Bus-Free Through India

Bus-free Through India: That Time I Was Charged By An Elephant

indian elephant

After cycling 60 miles (97 kilometers), high-altitude camping at 2,200 meters (7,218 feet) and hiking 11 miles (17 kilometer) uphill — including ascending the Western Ghats second-highest peak, Meesapulimala, at 2,640 meters (8,661 feet) — I thought today would be […]

Bus-Free Through India: Ayurvedic Massage, Not For The Modest


I’d heard so much about Ayurvedic massage in India, with many locals telling me the herb- and spice-rich Kerala — the state I was traveling through — was the best place to do it. Sumptuous images of being wrapped in […]

Bus-Free Through India: Houseboating Through Kerala’s Backwaters


While I did a short kayaking trip through the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, boating had been a smaller component throughout the trip traveling without bus tours through India. That was all changing today, with a houseboat trip and kayaking excursion through […]

Bus-Free Through India: Cycling “The Scotland Of Asia” To An Organic Farm


“Today you have the option of cycling 102 kilometers from here [Periyar] to Kannadipuzha,” Rattan, my Kalypso Adventures guide informed me. Did I look like Lance Armstrong? Still, I loved that he had faith in my fitness to think I […]

Bus-Free Through India: Cycling The Cardamom Trail

Anaerangal Lake

“Today we’ll be cycling the Cardamom Trail,” my guide, Rattan, tells me over breakfast. “It’s 91 kilometers (57 miles) from here to Periyar.” I almost spit out my coconut chutney-covered dosa. Do I look like Lance Armstrong? Rattan laughs. “We’ll […]

Bus-Free Through India: Ascending Tall Peaks And The World’s Highest Organic Tea Garden

Hiking in India, especially Kerala, is a great way to experience the diverse landscapes, rich ecosystems and local culture.

Bus-Free Through India: High-Altitude Hiking Through Kerala’s Silent Valley


You know when you’re at an arcade playing those virtual reality racing games, and you push the pedal down as hard as you can, turning the wheel manically to swerve around other vehicles and reach the finish line first? That’s […]

Bus-Free Through India: Cycling Kerala’s Culturally Immersive Canal Route

Canal Route India

For those who think cities in India are hectic, try cycling through them. Those whimsical rainbow-colored buses playing Mr. Softee music don’t seem so sweet when they’re barreling at you at 100 mph. Tuk tuks zoom past, their obnoxious honking […]

Bus-Free Through India: An Eight-Part Travel Series

I hate bus tours. I don’t know if it’s because I fall asleep like a newborn baby when I’m in a moving vehicle, or because my urge to use all my senses when traveling becomes muted behind the smudged plexiglass, […]