Posted on 29 March 2012.
Hey and welcome to TraveLinkSites.com, the site that aims to profile the net’s top travel bloggers and writers and learn more from them about the industry, their top destinations and recommended travel resources.
I’m Kiri Bowers and I joined forces with Will Peach as Co-Editor of this exciting new resource amongst the travel world – Travelinksites. As a travel blogger myself, I know just how important it is to gain exposure and promote your work. I’m eager to learn more from all you travel nuts out there so I know you all must be too.
So here goes! Read on for my interview on India.
And remember if you’d like to be next up and see your interview on the site, get in contact with the TraveLinkSite team here.
1. Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and your experience travelling in India?
Hello and Namaste! I’m Kiri Bowers, Co-Editor of TraveLinkSites.com and a travel blogger currently shacking up in New Zealand. My second Round the World adventure started in India where I spent three months exploring my wonderfully nutty Indian mother’s roots.
Having been to the country twice before on short family holidays, this was my chance to see some of the landmarks that I had long dreamed about. This trip was a bold way to start my travelling adventure which is still rolling on nicely over a year later. There were ups and downs but I’ll be going back for sure.
Hanging out at the Taj
2. How much money can someone travel around India for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap?
Budget travellers this is the place for you! India is exceptionally affordable and that’s why it will always feature high on those pocket friendly itineraries. My photographer boyfriend and I managed to spend under £2000 in three months between us.
When it came to accommodation the really cheap places were often a bit too grotty so what’s great was that for a tiny fraction more, we were able to stay in a more medium range hotel that would usually be budget anywhere else in the world.
The greatest expense would have to be in the main cities of Mumbai and Delhi. Hotels and restaurants were more expensive than anywhere else but that’s the law of the capital city land isn’t it?
As for the cheap stuff, it’s my favourite: the food! You can eat like a Maharani for practically nothing.
Loving the traditional Henna
3. What are your favourite destinations in India and why?
I’ll share a little secret with you…Bundi. This beautiful blue wash town isn’t a staple on the backpacking route but it turned out to be one of my favourite spots. It has the most striking deserted palace towering over the town and it’s enchanting. I also got thoroughly sloshed on sugar cane whisky here which made it pretty memorable!
I spent the most time in Palolem, Goa’s hippy beach. I’m a sun worshipper through and through and the vibe here is so cool I just didn’t want to leave.
4. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while travelling in India and why?
Khajuraho’s Erotic Temples rocked my world. I have never felt so horny in a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Outstandingly beautiful, these temples have sculpture like nothing you will see anywhere else in the world. It’s a historical lesson in the Karmasutra – what could be better than that?!
Khajuraho's Erotic Temples - HOT!
If you can, time your trip with the Festival of Holi in March. The country comes alive with colours being thrown through the air. It’s one big colour explosion with music, dancing through the streets, huge waterfights and heart warming hospitality. We were practically dragged into people’s houses to share in nibbles and drinks and hours colourful laughter.
A day for the memory bank
5. What is your favourite thing about travelling this country? What is your least favourite thing?
My favourite thing would have to be its diversity. In three months I barely scratched the surface. One week I was sleeping under the stars in the Jaisalmer desert, the next week I was exploring ancient caves in Mumbai and the next dolphin spotting in Goa. There is just so much to see and do.
Chilling on the Jaisalmer sand dunes after breaking my arse riding a camel all day
My least favourite thing would have to be the unwarranted attention. You realise how awful it must be to be a celebrity as you just can’t go anywhere without being stared at. Over time, I grew a thicker skin to it but I have to say it does get annoying when you’re trying to sleep on a train and you have a hundred pairs of eyes on you.
6. What things do you focus on most when you blog about this country? Why do you choose these things?
I tend to talk about food a lot! Discovering cuisine around the world is one of the reasons I travel in the first place. Food has always been a big part of my family and India to me was a journey to understand my roots better.
Are you salivating or is it just me?
I love blogs that are personal and I chose to talk a lot about my family influences while I travelled India as I think these stories that are true and close to your heart are things people want to read.
7. What’s one thing you can’t travel around India or Asia without?
A book. I need something to read like I need to breathe. India is a vast place and unless you are flying, there are endless long bus and train journeys to be had. I go through countless books while on the road and it’s another reason why travel makes me happy.
In saying that though, I probably couldn’t live without my motion sickness tablets either. I get horribly car sick when I read so I always have to pop a little non-puke pill before any journey or there will be spew all over the seat in front of me, or more likely all over myself.
Beach, Book, Bliss
8. If you could live anywhere else in the country where would it be and why?
The list is endless. I met so many travellers who raved about the far North, the mystical Rishikesh, the Eastern Meghalaya and Kerala in the South. I’d love to experience the hippy yoga retreats of the North and the vibrant spicy cuisine of the South.
9. If you could think of one thing you wished someone told you before you started travelling in India what would it be?
I honestly had no idea how completely awful the city of Agra would be. Home to the Taj Mahal – one of the most desirable wonders of the world – this city is fetid in every sense of the word. It took me by surprise. The Taj itself is a perfect haven amongst the rubbish filled, dirty, smelly city and I just wish the Indian government would do something about it. It’s their pride and joy after all.
The only tranquil spot in Agra. Admiring the Taj from afar...
All photos copyright © Roscoe Duncan 2012. All rights reserved.