India Life & Reflections

Highlights of 2 Months in India!

Highlights of 2 Months in India

Hey everyone- it’s been a while! As a few of you might know, I decided to take a bit of a digital detox recently so things were a bit quiet on the blog front. I’m now back in cold Korea but I have soooo much that I’m dying to tell you about my 2 months in India. I decided to put together this little overview of some of the highlights of my trip before I get properly stuck in with all the nitty gritty. Here’s what I’ve been up to!

I Became a Yoga Teacher!

Highlights of 2 Months in India

Starting with the biggy first. Completing my yoga teacher training was actually my main reason for making a return trip to Mother India. I did my course at Suddha Anand Yogshala, a new ashram that’s recently opened at Varkala Beach in Kerala.

For anyone looking to do their YTT, I can’t recommend this place enough. The owners are extremely professional, highly experienced and some of the kindest, loveliest people I’ve ever met. I have so much to tell you about this experience that it deserves a post of its own…. watch this space!

I Went off the Beaten Path with Go Mowgli

Highlights of 2 Months in India

As part of this trip, I really wanted to explore the growing backpacker scene in India. Having travelled o India independently before, I always think it’s such a shame when I hear people saying that they’re too scared to travel to India. India is a huge country with a rich culture, kind people, amazing food and has so much to offer travellers. Luckily, there are more and more companies trying to make travel in India easier and more comfortable for apprehensive first-time travellers. I decided to try out some tours with Go Mowgli, India’s first hop on- hop off tour company, specifically for backpackers.

The most memorable and rewarding days of my trip were those that I spent being shown around by Go Mowgli. The guys not only showed me all the places that aren’t in the guidebooks, but they taught me everything I could ever know about them, too. I joined them for their Kochi city tour, Mysore city tour and their bespoke Hoysala Temple Trail tour.

I Sailed Down the Backwaters of Kerala….. Twice!

Highlights of 2 Months in India

The backwaters of Kerala are commonly regarded as one of the big “must-sees” in India. On this trip I was lucky enough to see them not once, but twice- first in the touristy, backwater hotspot of Alleppey, and later in the serene, quiet haven of Kollam with the YTT crew. If you’re heading to the South of India make sure you don’t miss this area!

I Got Wheels

Hampi Backpacker's Guide

Forever a pedestrian, I finally got some motorised wheels in India! Yeah, it was just for a day…. And, no, it wasn’t a motorbike… But, for a serial clutz sans driving licence (and also sans cycling proficiency badge…..) I was pretty proud of the fact that I successfully spent the day zooming about Hampi with no broken bones or bruises. I’m looking forward to hopefully being in the driving seat again on future travels!

I Got my Nose Pierced….

Highlights of 2 Months in India

…. in a shop selling fake handbags with a 10-year-old boy outside selling novelty lighters. But, once again, I survived to tell the tale! I decided to get the left side of my nose pierced as my own little souvenir from India. Most Indian women get the left side of their noses pierced as they believe that it helps reduce pain during childbirth. Don’t worry, I’ve got no plans of popping out any sprogs anytime soon- I just like playing cultural chameleon! And I’m possibly having a mid twenties crisis….

I Explored Ancient Ruins in Hampi

Hampi Backpacker's Guide

The first stop of my 2 months in India was Hampi, and it was the perfect start to my trip. This UNESCO world heritage site was like a flintstone-esque apocalypse zone and I loved everything about it. History buffs and Instagram addicts alike will never want to leave. If you happen to be in Goa, definitely make the 8-hour train journey to experience a whole new side of India.

I Experienced the Ganesha Festival… 4 Times!

Highlights of 2 Months in India

Ganesha, the Lord of Good Fortune and Remover of Obstacles, is such an important part of Hindu culture that he has a 10-day celebration dedicated to him. Since I was jumping between states, I managed to celebrate the Ganesha Festival in 2 different places. First in Hampi, and then in Goa.

One of the things that I loved about watching the Ganesha Festival was how fun and engaging it was, even for the young teenage worshippers. Rather than being stuck in old traditions of standing, kneeling and singing hymns, people of all ages took to the streets for a massive party with fireworks and huge sound systems. As a not-so-practising-catholic, I should suggest that a tuk-tuk and some techno would definitely get me back to mass!

I Saw Goa in the Monsoon

Highlights of 2 Months in India

Although the monsoon period might not be the best time for topping up your tan (one of my favourite hobbies), it is a great time to see Goa in all it’s green, green glory! Plus, you’ll avoid the heaps of other tourists and inflated prices that are the norm in high season.

I Never Ever Wanted to Leave Mysore… Ever

Highlights of 2 Months in India

When I finally did leave Mysore it was with a heavy heart and an even heavier backpack. Mysore is a mecca for shopping- save some rupees and some space in your bag for this stop on your trip. What was supposed to be 3 days in the city, turned into 6 days spent being getting my arse whipped into gear in private ashtanga yoga classes, seeing all the hidden spots in the city with Go Mowgli, and feasting on yummy vegan Indian food!

I Developed a Serious Addiction to Masala Dosas

Highlights of 2 Months in India

South Indian food is typically lighter and less spicy than North Indian food but equally addictive. My absolute favourite dish was the masala dosa- a fermented pancake filled with curried potatoes, served with sides of sambar (a slightly waterry curry) and chutney. Usually this is eaten for breakfast but I could happily eat it 3 times a day. Plus, all this yumminess rarely sets you back more than 50 rupees- that’s about 60p or 79 cents!

I Was Underwhelmed by Wayanad…

Highlights of 2 Months in India

You can’t love everywhere and I really didn’t love Wayanad. As a solo traveller on a backpacker’s budget, I found a lot of the highlights where either too expensive or too difficult to reach independently. This is a beautiful part of one of the most beautiful states in India but I just couldn’t click with it. If you do decide to visit this area, I would definitely recommend going as part of a tour or in a group to make the most of your time there.

…But Extremely Pleasantly Surprised by Kochi

Highlights of 2 Months in India

Much like Mysore, Kochi was another small city that I struggled to tear myself away from. Most of the things that I had read about Kochi online had said that it’s only worth a couple of days and that there isn’t much to see. I spent 5 days there and would spend 5 days there again if I had the chance! Kochi has a lot to offer travellers- you just need to know where to look. Luckily, I was being shown around by Go Mowgli who took me to all the hidden gems!

I Became a Local in Varkala

Highlights of 2 Months in India

The bulk of my trip was spent around Varkala Beach- I spent 4 weeks there on my yoga teacher training course and a week at either side just chilling out. Slow travel was a bit of a theme throughout my trip- I skipped a few destinations in order to spend longer in places I really clicked with. I loved the feeling of being a local here- having a favourite place for coffee, a favourite place for healthy juices and, of course, a favourite place for paneer butter masala!

I Made Friends from All over the World

Highlights of 2 Months in India

Who said solo travel is lonely? Apart from a few long distance bus and train journeys, I was pretty much never alone in India. I kept a tally of the nationalities of the friends I made on this trip and wasn’t suprised when I realised that I pretty much made friends from every corner of the globe. Yup, from Canada to Argentina to Scotland to Romania to Taiwan to New Zealand, and about 20 more countries in between. Thanks to everyone who helped make my trip amazing- I’m sure we’ll meet again!


I have so many tales from India to share with you all so stay tuned over the next couple of months! You can follow me on Facebook or sign up to my newsletter so you never miss a post!

Have you ever been to India? Leave me a comment and let me know the highlight of your trip!

Read Next: Backpacker’s Guide to Hampi

Read Next: Backpacker’s Guide to Palolem Beach, Goa

Read Next: How to Spend 2 Weeks in Rajasthan

Read Next: How to Travel India on a Budget

Highlights of 2 Months in India

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Big thanks to Go Mowgli for having me as a guest on their tours and showing me all the best bits of South India! As always, all opinions are my own.

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Kayley Chislett
    17th November 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Ah I’m so jealous! You look like you had the best time and its great to hear your Yoga ashram was enjoyable. I look forward to reading more about it when your post is up! I would also be able to eat Indian food happily for breakfast lunch and supper!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      28th November 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks Kayley, it was great. Curry for breakfast really is THE dream!

  • Reply
    Megan Indoe
    17th November 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Ahh! I’m excited for an update on your trip to India! I am envious of all the awesome adventures you got yourself in! I really want to visit Kerala, and actually everywhere you went! I always wanted to do the yoga certification too, even though I have been terrible at actually getting myself to do yoga lately! Also, you’re so brave to get your nose pierced there!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      28th November 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks Megan! The yoga teacher training was amazing. I had also been bad at practising in Korea- bed is always much more appeaing than mat haha and I could never find a decent studio in my area. I hope you guys get the chance to go one day!

  • Reply
    Rocio Cadena
    18th November 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Nicole, your trips sounds amazing!! I am someone that is super interested about traveling India but I must admit I’ve felt scared from stories I’ve heard. It’s refreshing to hear your take on it and your experience getting certified as a yoga teacher. Right now I am in Korea teaching English but am toying with the idea of doing this after my contract is finished. What brings you back to Korea? Is this your home base?

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      28th November 2016 at 4:28 pm

      Hey Rocio! Thanks, it was a fantastic experience. It was actually my 2nd time in India. There are so many horror stories about it, which is a shame because it’s a really amazing place! Definitely give a chance. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me! I’m just back in Korea temporarily while my BF finishes his teaching contract 🙂

  • Reply
    Alla Ponomareva
    20th November 2016 at 1:26 pm

    What an epic journey and solo at that! You’re brave, or maybe I’m just not brave enough haha. India, the food, the Yoga certification, the beaches, the culture and various festivals ALWAYS sound so inviting to this enthused traveler, I just haven’t been able to convince my hubby to come along. You’re definitely braver than me for getting on a motorcycle in a foreign country, yikes! Glad you had a great time!!!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      28th November 2016 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks Alla, India has so much to offer! I hope you manage to convince your hubby to go with you!

  • Reply
    Nicky Kim
    20th November 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Wow! First and foremost, I need to say I LOVE your blog. Everything about it is adorable 🙂
    Second of all, I am so utterly amazed how much you were able to do in 2 months. It sounds like a tropical dream frenzy! I would never have the guts to go all out and get my nosed pierced, but I envy your bravery!
    India has such a lot to offer, and it seems like you went in deeper than just a tourist! Good luck to your future adventures!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      28th November 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks Nicky- a tropical dream frenzy is the perfect way to describe it!

  • Reply
    Kate Carter Hickey
    21st November 2016 at 9:26 am

    I have so many quesrions for you since I’m dying to go to India! Many of them are related to cost. Did you take a 2 month break and then start up teaching in Korea again? Let’s catch up soon! I was wondering where you went LOL

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      28th November 2016 at 4:24 pm

      India is really budget-friendly- it’s super easy to travel and spend less than 1,000 rupees which is about $15! Yeah, I took a 2 month break but I’m not teaching here. Just back working on freelance projects until my BF’s contract is up in March!

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