Falling in love with travel again
It’s a wonder what sitting still and a change of routine can do for you. After 5 days rest in Bundi and a week in Pushkar, our travel fatigue has passed and we’re pleased to report we’re firmly back in love with it again.
As we said in our post Travel fatigue (and how we’re getting over it), we needed a rest, a change of routine and a detox and that is exactly what we did.
First we rested
Bundi was the ideal spot to do this. This pretty blue town has few sights and we didn’t feel the pressure to visit them. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a classic for travellers. We’re terrified of not seeing the must-see sights. Will we ever get the chance again?
The only place we did visit was the Taragarh Fort, not because we want to see the fort itself, but because we wanted to stretch our legs and enjoy the sunset view from the top of the hill.
Taragarh Fort was refreshing in that unlike most forts in Rajasthan, it has not been restored and cared for. The winding path requires the walker to clamber over various hurdles, from uneven, broken up cobble stones, to fallen trees and overgrown brambles. The interior hints at the glamour of yesteryear; frescos faded and worn; steps missing and a pervading odour of monkey pee. The langur monkeys have made it their home, though fortunately they were not too interested in us.
We changed our routine
We realised we’ve spent a great deal of time seeing and not a lot of doing. So instead of seeing the sights and watching others demonstrate various handicrafts we decided to do things for ourselves. Pushkar was the ideal place for this.
We got creative. We signed up to art classes, a cooking class and I had some Indian classical singing lessons. (The yoga class we went to was not so successful – a little too spiritual for our tastes but this is a pilgrimage town).
Indian food can be wonderful and we have eaten some delicious food on our travels. But, after a while you start to miss the crunch of a crisp salad, the vibrancy of al dente vegetables and the wholesomeness of a bowl of muesli with fresh fruits.
While Indian food incorporates a lot of vegetables, they tend to be overcooked reducing their nutritional value and flavour. As everything is seasonal, we’ve eaten a lot of cabbage, cauliflower, carrot and potato recently. And carb overload is easy: rice, chapatti and potato are staples at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
International tourist restaurants generally offer a menu of shop-bought sweetened muesli with curd and fruit and bread that has been waved at a toaster. Mains are always pizza, pasta, houmous and unexplainably a big bowl of mashed potato – on its own. But they do have their place. After weeks of seeking out authentic Indian food there is nothing like a change of diet and pizza (no matter how inauthentic), always hits the spot!
But when we found Cafe Natures Blessing in Pushkar we fell upon it like starving vultures. We devoured Spinach and tofu kebab wraps; Grilled tofu in a barbecue sauce with rosemary crushed potatoes and colourful crunchy vegetables; crisp salads with puffed lotus seeds and mango dressing; freshly-baked fenugreek bread with homemade rose jam; fresh fruit juices such as guava, banana and pineapple without sugar(!); real filter coffee and Darjeeling leaf tea.
Momo (Tibetan dumplings) and Thanthuk, a cleansing clear soup with tofu, greens and noodles made us hanker to visit Tibet.
Our cooking course run by the lovely Shivani restored our love of North Indian food. Over a period of six hours we prepared nine fresh, vibrant and healthy recipes, and we’ll be sharing some of them soon!
So lesson learnt. We’ll be making sure we include more sitting still in our itinerary and increasing the emphasis on doing rather than seeing.
We’ve got zip-lining over Jodhpur Fort to look forward to and a blocking printing course in Jaipur. Next month when we’re joined by our lovely friends Helen and Matt, we’ll be spending time at a (not-to-spiritual) ashram, white water rafting, partying during Holi and hopeful spotting an elusive tiger!
Have you experienced travel fatigue? What helped you to get over it?