India, of all the places in the world to see, to be completely honest, was never really high on my list. If there was a destination in India that sparked my curiousity, it would be the Taj Mahal in Agra, but Jaipur? Well, I had never even heard about it! But with me, it seems to always happen this way that when an opportunity arises to go somewhere new and it “sounds” like it could be a great time… well, I’m pretty down!
My original plan was to head to Cape Town, South Africa, but when I heard about Day Zero, which was the major drought that was happening over there, I was saddened by that news, so I really contemplated on going. Out of nowhere, my good friend Drew, who is also one of my favorite traveling partners told me about another option of celebrating Holi in Jaipur, India. Holi, you might ask?? It’s a big festival that happens every year to celebrate the end of Winter. It signifies the victory of good over evil to rid yourself of all negative energy to live in love, happiness, and positivity. Drew also informed me that we would be guests of the Royal Family, and that there were already themed events planned for us while we were there. First off, that already sounds like a wonderful celebration, but to get to hang out with the King?? Sure, let’s do this!
So I cancelled my flight to Cape Town which I had to pay a penalty of $360 and then rebook my flight to Southeast Asia. I decided to turn my Jaipur, India trip into a whole vacation so I decided that I would go to Bangkok, Thailand, to visit Drew first, we would then go to Jaipur together along with some of his other friends. Next, I would go on a solo adventure to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to check out the scene for a few days. Then go back to Thailand and visit Chon Buri for a day. Before I return home, I have an 18hour layover in Qatar, so I will get to check that out as well. Thank goodness for rewards points from my preferred Chase sapphire credit card, I only had to pay $47.46 for my roundtrip flight from LAX to Bangkok. So in total, I paid $590.21 (that’s with my penalty included) for ALL of the flights for my 17 days, 4 different countries excursion. Not too bad at all! Actually that might be the best deal ever, if you ask me! (Make sure you get a credit card that gives you points, People!! If you ever need help with that, let me know, because it’s TOTALLY worth it!) As you can see, I’m smart with my money so for those of you always wondering how I’m able to travel so much, well THAT’S how! 🙂
The night before our trip to India, Drew and I stayed up watching some YouTube videos on Jaipur. We wanted to know what to expect and check out some of the highlights. Drew, who I would consider to be a pretty “fancy” fella seemed slightly worried when he saw the videos because there were scenes of it being very dirty, crowded, and smelly. But for me, I was actually quite intrigued.
Ever since I started traveling, I realized what I loved most about it was being culturally shocked. Being able to experience and see things I’ve never seen before… well that’s my ish! When we were done watching the videos and we got all packed up, we left to the airport and were on our way to Jaipur, India!
The flight from Bangkok to Jaipur was a nonstop 4hours and 40minutes flight with ThaiSmile Airlines. Nice and easy, affordable($131.75) and clean. I would fly with them again. When we landed, we had to go through passport patrol. Just to warn you, this was the longest and slowest line ever!! It was really late by the time we got through with everything but we took a taxi to our first hotel which was Lebua Lodge. It was super cute and it was like we were glamping (glamorous camping) in a sense. The design was a futuristic tent in a canvas cube with a view of rocky hills in the background, I loved it… SOOO me! After we settled in, I still had to do some work so I didn’t get to sleep until right before sunrise. (Traveling gets my sleeping schedule ALL out of whack!)
I had a comfortable nights rest. After we got up and went to breakfast, we decided to borrow the bikes they provided to take a stroll around the hotel.
The path wasn’t too open so there wasn’t TOO much to see but it was nice just to ride around and digest our food. Then I wanted to do some yoga next to the pool area.
There was a perfect spot and I got a little flow in so I was very happy about that! After that, we packed up our things and decided to check out our first destination in Jaipur.. Amer Fort!
Stay tuned for next week, as the incredible adventures REALLY begin!!