Namaste: Welcome to the Hippie Trail!
Kody Block is the Content Creator for the 2023 Hippie Trail and has been posting some fantastic videos and photos on our Instagram account. Here is his first blog as the group makes its way across Rajasthan.
Travel with us as we cycle from across India on the Hippie Trail!
Some are experienced global cyclists, some wouldn’t consider themselves to be traditional “cyclists” at all, but one thing they all have in common is a desire to face the unknown. To completely immerse themselves in the vast, unique, and historic culture of India that strangely differs from anything they’ve experienced before.
This has been the common denominator circling our 17 riders, who come from Australia, Canada, Denmark, and the United States. Though the riders come from different countries, they share cultural similarities that differ largely from the environment they’ve decided to immerse themselves in. Cultures where our idea of what it looks like to live a “normal” life has been greatly tested since Day 1.
India presents an element of organized chaos that naturally compliments the curiosity of a local population eager to be seen and heard. Around every corner there is a new surprise to stimulate each of your senses. In major cities you’ll find cars, motorcycles and mopeds constantly intersecting with wild dogs, cows and pedestrians. To the foreign eye, and especially to a foreign cyclist, this chaos may seem overwhelming, and somewhat impossible to navigate. One may wonder “how do people not crash into each other?!” One of our cyclists Neesha describes her experience navigating the traffic in India:
“It’s kind of laughable that they paint white lines on the roads, but somehow, it all works. Drivers are almost better here because they’re driving with hyper-awareness. Compared to back home, our dependence on the rules and order creates expectations, and from that, entitlement on the road, which creates a different way of coexisting with cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. I honestly would love to take the style of driving here back home with me”.
Traveling outside the organized chaos of bustling cities like Agra and Jaipur, we’ve also ventured some 300 km through the remote farmlands of India, interacting with a local population who welcomes foreigners to their country with a warm smile. In nearly every town we pass through, it’s quite common to be asked (in broken English) “which country are you from”, “can we take a picture”, or simply “would you like a chai tea?”. The people here truly are curious, and not afraid to show it!
TDA offers a variety of cycling expeditions, but there are none quite like the Hippie Trail. Unique, adventurous, and beautiful, there has not been a dull moment in this journey so far. Vastly unique, cycling India offers a first-hand experience into this vibrant, exotic, and stimulating culture that widens your perspective on life.
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