Rishikesh, India

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

In the months before I got to Rishikesh, I would daydream of what the city was like. I don’t remember exactly what I imagined, but I do know, reality exceeded my expectations.

Rishikesh, also known as “The Yoga Capital of the World,” is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India. The sacred River Ganga flows through the center, separating Rishikesh in two. But, the entire city preaches oneness since yoga literally translates to the word “union.” Rishikesh is filled with yoga schools, ashrams, spiritual centers and visitors from all over the globe paying pilgrimage to the holy city. “OM,” the sound of the Universe and the most well-known Sanskrit chant echoes throughout, literally and figuratively.

Here, life is simple. Everyone lives, eats and breaths yoga. I mean it. Asana is practiced throughout the day, aryuvedic food is served at every meal, and inhales and exhales are very much a part of everyone’s awareness.

So far, I love Rishikesh. Even though, I’ve only been here a week, I’ve already learned a lot about my self and my body, established beautiful friendships, climbed a mountain to visit a meditation cave and celebrated Holi like a local. Below are a few pictures that have captured a glimpse of these amazing events.


London Times: Sights and stories

I booked my three day layover in London on a whim. I had no idea what I was going to do or who I was going to explore the city with (at the time I figured it would just be me, myself and I). I just figured the short stop would be a good way to break up the 14 hour flight to Delhi.

Shortly after purchasing my ticket, plans started to emerge. My sister, Britt, agreed to come along. Then, I booked us a hotel in Covent Garden and we notified our Swiss friends, Marissa and her adorable son James, about our journey across the pond. Marissa and James ended up making the trek to see us along with the fashionable Hannah, a Londoner, who had been on holiday in Switzerland at the time. Hannah, lucky for us, became our unofficial guide around the city.

Below are some of the more notable sights and stories from my time in London!

1. Big Ben

Britt and I arrived in London on Thursday morning. We dropped our bags, grabbed coffee for fuel, and headed to the meeting point of our SANDEMANs walking tour. I absolutely love this company! They offer “free” walking tours in 18 cities across Europe. The reason that there is no overhead cost is because the tours operate on a tip only basis, which also means the tour guides are always friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Our SANDEMANs tour guide brought us around Central London, stopping at Covent Garden, Trafalgar Sqaure, St. James’s Palace, Buckingham Palace and ending with the iconic Big Ben. Usually, I prefer to stay away from big touristy areas while traveling, but I find Big Ben to be so alluring!

(For more information on the SANDEMANs tours click here.)

2.  Neal’s Yard

Neal’s Yard! Colorful, vibrant, Neal’s Yard! When I first saw Pinterest posts of the small hidden courtyard within Covent Garden, I know I had to go. Neal’s Yard is quaint, picturesque and home to a few artsy and organic shops. I took about a million photos here and treated myself to a big green smoothie.

3. Dishoom

On Friday, Britt and I met up with Marissa, Hannah and James for lunch at Dishoom, a trendy Indian restaurant serving up the most delicious curries. To be honest, (and this may sound silly considering I am going to be living there for a month) I have never eaten Indian food before. Therefore, I couldn’t quite figure out the menu, so Hannah took the liberty of ordering a diverse collection of small plates to share. Everything was so flavorful and the naan was to die for!

4. Borough Market

After 17 months, I broke my vegetarianism. But here’s the thing. I didn’t just taste meat. I ate it. A lot of it. Chicken. Duck. Lamb. Bacon. Ham. Yeah, I broke it and I broke it GOOD. But, whatever. It made my experience at Borough Market a very satisfying one. Hannah directed us around the market, where we stopped and sampled anything and everything we could. I had bites of duck confit, paella, brie, fresh fruit, and the list goes on. Once we got a taste of what each vendor was selling, we agreed the duck confit we tried at the very beginning was the best. So, we went back and each ordered our own sandwich. And since that didn’t seem to be enough, we finished off our lunch with some very sinful, cream-filled donuts by Bread Ahead Bakery.

5. Tate Museum 

The Tate Museum offers free modern and contemporary art exhibits, but what drew  us there was the 10th story terrace with an incredible view of London. We didn’t stay long, but I thought it was a great way to see the city from above without having to spend a lot of money on something like the London Eye. 

6. Seven Dials Hotel

Seven Dials is a small monument erected in the center of a seven way intersection. Down the street is the Seven Dials Hotel, where we took residence during our stay in London. If any of you are planning a visit to London soon and want a cheap place to stay, I highly recommend this hotel! It was clean, simple, and centrally located— everything a budget hotel should be.