The Ups and Downs of India

By Charlotte Clarke and Paige Buchanan Everyone’s been sick and visited the hospital except for Rebecca in the past 10 days; talk about a wild ride! Everything started off in Varanasi: cow poop in the streets and poop problems in the sheets. And then, the first case of Dengue. Kelly was out for the count, the mosquitos had got to her. Yet, we traveled on. What was supposed to be… Read More

Bodhgaya Buddhist Retreat

By Paige Marcano-Buchanan As hazy fog drifts over far-off trees, the rising sun dyes the sky a soft purple. We cradle hot mugs of chai in our hand listening to the birds flying overhead. With the strike of a gong, we march to morning meditation. This is a completely different experience from the boom and bustle of Kolkata’s honking horns; now we sit quietly and watch cows graze. Instead of… Read More

Kolkata is Incredible!

By Emily Kolkata is very crazy. There are tons of people, you drive on the other side of the road and horns are always honking. The constant smell is a mix of incense, food, and sewage. Driving here is a free for all, there are no lanes. Its like 80-90 degrees everyday here with 100% humidity—I have never been so hot. The food here is really good and the people… Read More

Kolkata Scavenger Hunt

By Kelly Kolkata is amazing. It is so vibrant and full of life. I am currently sitting in a computer cafe down on Sudder Street. I am doing well but realized a lot of my clothing is too heavy for here. It is about 90 degrees but 100 percent humidity. We are currently doing a scavenger hunt for different items without our leaders. It isn’t as scary as I thought… Read More

First Day Birthday

By Overseas Educator Suzannah Day 1 in Kolkata complete. After many flights, a quick tour of Singapore, and a car ride at midnight, we fell, exhausted, into our beds in Kolkata last night. Most of the day today was spent reviewing the trip itinerary and chatting about health and safety. We briefly explored outside our guesthouse, successfully crossing the busy streets with confidence. Katie ate some celebratory pomegranates (her request)… Read More

Leaving…on a jet plane

By Overseas Educators Suzannah and Rebecca Namaste Shanti family, We are about to begin our journey through Northern India together and wanted to take a moment to commend you and acknowledge that taking this step into the world of the unknown is a very courageous thing for each of you. It is our hope that we will all come back from this experience with more open minds, bigger hearts, and… Read More

Saying Farewell

By Overseas Educators Bria and Peter As the two of us sit on the airport-express metro train headed back into the heart of Delhi, having just said farewell to all ten students outside the airport, we are filled with an overwhelming sensation of gratitude. The list of things we are grateful for is longer than an Indian train, but here’s a few: we are grateful for all of the teachers… Read More


By Isadora Smith After an action-packed week of camping, rafting, and rock climbing in the mountains of Rishikesh for student directed travel, the dreaded last day of the trip has come. Cue the scary music! We plop down our tattered bags full of souvenirs, memories, and accumulated dirt from every place we’ve visited throughout India in the lobby of Stops Hostel. I look around the room and see 11 of… Read More

Penultimate Post

By Keshav Krishnan My time as the official “Bilbo Bloggins” started at the Phool Chatti ashram. I enjoy the time I spent there in retrospect, although it was tough for me at (most) times. We had three hours of yoga asanas (the stretching and stuff) a day! We also had some incredible experiences outside of stretches that I couldn’t do. Every day we did a walk into nature, ending near… Read More

Thanksgiving with the Fam

Blog from Isabel S. Photos from Isabel, Peter, and Bria It is almost 9:00am as I climb the steps to the dining hall. Still a little groggy after three hours of early-morning meditation and yoga, I feel a nudge a little too forceful and hear in an excited Alec whisper, “Happy Thanksgiving”. My face slightly brightens as I realize what day it is back home in America. I think about… Read More

Over the Hills and Far Away

Before I begin, I need to point out that some very important pieces of our Shanti family were missing during this adventure. Our long legged mountain man, Jake, was too sick to trek and our beloved Peter stayed back with him. On day 3, Isadora wasn;t well enough to carry on and went back to the resort. We missed you sitting around the campfires with us, girl 🙁 We were… Read More

Dharamsala a.k.a. “The Farm”

By Harrison Wohlfarth So this week was pretty dope. We started off with a bus ride from the O.G. city of Delhi to the humble mountains of Darhamsal after being delayed several hours (shout out to Indian transportation services). Despite having to wait several hours for the bus and meanwhile chilling on the streets of India, we eventually got to where we needed to go, though, which is all that… Read More

Living Like Buddhist Monks

By Jake Hansen Last week we stayed in Bhodgaya in a Buddhist Monastery called The Root Institute for Wisdom Culture. The first few days were spent on a pilgrimage to some of the most iconic spots along the path walked by the Buddha on his way to attaining enlightenment. We went to the cave where he meditated for six years, eating only five-to-seven grains of rice per day trying to… Read More