai).  The only one that is different? Lassis, and they are way better here.
  • The part about eating in India that makes us go crazy is that most restaurants only serve certain foods for a few hours each day.  That Thali set? Only for lunch.  A dinner meal?  Good luck getting it before 6-7 pm.   Not all restaurants are like this, but we found ourselves eating at some places with a few very crazy meal schedules (including one that would sell sandwiches in the morning, but would not grill them for another hour – even though they were making dosas and other fried items right there).
  • Unfortunately, over a month without beef is driving me (Jeremy) a bit insane.  But Angie is hitting it hard every day and loving it all.
  • Even with that, we could probably explore India for another 2-3 months while still only seeing a fraction of all the sights. Unfortunately we do not have that kind of time and will have to come back.  Hooray for 10 year visas!

India Posts

Since each month is limited on the number of days, we cannot write our posts fast enough to fit them all in!  But don’t worry, we’ve got ideas for a lot of great posts for after this trip ends (if it ever does).  The following are a selection of some we’ve published!

Afraid of Traveling to India? Go to Sri Lanka First!
Paneer Butter Masala Recipe – Straight from India
India Beaches – 3 of the Country’s Best
Varanasi – A Different First Impression of India
Nepal to India – How to Travel from Chitwan to Varanasi
Kerala Backwaters – Don’t Miss the Kayak Tours
Munnar Places to Visit – The World’s Highest Tea Plantation
Itimad ud Daulah Tomb – Agra’s Baby Taj

So where will Month 8 take us?  While we would normally go into details here about what our travel plans are, we’re going to hold off for one more week.  Our Mystery Destination starts in just a few days, and we have a separate post dedicated to the topic to kick things off!  Just a few more days in India, and then we’ll be off to a new continent!Is there something you’d like us to cover in our monthly reviews? Or perhaps something you’d like to see more or less of in our posts? Comment below to let us know and we’d be happy to feature it!

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