The Journey Begins..
I made it to India! A lifelong dream finally realized, thanks to India Someday and the amazing contest called #YouWanderWePay, which basically has my name on it! A social worker from New York City with a deep passion for all things local and an insatiable zest for experiencing life around our globe, I devoured my delicious Indian food aboard my Jet Airways flight and eagerly awaited the adventure of a lifetime.
After a smooth landing, I donned my well-traveled backpack, and exited the air-conditioned terminal to experience my first dose of the hot, astoundingly humid air, immediately feeling my curls become frizz. I connected with Harsh, one of the India Someday founders and his exceptionally warm and friendly wife Arpita. They pampered me with good water, my first late-night veggie roti, and a fun drive orienting me to the layout and design of Bombay. Driving alongside the sea, scores of people lined the walls overlooking the water. Streets were mostly empty but the size, sounds and shapes of the various vehicles (and animals on the street) quickly reminded me that I had almost magically entered this mind-stirring land.
First thoughts on Mumbai and Travellers Inn
Harsh dropped me off at my first accommodation, the Travellers Inn, a clean, basic, well-located hotel in the Fort neighborhood. Not yet having any perspective on accommodations in India, I was pleased with the smooth late-night check-in and the helpful staff. My air-conditioned room had a full-size bed, en-suite bathroom (with showerhead basically right above the toilet) and cable television, which provided the perfect background (who doesn’t love an Indian cooking show!) while I settled in and used their strong Wi-Fi network to connect with family and friends back home, both to confim my safe arrival and to share excitement for some epic travel.
My bed was adequately comfy (though anything horizontal probably would have done the trick at this point.) I enjoyed a solid night of sleep and loved the tasty breakfast of eggs, fruit, deliciously buttered toast and Indian tea, delivered to my room in the morning (included in the room price). Getting ready to venture out into the streets of Bombay (seems to be the name used by many folks here) I had hoped to run into some fellow backpackers. Aside from a couple of computers and a book-swap shelf, there didn’t seem to be much common area for socializing. The very sweet owner however, brought me to the roof to show me the great work in progress for a new community space and even sought my ideas for what would make it best.
Not having seen other accommodations in Mumbai/Bombay to compare it to, but knowing how important a safe, well-located, clean establishment is, I would definitely recommend Travellers Inn to my fellow budget travellers. Ambience might not yet be its strong point (does seem like it’s on its way,) but helpful staff, cable TV, strong AC and good Wi-Fi (that never failed) surely enhanced my first experiences of India.
Huge thanks to the India Someday team, to the “clean” food vendors whose flavors I loved (and I haven’t yet gotten sick from), to the cows and goats on the streets, to the beautiful people and amazing banyan trees, to Harsh’s family for their wonderful Indian hospitality and to the fun characters like my friend Aditi’s friend Joseph. What a fabulous welcome to India you have offered. Next up…train to Ahmedabad. Can’t wait for more! #YouWanderWePay