Since I can think I have a very strong connection to India. I was only four years old when my parents brought me the first time to this diverse country in 1983.
Also my father had a powerful connection to India. He traveled extensively around the country, studied the culture and religion and spent quite a time in ashrams and yoga centers, to find his spiritual wisdom.
But India was not always kind to my family and me. In 2003 my father traveled together with my sister Betty to Kerala, where he had a horrible accident, which put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life and lead to his early death in 2015.
In the same year, I traveled together with Betty to Rishikesh to put his ashes in the Holy River Ganga.
Of course, I can´t remember much of my first trip to India, but what stays forever is the taste of milk chai, delicious food and the smells of dirt, dead animals, incense sticks and ganja.
After the difficult and exhausting travels in Iran and Pakistan, a whole new world opened to me.
For me, as a European, it was a painful lesson to learn what religion can do to a society. It is still hard for me to understand how people can lock away and hide their women. We traveled to areas where we didn´t see any women for days. Furthermore the security issues and insane traffic in Pakistan makes it a difficult country for overlanding.
What stays is the beautiful landscape and friendly people.
Also, my van had a hard time in the high mountains and needed a service. As there were no spare parts available, I repaired only the essential issues and changed new oil and filters.
The rest had to wait until India.
Together with Zosia, I crossed the Wagah border without any issues. As always, the border guards were only interested in taking selfies with us and our vehicles.
When I entered India from Pakistan two weeks ago, it felt like coming home for me.
But then something completely different came up. I flew back to Salzburg for only a weekend to celebrate the wedding of a close friend.
I flew over all these villages and cities where I traveled for the last four months in just a few hours — a bizarre feeling. The wedding and the time at home were good – but I was more than happy to get back to this wonderful country and my girl.
I also brought a lot of spare parts for the Sprinter and Zosia´s BMW.
So now it´s time to fix our faithful vehicles and preparing for the next adventures.
We are planning to go to Leh/Ladakh and spend some time in the Himalayas.
But although the climate and surroundings here in Manali are amazing, I miss the sea a lot. For me the mountains are great for a specific time, but I need the beach now and then.
The last beach time was at the southcoast of Iran!
So we are planning to go to the Andaman Islands, as Goa and Kerala see heavy Monsoon showers at this time of the year.