With an exception of two days in Sri Lanka, the past month has been spent entirely in India. Upon flying to Madurai, I gradually made my way up north. Eventually, I hit Mumbai, the clear turning point of my Indian adventure. I was no longer alone; rather I found myself in the company of other travelers. Because foreigners tend to visit the north of India, it is much easier to find backpacker hostels there. Right now, I am in the state of Rajasthan, and to be honest, I've met more travelers in the past week than in the whole rest of my time in India. This is a pleasant change from the long, often lonely days spent in the southern regions of the country, where I was sometimes the only foreigner for miles. Rajasthan has a high density of beautiful sites and friendly local people. In many ways, it is the perfect place to laze away my final days in this country. There is no shortage of things to do, foods to eat, and streets to wander around. Additionally, I finally have a steady stream of Western amenities such as comfortable beds, WiFi, and fellow adventurers to speak with.
I will be in India until the 31st of December, and then plan on flying to the Middle East. My first destination will be Lebanon, a small country where I shall spend ten days, including New Year's. From Lebanon, I will fly to Jordan, where (if budget permits) I hope to see the ancient city of Petra. For those who are unaware, Petra is often considered to be one of the most beautiful archaeological sites in the world.
Thankfully, the Indian Rupee stretches very far, especially compared to the US Dollar. My seventh month was the cheapest yet, beating my previous record.
Accommodation - $182.09. Average of $6.07 per day. It's nice, because I am finally able to book accommodation on the internet again. In the south of India, hostels were very rare. However, the state of Rajasthan is littered with bargain rooms.
Food and Drink - $168.85. Average of $5.63 per day, or $1.88 per meal. It is definitely a challenge to stay away from high-priced tourist restaurants. Nevertheless, eating on a budget is pretty easy, just as it is anywhere in India.
Alcohol - $14.46. This continues my trend of drinking very little alcohol in South Asia. Although liquor was very cheap in one city (Daman), it was illegal in the entire state of Gujarat. Besides, I just haven't had much of a desire to drink in India.
Transport - $42.86. Transportation costs are negligible in India. I honestly can't believe that this includes multiple buses and trains, including one 36-hour train ride. But it does.
Miscellaneous - $54.54. Includes things such as toiletries, laundry, ATM fees, souvenirs, etc.
Total amount spent - $462.60. Average of $15.42 per day. This was my cheapest month ever, and I could have done it for cheaper! It constantly amazes me how far Western currencies can get you in India.
Once more, thank you to Simon and Erin, the creators of Trail Wallet. Their app continues to be my #1 budgeting tool. If you feel so inclined, check out their journey at neverendingvoyage.com. Unfortunately, my iPod recently decided to die on me. Therefore, the rest of my trip expenses will be recorded with old-fashioned pen and paper.