During the first half of 2014, I decided to pack my bags, say goodbye to what I knew as ‘life’ and spend 3 months traveling around Northern India. These blog posts are to share my journey with you.
It had finally begun. The trip that had been 1 year in the making. I walked out of the airport and was surprised by the chill in the air – I had expected it to be much warmer. I jumped in a rickety old taxi that looked like a hand-me-down from 1950’s America. There was one long front seat (instead of the 2 front seats of what I am used to), and the engine made the whole car rattle and shake. There was no handle to wind up or down the window, so it stayed in its semi open state, always.
I handed the driver the address of my friends’ house (who was kind enough to put me up for 5 days) and off we went, on a roller coaster ride of a journey that left me at times grinning with amazement, and at other times, clutching onto my seat and bracing for a collision. Everything you have heard about the traffic in India is true. Coming from Europe the driving seemed absolutely insane to me. The moment there was a slight gap in the traffic, cars from all direction would dart towards it. 4 cars would compete for a space that only 1 small car could pass through.
After a 45 minute ride, I arrived to my friends house, and before my heart rate could return to normal, I was greeted to a warm cup of chai tea, and an even warmer welcome. It had been years since we had seen each other (plus she had had a baby – the incredibly cool Zion) so we had lots of catching up to do.
The next 5 days were spent exploring the city (as well as a 24hr stop in Agra). My favourite way to explore a new place is by photographing it. It allows me to slow down and try to get a better understanding of what is happening around me. And in Delhi, there is always a lot happening around you.
I was incredibly grateful to be staying with residents of Delhi, as they were able to take me to a lot of spots that I would never have seen if I were alone. I also got to hang out with a lot of locals who were extremely welcoming.
My friends are involved in two charities based in Delhi, and I was able to spend time in, and photograph both of them. The charities are: JOYN who train and work with local artisans to make handwoven and block printed textiles, and Super Seeds Learning Center, a school set up for local children who would otherwise not receive an education. Even though there is a lot of poverty in Delhi, there are many many kind hearts helping those who are less fortunate.
Before arriving in Delhi, I had heard that it was a place of extremes, where you see the extremely rich driving their expensive cars, while children without shoes or homes watch. Everything I had heard was true.
All Delhi photography taken with a Fuji X100s and processed in Adobe Lightroom.