How often have our forum members been to India?

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View Poll Results: How often have our forum members been to India?
Never 37 16.02%
One time 38 16.45%
I'm a two timer! 28 12.12%
3's a charm! 30 12.99%
4 times! 21 9.09%
5 times! 8 3.46%
6 times! 14 6.06%
7 times! 7 3.03%
8 times! 7 3.03%
9 or more! 41 17.75%
Voters: 231. You may not vote on this poll

#1 Apr 17th, 2003, 15:07
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#1
How often have our forum members been to India?
#2 Apr 28th, 2003, 07:41
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#2
While the absolute numbers aren't huge, the breakdown is interesting -- only 18% presumably planning a first trip --- the same percentage that have been to India 9 or more times.

With around 40% members having made 1-3 trips and about the same with 4 or more visits, quite a lot of experience present.

I have had trouble responding to some of the other polls as the alternatives often didn't give me a comfortable choice. I wonder how our Indian members answered this one -- perhaps '1 time', if they've never left India, and a number based on how many times they have been out of India and then returned?
#3 Apr 28th, 2003, 08:42
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#3
So, of the eight 9-or-more....who has the record?
#4 Apr 28th, 2003, 10:18
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#4
not me, I just made it -- Alan D. has the earliest trip I recall seeing mentioned.
#5 Apr 28th, 2003, 13:50
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#5
After I posted the poll I also wanted to add the question of how many are actually just living there now but you can only poll 10 options...
#6 Apr 30th, 2003, 06:18
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#6
M2, I first arrived in India Christmas day 1965, coming from Bangkok. Alan_D and I have discussed the dates and we were unable to decide who arrived first although we were going in opposite directions, I think we passed each other on the Khyber pass!
#7 Apr 30th, 2003, 11:56
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#7
I am impressed, 9 or more. Have only got 8 to my credit..
#8 Apr 30th, 2003, 15:05
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#8
Hi Colin

No, I don't think I can claim the record either for the earliest date to visit India or the highest number of visits.

I didn't leave UK until September 1966, arriving in India late Nov or early Dec and I was definitely in Kathmandu for Xmas 1966. Must check my old passport sometime. So it looks as if you have that one Colin.

On the number of visits I have only 9. I presume we are not counting re-entries, for example, from Nepal or Sri Lanka. I have a feeling Midnite Toker might be the leader of the pack on this one.
#9 May 1st, 2003, 15:13
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#9
I'm not claiming to be one of the early travellers to India. Just answering a few questions that were asked, involving people on this forum.

Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder both visited India in 1962-63 and kept journals of their travels which were not published until the early 70's. A lot of people had gone before them. I think I've recommended their books before in an earlier thread on this site.

But to give an example of Ginsberg's writings here's an excerpt from "Indian Journals".

May 13th, 1963

6 AM the yellow sun outside balcony thru the trees Dasaswamedh ghat waking up with Rickshaw bells - I been in bed several days with kidney troubles - Hay Ram Ram Hay - sings the Motley-clad-in-yellow-and-orange Medieval Clown-looking Bhakta who every day passes clanging his little cymbals to his ears, his head turned aside to listen to the Sound - singing in melancholy continuous rhythm Hey Ram Ram Hey with a falling tone of voice ending each announcement, as he walks in circles or stops to listen to himself sing in the street approaching the steps down to the river - That I've seen him often each day for months - once offered him some change, thinking him a beggar, which he refused.

First published jointly by Dave Haselwood Books and City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1970. (difficult to find)
Reprint by Grove Press 1996
#10 May 1st, 2003, 17:55
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#10
Alan, in my opinion anybody who traveled overland to India in the 60's like you did is definitely one of the pioneers. Your last post gave me an idea. I sent email to Gary Snyder. He's now a professor at UC Davis. I took it upon myself, in good faith, to acquaint him with the IndiaMike web site - praising it to the skies and of course stressing its non-commercial nature. Yeah, email coming from a total stranger like me will probably get deleted by some secretary and he'll never read it. It's a longshot but it don't cost me nuthin' to try and ya gotta believe in something - maybe, just maybe, he might drop by some time. What a treat that would be! For those of you who haven't heard of him before, Gary Snyder truly deserves that much overused title "legend". He's perhaps best known as the "Japhy Ryder" character in Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums.
#11 May 1st, 2003, 18:26
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#11
Ah! A LIVING legend. I don't know why but I expected him to have died years ago. To be honest, I enjoyed reading his journal more than Ginsberg's. The man's more of a poet than a writer but both journals are well worth a read. As you say, Anonymous, it's worth a shot to see if he responds. I'd really like to hear how that visit to India influenced the rest of his life.

I've mislaid the Gary Snyder book otherwise I would have quoted from it. I know it's here somewhere!
#12 May 1st, 2003, 19:07
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#12
yeah really good books indeed;i read them first when I was 16,
beeing at an age when I still searched for a way in my life....
my first trip to india was in 1993,but as I posted earlier in another post it was just a "mistake",that year I was supposed going to africa,I wanted to start in Kenia then Tansania and some other african countrys,but that time the airticket was to expensive for me,so a fine lady in an athens(greece) travelagency(Oh how I love her for this!),said to me why don t you go to india;i heard it s very nice,many people love it,and the airticket is much cheaper then the one to mombasa!
and from my first seconds beeing in India Ifell in love with that country
since than I ve been back to India 6 times...
If the gods want me I ll be back this year in october....on my way to visit assam,nagaland,tripura,arunach al pradesh and the rest of north eastern india.
Any tips for this region are welcome!!!
#13 May 2nd, 2003, 01:51
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#13
By anonymous's definition of pioneer, I guess my overlanding in '69 counts but I never had such thoughts at the time as there was a veritible river of people going back and forth in those days -- many middle-aged regular folk, as well as the younger hard-core travellers and 'freaks' that one might expect -- as this was a regular 'route' between England and Australia. Nurses, teachers, students on 'gap' years -- this was an affordable way to get down under and back in the '60's as cheap air tickets were still almost unknown. Perhaps it was pioneering a bit as Tony Wheeler hadn't published his travel notes on the overland trip (which became the original 'yellow bible' and spawned the LP empire) and the 'magic buses' hadn't quite got started.

I am kind of a pioneer in another way though, in that I broke out of the 'cubicle world' in 1968, sold off my 'stuff' and hit the road without an agenda or timetable and fell in love with 'the travelling life' never to return to the type of work I had earned an MA to do. I had done a bit of travelling before, but never had the time to get into the swing of things. That I got to India was a fluke -- I'd started out in Europe, bought a 2 cly Citroen van which I made into a mini-motorhome and roamed europe and North Africa in it meeting a lot of travellers along the way and participated in a lot of bs sessions swapping stories and inflating each other's travel notebooks with ideas, names, and places. Some of the neatest people I met were excited about going to India the next winter, but none had actually been themselves -- it was more the 'exoticness' and adventure of getting from Istanbul to Kathmandu, than any deep interest in India although, of course, we had all done a bit of reading and passing around Herman Hesse novels, and the like didn't hurt. A dozen or so of these friends were going to meet up in Munich at Oktoberfest where I would sell my car and with as many who showed up, continue on to Istanbul. Apart from Gerhart, who lived in Munich, no one showed, and even he was a little short of money, so it was to be on my own.

By my second trip in 1975, I'd been to south america, had rebuilt a sailboat to sail to the south pacific (aborted, but interesting), learned to ride a motorcycle and took a BMW boxer twin to central america for the winter, and 'restocked' my finances. Actually, India was sort of incidental to the '75 trip as I was actually enroute to New Zealand and decided, for a lark, to visit a travel buddy in Scotland along the way. Also, for the hell of it, decided see how much of the trip I could do by hitch-hiking -- first from Vancouver to Gander Newfoundland and the cheapest hop across the atlantic to Prestwick Scotland, near where my friend lived. Then to the channel, continuing to Turkey and along the southern coast where I finally gave up in the Kurdish area near Van where there was a once a week train to Tehran.......didn't hitch again till arriving in wonderfully obliging NZ, a hitch-hiking travellers dream with great people, fun hostels, a complete change of scenery every 50 miles.....continued hitching again in Fiji (again, easy and fun) before getting home 7 months from when I started.

I did go again in '78 but this trip was mainly for some trekking in Nepal and the India part was mostly some relaxing in Goa which, I readily confess, had been a definite highlight of trips 1 and 2.

Didn't get back to India until the early 90's when I had started to tire of SE Asia and central america as places to spend the winter -- rekindled my love for Goa, but usually only get there after seeing a few new places and things for a month or so before settling in. I like staying in one place long enough to establish a kind of normal life for a while -- making friends, having a bit of private space, staying healthy. I'm a bit surprised that I'm still returning year after year again, but then I have a very nice spot to return to in Arambol and a 10 year friendship with my hosts who will save me their best room when they know I'm coming -- and, hell, I'm in my 60's, do I still have to feel guilty about being a bit lazy At least I'll be eligible for those 25% seniors discounts on the airlines in a couple of years.
#14 May 2nd, 2003, 02:39
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#14
-m2- .....what an interesting life!! Glad you liked New Zealand.... I'm sure if you visited again now you'd find it a lot different - but still good.
#15 May 3rd, 2003, 01:29
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#15
I live here now since Jan 2003 after 4 years of travelling round most part of the world.
Its like a re-birth for me again.
I love it.
If Life is a journey....travel on...and on..on..on.....
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