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How best to spend 6 months in India

Travel Forums Asia How best to spend 6 months in India

1. Posted by BasiaAlm (Full Member 61 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I no longer work for a living, have a stable income and love travel. I plan to spend six months in India (since I get a visa for 6 months, I understand), preferably October-March, alternatively January-June, depending on some family obligations. I plan to work for about three of these months - as an expert-volunteer (my expertise is in international non-profit management and development) for three different charities in three different parts of India and travel-sightsee for the remaining three. I am thinking of starting in Goa for a few weeks, acclimatising in a nice beach hotel, then go work for a month, living - preferably - with an Indian family,so that I can learn sort-of-authenhic everyday life of Indian families, then travel for a month, maybe in the triangel (Delhi-Jaipur-Agra etc), take the famous palace on wheels luxury train for a week, etc.etc. I have committed to working in Madras for a month, thinking of committing to working in either Goa or Kerala for another, so this is likely to make me concentrate on southern India for most of the trip. Any tips? I want to have a combination of cultural and nature experience. I can't travel on too much of a budget, since I am an insulin-dependent diabetic: need to have insulin with me all the time, and that means refrigerated and need to be careful not to be exposed to any unsanitary conditions (food, water, diseases) due to a relatively weak immune system. On the other hand I would like to keep my expenses to under $1500 a month, if possible. Will it be possible to make (monthly, weekly or so) ATM withdrawals from my accounts in either USA or Europe or should I try to establish a bank account in India and ask my US bank to transfer funds regularly? I was informed that during the months I'll work, my expenses for food and accomodations would be around $300 a month, but that sounds a bit too optimistic for me, considering my hygiene and clean food/water requirements. Also, my insuline is likely to spoil frequently in the hot climate, so I'll need to replace it. I hope it is available in India? (I use Lantus)
I remember, though, that I spent less than $500 a month on food, accomodation and basic services in the rain forest of Costa Rica, where I spent 6 months in 2002, and that included a comfortable cabin, food, and household help (cook, cleaning lady, etc) and the standard of living - measured in per capita income - of the local population there is higher than in India, so it may be possible to live on close to nothing, when you don't travel and don't stay in hotels. So I could splurge more during the months I plan to travel. I would welcome any suggestions from our India experts. Thanks.

2. Posted by rangers (Budding Member 15 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

if u happen to spend some time in eastern coast town of Puri and konark,drop me a line,

3. Posted by nirvanaind (Inactive 3 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Well if you are passing through Bombay and want to check out some paragliding you can

Peace, Bliss n Happy Landings

Sanjay & Astrid

[ Edit: sorry, no promotions or emails please. ]

4. Posted by nutsinger (Inactive 12 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I had a hell of a lot of fun in Goa in 1977. God knows what it's like now.

5. Posted by BasiaAlm (Full Member 61 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Goa now is a mecca of charter tourism, families with babies, not a hippie haven it once was. One of the Scandinavian journalists asked some of these tourists if they have seen any India. The answer that made me laugh the most was from a guy who said he could not avoid seeing India, because the cows are too close to the hotels!
Does it give you a picture of Goa now?

6. Posted by hoggard (Budding Member 4 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I'm at present in kerala but soon will be leaving back to texas.But if you are looking for a long homestay with a native family you can contact me so that I will be able to introduce you to the family I'm staying with.To get a idea of the home here you can see their site

7. Posted by krf68 (Full Member 14 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Gokarna was by far my favorite place. It's just south of Goa.

8. Posted by ddalet (Full Member 21 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Here here... Palolem is a pretty place in Gokarna... when I was there, there was phospherence (can't spell it!) in the water, which made that bedtime dip totally magical!

You MUST go to Varanasi... pretty much all of India (that I've seen anyway) will blow your mind.

There is a huge commentary in another thread which is now near the top of the main forum - it's called something like India the Motherland (sorry, I'm not sure how to post a link to a thread)