Traipsing Round The Globe: Month 2

So sadly this monthly update will feature very few photos as Indian wifi is sluggish at best. But check out my daily-ish postings on Instagram for more photos of daily life in India, @ashleyabroad! Also I wanted to let readers who have sent me emails or comments with questions that I am won´t be able to respond until this summer when I´m home in the U.S. Sorry for any inconvenience!

 Wow. The past month has run quite the gamut from the cobblestones of Paris to the cow-pie covered alleys of India. Even more so than usual, this month has been a trip.

Returning to Paris at the beginning of the month was undoubtedly lovely, but did raise a few questions in my mind such as, “Do I truly love this city and want to come back, or did I just love the friends and experiences I had here?” Pondering aside, it was wonderful to see friends, devour steak frites and sip wine in the Paris’ many parks.

And India- what to say about India. India is sweltering, stinky, colorful and chaotic. On some level I think I was ill-prepared for this place as I honestly have never been anywhere that is cheaper or dirtier. Yet India is undoubtedly fascinating and one of my favorite parts of my yoga teacher training is learning about Hinduism and Indian culture.

Where I´ve Been:

Paris (7 days)

Delhi (2 days)

Rishikesh (around three weeks!)



Paris, obviously.


Hey, there´s just something about Paris in the springtime, right? I can´t wait to start blogging about my time Paris- from new discoveries like the Hemingway-esque cocktail bar and restaurant, Café de l´Industrie, to old haunts like the lush Parc Monceau, one of my favorite picnic spots.

And plus, I got to speak tons of French while in Paris as I was staying with a French friend. As you guys know I´m a huge language nerd so I was thrilled about that.

Doing 4-5 hours of yoga a day.

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After six weeks of over-indulging and neglecting physical activity in Europe, it was so nice to hit the mat. And in India, I´m in the studio for hours each day. My iron-tight hamstrings are slowly but surely beginning to stretch!

Living like a queen. Um, let’s just say India makes Thailand look like Switzerland. The other night I went out for dinner with two friends, and we ordered a veritable feast: fresh-squeezed juice, nan, an appetizer, nan, three main courses and tea. The total only came to about $2 USD each!

Reading up a storm. Although I’m normally a fairly prolific reader, recently I’ve been devouring more great reads than usual- in India I read 4-5 hours a day! Also can someone please explain how it took me this long to discover Game of Thrones?

Feeling the love from five thousand miles away. My parents sent me a package all the way to India! In addition to sorely needed supplies like vitamin C and power bars, each of my family members also enclosed a hand-written note! I really do have the best fam ever.

Spending quality time with an old friend and meeting an incredible group of people at my Yoga Teacher Training. I headed to India with my good friend McCall, who happens to be one of my favorite travel buddies of all time. (We studied abroad in Argentina together and she visited me in Paris one summer!) McCall and I got so lucky with our yoga teacher training group in India- whether we’re meditating under the stars or dining alongside the Ganges, we’re probably laughing our heads off!



Feeling frustrated. India can be extraordinarily frustrating: there are power outages 10-15 times a day (at least), running water is intermittent and virtually nothing runs on time or smoothly. It gets really old at times, to be honest.

Eating the most monotonous diet ever. I literally can barely look at rice and lentils anymore. Let’s just say I was not cut out to be a vegetarian- plus, I have random bruises all over my body for the first time in my life!

Doubting myself. This Yoga Teacher Training has been a blast but there have also been challenges, most of which are on account of my own mind. My mind here in India is endlessly running, wondering where the next year will take me and if I’m ready for a “normal” life. Ugh.

Monkey business. And on a less serious note monkeys are taking over my life. They attacked McCall and I on a morning run, routinely hop into the classroom and wake me up in the morning by jumping against our window. I hate monkeys.

Favorite Shot

How could you not love these Hindu cows? There are SO. MANY. cows roaming the streets of Rishikesh, and they truly do rule the roads- good luck getting into a convenience shop when a thick-horned bull is standing guard!


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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

20 thoughts on “Traipsing Round The Globe: Month 2”

  1. Wow I loved this look into everyday life in India—looking forward to hearing your eventual thoughts about the country once you get back to a steady internet connection!

  2. Wow it sounds like you are having an incredible time. I’m only beginning with yoga but I’m totally hooked and would love to consider training some day. Enjoy the rest of your trip, looking forward to reading all about it :)

  3. Thanks for the update, Ashley! I’ve been following along on Instagram and have loved all your photos. I can’t wait until you have reliable wifi and time to write about India. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the country and your time there.

  4. What a lovely peak into what’s going on in India! It is such a hard place to wrap your head around, isn’t it? Ugh, the monkeys sound awful. I also HATE monkeys and they freak me out so much. Lentil and rice everyday, yikes. Well at least you probably feel healthy again! haha. Prepare for the feast of a lifetime once you leave.

    Hopefully you can calm your mind and really figure out what you want to do soon. I as well might be at a crossroads since there is a chance I don’t have a job next year. Ugh, it’s a disaster sorting all this $%^$ out!

  5. What extraordinary colorful experiences you are having, and what
    memories, lifetime, are making. I am so proud–and yes, sometimes
    envious of your courage and bravery in your variety of adventures.

    How sweet that your family sent you a muchly needed care package.
    Your mother was always good at that.

    Love you my sweet granddaughter,


  6. Now there’s a good existential question: are cows born Hindu?! But seriously, glad you’re having a good time. The routine of 4-5 hours of yoga followed by 4-5 hours of reading sounds amazing!

  7. YAY finally a new post! I was dying to know what you’ve thought of India so far. I can totally relate to the frustrations, although for me those have become so normal – I really feel like India is home. Weird about the bruises though.. I wrote about when I had dengue and the bruises were a big part of that! Hope you are staying healthy. Oh and I also just got into Game of Thrones! LOVE!! how the heck are you streaming it in Rishikesh? We have a fiber optic line run to our villa but it’s rare in India! Or are you reading the books?

    • Yeah India was incredible but definitely a unique experience! And I actually think I was getting the bruises because of a lack of iron- a problem I’ve never had before! And I was actually reading Game of Thrones- downloading ANYTHING was impossible.

  8. Take it easy in India.
    India can be very rewarding but it takes a little time to get beneath the daily frustrations. Looking forward to hearing all about it and your yoga challenges! Take Care. :)

  9. So nice reading you again!
    It’s nice to read that you are doing great, despite the lows, but we all have it no matter where we are and what we do :)
    Looking forward to the next post! Wish to you all the best meanwhile :)

  10. I love that you posted an update about your travels! I’ve been following along for awhile not, but first time commenter over here :) It’s so crazy how fortunate we have it here in the states and don’t even realize it. What other countries and cultures deal with on a day to day basis would been my downfall ;)

    Also, I loved what you wrote about not being sure whether you’re in love with a location or the memories from that location. I traveled across Europe after I graduated from college and I’ve been saving up for my next big trip across the pond, but I’ve been nervous when planning my itinerary. I’m not sure what cities to include and if I really loved the cities, or the people and moments shared at those places.

    Can’t wait to continue reading along! :)

  11. Wow, this is the kind of blog post that leaves me eagerly anticipating more! I can’t wait to hear more about your insights into Paris, as well as more about your experience in India. Already the things you mentioned — like about MONKEYS!!! — is like, whoa. I like these round ups! :)

  12. It looks and sounds amazing Ashley! Traveling for long spurts/having lots of free time to think can be a blessing and a curse. It allows for a LOT of reflection which can often (especially for me) lead to doubts. I find keeping a journal is really helpful, that way you can get it all out on paper, then move onto a good book! Keep enjoying yourself!

  13. Hey ashley if you liked india I think you’d love pakistan! If you ever get the chance go to Lahore. Its safe,clean and has beautiful historical landmarks. Not only that but it doesn’t have serious issues like serious power outages. They’re pretty rare here.

  14. Hi there! Just curious, which Yoga Teacher Training did you complete in Rishikesh? I’m considering signing up with Yog Peeth :)

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