My first nights in India: Staying at the Travellers Inn
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.
Colaba vegetable market (Photo Credit – Tjeerd Wiersma)
The Journey Begins
After a smooth landing, I donned my well-travelled backpack and exited the air-conditioned terminal. Experienced 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. I found the streets 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.
Marine Drive, Mumbai’s iconic curved coastal boulevard (Photo Credit – Stephaniemonot)
Harsh dropped me off at my first accommodation, the Travellers Inn – a clean, basic, well-located hotel in the Fort neighbourhood. Not having any perspective on accommodations, 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. This provided the perfect background (who doesn’t love an Indian cooking show!). while I settled in and used their speedy Wi-Fi network to connect with family and friends back home. I confirmed my safe arrival and shared my excitement for some epic travel.
My bed was adequately comfy. I enjoyed a solid night of sleep and loved the breakfast of eggs, fruit, deliciously buttered toast and Indian tea. It was delivered to my room in the morning (included in the room price). Getting ready to venture out into the streets of Bombay/Mumbai, I had hoped to run into some fellow backpackers. Besides 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. He even sought my ideas for what would make it best.
Keeping aside other accommodations in Mumbai to compare to, Travellers Inn is safe, well-located, clean and perfect for my fellow budget travellers. The ambience might not yet be its strong point but it does seem like it’s on its way. The helpful staff, cable TV, strong AC and good Wi-Fi surely enhanced my first experiences of India.
Comfy room at Travellers Inn, Mumbai
Huge thanks to the India Someday team! The “clean” food vendors whose flavors I loved (and I haven’t yet gotten sick from), to the cows and goats on the streets! The beautiful people and amazing banyan trees, 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!
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