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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 March 2013
I loved this book,I would love to travel like she did,when reading it it made me feel like I was with her,I could smell the things she could,and I got a good feel for the places she went,she is so very luck to travel like she did.well written book.
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on 19 July 2011
Oh how gluttonously I gobbled down this delicious masala flavoured taste of India!

Each chapter is loving crafted of hilarious, heartbreaking, honest, authentic and magical moments from Bindi's journey through India into the depths of her soul. I felt I was right there with her as she travelled deep into the heart of India; as she got chewed up, spat out; as she soared. Devouring experience after experience I love the way she sees the world and how she shares it. No holds barred, straight-up, no shit-sherlock, warts and all style with lovely poetic metaphors that shows India in all her extremes and with all her magic.

Who needs movies when images are this vivid! I smiled, I shook my head, I closed my eyes and I was there. I could taste the mangoes on the trees, hear the cow bells jangling down the street, feel the heat searing into my pores, smell the chai brewing and see the endless smiles. Oh dear Bindi, you've gone and made me rather homesick for India!

I couldn't recommend this book more, I loved every moment of this journey through the heart of India and into the soul of Bindi. Thanks Bindi, what a ride!
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on 16 July 2012
Most people who go to India have one of two reactions; they either love it and can't wait to return, or they hate it and would eat their own eyeballs rather than set foot on Indian soil a second time. I'm firmly in the `Love' camp and I'm always interested to read accounts of how other people respond to a country that means so much to me. I don't particularly mind whether they love it or hate it so long as they write well.

Every traveller who loves the country has their own reasons and they're often different from mine. Reese is the classic `spiritual' traveller - the `dippy hippy' who immerses herself in spirituality, takes classes in meditation and spends time in ashrams contemplating her navel. Such an approach is often referred to as `looking for yourself'. Personally it's never appealed to me as I've never knowingly `lost' myself but I am interested in understanding how other people react to one of the world's most fascinating and complex cultures.

The book tells the story of two extended trips which Reese took to India, separated by a period of four years. I can't help but admire the energy it takes to travel solo in India on a budget and for periods of several months and especially to make your first trip to this overwhelming country on your own. However, whilst I can admire her stamina, I can't entirely relate to her motivations as I find a lot of her spiritual stuff hard to handle.
Reese's India is very different from the country I love. Her routes are very much ON the beaten track and largely illogical. It's a good thing that no map is provided or readers would soon realise that she's basically bouncing about all over the place. Her beaten track is the hippy trail of ashrams interspersed with long periods of beach life and a very occasional bit of slightly more conventional tourism. Hers is the India of two-dollar a night accommodation, of not washing very often and of relying rather too much on the recommendations of the Lonely Planet, online forums or suggestions on notice boards in cheap hostels. It's a journey based on schlepping from one hippy hotspot to the next, lying in hammocks, doing yoga and getting massage. It doesn't quite hit the depths of getting stoned and living off banana pancakes but it's heading in that direction. In effect it's spiritual backpacking. At one point she finds a "new community of groovy folks living on a beach straight out of a movie set" and joins a big celebration called the `Rainbow Gathering' on the Konkan Coast. She finds the place from a few instructions left on a notice board, clearly picturing herself as an extra in Alex Garland's book, `The Beach'.

When she writes about interactions with the local people, I enjoy what she has to say but there aren't enough of them. Most of her interactions are with fellow travellers and whilst she writes some fun profiles of these people, they're not what I was looking for.

I particularly struggle with all the ashram stuff. If, like me, you were disappointed by the India section of Elizabeth Gilbert's book `Eat, Pray, Love' then you're going to go crazy reading about gurus and meditation and deep inner `stuff'. Even Bindi Girl can't deal with too much of it - after visiting the infamous `Osho' ashram complete with mandatory HIV testing (I'd definitely want my own clean needles for that) and obligatory special purple robes, she reveals "That was the most bizarre f***ing thing I have ever experienced" and runs away as quickly as her feet can carry her.

There are moments when I really enjoyed this, when I recognised that she `got' India but they weren't in the spiritual passages. In Varanasi she asks a boatman why Indians play music so loud at 5.30 am and is told that "It's so everyone can ENJOY, no matter where they are in the city". Now THAT is a true Indian insight - something everyone who visits will ask themselves but few will work out.

Returning to America, Erin is a changed woman. When a woman in the supermarket reveals how excited she is about `grillable cheese' - described by Erin as `modified flavoured plastic that won't burn on the BBQ', we know it won't be long until she's heading back to India.
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on 13 September 2013
I found this a fascinating and curious study of India and spiritual searching. The book is split up into short chapters, most of which I would say are easily read in 5 minutes, making it an ideal book to pick up and put down again. This was necessary for me as I have rather limited knowledge of Hinduism, yoga, spirituality and backpacking in general.

There was a great deal of information, discussions of various Gods and practises, but I felt it was all well explained, is a bit too much of an info dump in places. I particularly liked the chapters where she travelled with another visitor, I felt these held the most details of interactions, as well as showing the contrast between people from India and the other continents
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on 8 July 2012
What a fantastic book. If you want to learn about or already love India - this is the book for you.

Erin (Bindi Girl) shares all her inner thoughts, observations and emotions on her amazing travel adventure through India. Her down to earth style makes you want to keep reading and reading - could not put it down!

Bindi Girl takes you with her on her travels and her great writing style will make you laugh, gasp etc... as though you are with her personally. Ups, downs, happy, sad you will feel it all in vivid reality ...

Having been to India many times I have to say that Erin captured the magic and intensity of India perfectly. Welcome to India :)
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on 21 October 2013
I didn't really like it. I mean it was okay, it started out with a lot of promise, and then nothing kinda happened. I quit 25% of the way in. It was just like a lecture, there was no description of characters and I found them all very 2D. They didn't seem to be relatable or anything, just people having experiences. Quite dull really. Some of the descpritions of India were lovely, but that was all there was to it.
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on 29 May 2012
what a fabulous book. read in record time too, as i just couldnt put it down. i devoured the tastes, sights and sounds like a thirsty man drinking water. not often i give five stars, but this got it.
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on 15 August 2013
Interesting in a way, a bit too weird for me to act upon but full of descriptive notes. 10/10 for bravery!!
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on 13 January 2016
enjoyed this as a travel book as well never likely to follow in her footsteps so was fascinating
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on 12 October 2016
Excellent book , really enjoyed every chapter. I like how it was written to. Easy reading.
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