The India Experience

Today is my last day at Kudle Beach, Gokarna.

I'm heading back to Goa tomorrow, back to Vagator. It'll be strange, a lot happened in Goa and to go back and face the memories presents yet another challenge. Luckily I'm brave and a hell of a lot stronger than I imagined I could be so I don't think it will present too many difficulties. If it does, well that's just India.

On my way to Kudle beach 10 days ago I met a retired man called Paul who was from the same county as me in England. He was traveling alone and was heading to Goa to beach hop for a few weeks. We talked a lot about India and he said something that rang so perfectly true to me. India isn't supposed to be all great, all good, all wonderful and nor is it supposed to be completely the opposite. India isn't a holiday, it's an experience. You have to take the rough with the smooth and the bitter with the sweet. People and culture are so completely different and in spite of it's attempts in some places to become more Westernised, the mythos of the culture runs so deep that you only have to scratch the surface to realise that India is no where near as adapted to Western culture as it would like to be. The funny thing is that many people from India don't realise the beauty of what they have here; the simple life, the family life, the religious life. Of course Western culture is attractive to India, with all it's apparent riches but this is only money. It's the simple beauty of India that us Westerners come to seek. The grass is always greener.

Paul, incidentally, got very excited about what I was saying about Kudle Beach and how gorgeous Gokarna is and ditched his idea to go to Goa and came with me instead. His spur of the moment change was inspirational. Just the day before I'd been wanting to do the same thing but couldn't find the balls (could have been something to do with being a female - not just the ball thing, but the would I be safe? thing).

With Paul's words and actions I'm heading back to Goa strong and inspired. His words also offered me comfort, because no matter whether I feel happy, sad, content or completely pissed off it's all part of India and it's something that I will embrace and not be made to feel bad about. India is one hell of a learning experience and I won't beat myself up for feeling bad sometimes, nor will I let anyone else do the beating!

So, farewell Kudle and all of the wonderful people I have met here. You've been amazing!

A Little Bit Better

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments following my last blog. I felt low but strangely, as soon as it had been posted, a huge weight already felt lifted from me. It's good to rant on the odd occasion and it's good to share the pain. It makes things clearer I suppose and I certainly have clarity on it all now. I'm strong and happy once again.

Since the last blog I have found myself (once again) at Kudle Beach, near Gokarna village. I'm hooked on this place; The beach is a beautiful, crescent moon shape and is cut off by two large hills either side which are covered in greenery and offer peace from the outside world. It has a slow pace of life, giving me plenty of time to read books, brush up on my philosophy and figure out what I want to do with my life.

As far as what I want to do with my life goes, a seed has been planted and I'm excited to see it blossom when I come home. For now I'm enjoying new and old friends, my hammock, lots of books, the sun and the food. I have exactly 3 weeks until I leave this country and trust me, I am making the most of it.

P.S. Look at the little bag I was given! It was left behind at my guest house and someone gave it to me, as I'm the only vegan around. It's my first piece of vegan merchandise after almost 2 years of being one!


Hello Darkness...

I think there is something deeply flawed in my personality, something that people just don't like.

Now I know that you can't get on with everyone all the time but I'm really beginning to feel like I have a serious problem. At my job in England some people disliked me so intensely that they made my working life miserable. As soon as I arrived in India I started pissing people off left right and centre because of my values, I lost friends and one particular person I had only ever had one conversation with started acting like I didn't exist. Now, on my travels around South India, it turns out the whole group of people I was with, apart from one, didn't really like me.

I tried so hard to be upbeat, positive, proactive and fun but I could always feel other people's silent, negative opinions of me shaving layers off my personality until all I could think of and talk of was going back home to be with the people I know love me. I felt non-existent, voiceless and now I'm alone I just feel hopeless. All I really want is to connect with people but the more this keeps happening the less confidence I have.

This whole experience in India was supposed to make me but right now I feel like it's breaking me.