India – A Place of Incredible People, Delicious Food, and a Massive Culture Shock!

When people first ask me about my trip to India I immediately start by describing the experience as a massive culture shock for most Westerners. The sounds, smells, sheer amount of people, and never ending eye contact can be very surreal to people who do not travel frequently. Everyone in this country is inquisitive especially when you look American. There’s Billboards spanning the packed motorways advertising prominently american looking models with their blue jeans and polo shirts. They are enamoured with the Western lifestyle and so their endless stares are simply a compliment and excitement to know you. Thats where I can start this post by talking about the people I met in India and that was the goal of my trip actually. The entire reason I traveled here was to visit members of my development team that we’ve been working with for 4 years now.

I can’t say enough how passionate, driven, kind, and caring these people are. They have a Phase in Hindu and I saw it in action first hand so many times ‘Guest is god’. Even if someone doesn’t know you they treat you like family. They also have a kinship for each other that is unmatched in my opinion. While the country was so foreign to me. I never once felt uncomfortable. I always felt safe and like people were being honest with me. This particularly hit home when I met one of my developers family. His mom and dad were some of the nicest people in the entire world. I even got invited to to their sons wedding one day. No he was not engaged or even in a relationship yet (completely arranged) but his mother insisted that I be there. *UPDATE* as of August 2017 he is officially engaged and I did receive my invite but sadly could not go!* Please note she did not speak English but I was able to gather this all via hand signals and smiles.

I honestly can’t say enough about the people there. His family also insisted that I go next door and meet their neighbors where the experience continued. They all were so excited to meet me and everyone was telling stories about how their cousins daughter is studying in America and sends pictures all the time. It was fantastic and shows how humble these individuals are. The thing that really struck me is how caring they all were and smiling even though their lives are very simple. They have simple small homes in large apartment buildings. The entire family lives together (even when they get older). And it’s very simple. Always with a prayer room. It makes me appreciate so much what I have in my life. I’m very lucky to have been raised in a world with as much opportunity as I have now. This is something most Americans just don’t understand. You have to get outside of your comfort zone and experience another culture to really appreciate your own as well.

One of the other highlights from the trip is that I took the entire development team out to dinner at one of the nicer restaurants in town (I let them pick). Everyone was so happy and thankful that I was there. We had smoking non-alcoholic drinks (yes drinking is illegal in the State I was in), multiple soups and appetizers. Flaming veggies and just a crazy experience overall. End of the night I got the tab for 14 people and a 3 Hour dinner was $120…. I don’t get it lol.

During the trip I also got lucky enough to travel when I wasn’t working. I got to visit the beach resort city of Goa, the massive metropolis that is Mumbai, the country side of Gujarat and meet friends from everywhere. This trip had too many highlights to count but I recommend any open-minded traveler to give India a try. I wish you best travels and safe trip. It’ll be an adventure I can promise you that.

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Landing Tickets to Red Rocks *SOLD OUT ILLENIUM SHOW*

Wow where can we start with this incredible trip. First was landing an invite to the pre-sale Facebook group where they gave us an early access code for tickets which went live 2 days before general public. Luckily, we ended up getting 2 tickets within 10 minutes of their release and thank god we did because they sold out on the same day.

Now that tickets were bought we needed to buy a flight I guess, right? We’ll we figured we could always sell them in case flight prices were too high but lucky us we found great deals on South West. Now the only thing left was to plan the rest of the trip.

Seeing as neither of us had stayed in Denver we figured we needed to make a trip out of it. What’s not to love about Denver? Breweries, incredible hiking, fantastic people and some unreal music venues *cough* “Red Rocks”.

This place has redefined what I constitute as a music venue. The pillars of rock reach sky-high into the beautiful Denver air and make for incredible acoustics for any band that comes through. On the night of the show we arrived an hour early to grab some drinks in the parking lot and people watch everyone coming to this show. At a nice age of 28 we were about twice the age of others at the concert.

As we walked up the steps, following the massive crowds into Red Rocks all I could think about what an unreal night we were about to stumble into. After we made it through the crowds we ended up getting a spot about 1/2 the way up the steps. Red Rocks is setup as a giant general admission amphitheater which has a beautiful view of Denver Colorado just in the distance behind the stage.

Our openning acts were Bass Physics and Said the Sky who both put on an incredible show. Said the Sky had so much energy and got the crowd pumped for the main act, Illenium. This is what we flew thousands of miles to see and the show did not let down. It was a mix of electronic music and old school rock style performance. At one point Illenium even smashed the guitar he was playing in a truly Jimi Hendrix style experience.

I could not say enough about this show and how the energy in the crowd was ecstatic. I also appreciated everyone around us who was insanely friendly. Because of the massive lines and distance to the water everyone had a Camelback on and whenever someone needed water they would ask around so 1 person could carry 3-4 back for others. I thought this was really kind seeing as though no one wants to miss the show. This really left a positive experience in my mind. I also loved having so much space at a concert. It was crazy to have so much room around you because each step in the amphitheatre is about 3-4 feet long so you have a ton of space to dance and enjoy the show. I would come back here time and time again.

On top of everything about 1/2 way through the show the moon rose over the stage which really set the mood. The experience was unforgettable. The laser lights lit up the amphitheatre in ways I didn’t know were possible. The show was magnificent and this topped the night. He closed with an incredible light show and one of his latest songs “Crawl out of Love” which was one of my favorite ones. I highly recommend checking out Red Rocks for anyone interested in live music. This is a place I will return to time and time again without hesitation.

Here’s to many other trips out west and continuing the music trend of seeing incredible acts in unreal places.

To wrap up I’ll post some more pictures from this incredible trip.

Coffee shop with 400 Mbs WiFi speed

Hiking FlatIrons Colorado
Flatirons Denver Hiking
Hiking the Flat Irons
View from the Flat Irons Hike of Boulder Colorado
View from the Flat Irons Hike of Boulder Colorado
10 Barrel Brewing
Drinking at 10 Barrel Brewing

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