Greetings from India

My first Lexpedition Newsletter and a few statistics about India. Oh, and the Himalayas!

Hello, my friends,

This is the official launch of “The Lexpedition” newsletter. I apologize in advance for taking so long to reach out to you and to send you some updates on my journeys. I appreciate your patience.

As many of you already are aware, I am currently traveling around the world. I started in India on August 1st, 2006. So for those of you who don’t know too much about India, here are some very important facts:

  1. India’s current population is estimated at 1.1 billion people. Of these 1.1 billion people, approximately 1.2 billion smoke, and for some reason, most of them want to smoke very close to me. India’s population is second only to China, which has 1.3 billion people (most of them Chinese.) India’s massive population is squeezed onto 1.3 million square miles of land (7th largest country in the world in terms of size.) This means they have a lot of bunk beds.
  2. India’s current birth rate is twice the rate of China’s. Which means that India should overtake China as the world’s most populated country around 2025. At that time the entire country of India will celebrate by going out for Chinese food.
  3. There is a lot of Indian food in India.

So I spent a few days in New Delhi upon arrival before heading up north to the states of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, in northern India, up in the fantastic Himalayan Mountains. I have really enjoyed my time up here. I went on a 14-day trek from Leh (Ladakh) to Lamayuru that so far has been the highlight of my Indian adventures. I spent the first five days trekking with two friends, and then I did the last nine days by myself. I woke up in a different Himalayan village each day (like Rumbak, above left), had a quick breakfast and then hit the trail for about six to eight hours of solid hiking and climbing. I climbed over high passes (many around 16,500 feet), walked along many beautiful streams, climbed a few mountains (like the one on the right above, which was 18,100 feet high), and walked in the rain or snow or sunshine. And there were many times each day where I would simply stop and say to myself, “Wow, I have never seen THAT before.” Every day was a new adventure, and I really enjoyed the climbing and freedom and solitude.

Right now I’m hanging out in Manali, in Himachal Pradesh. The views from the terrace cafe (top left) are amazing, with waterfalls and snow-capped mountains and green orchards. I usually start my day here with coffee and breakfast, which usually morphs into lunch somehow a few hours later. Most of us admit we’re lazy when we’re sitting up here, and then we order some more coffee and banana chocolate pancakes.

Originally my plan was to spend about one year in India, then go back to China for a while, and then all over the rest of Asia and Southeast Asia.. All of that changed recently when I decided to go meet my brother Dominic and his wife Christin and their two sweet baby girls in Bali for some intense beach time, golf, and (legal) massages. So I’ll be in India for about three more weeks before heading to Singapore and Kuala Lampur (Malaysia) on my way to Bali in Indonesia. I’ll probably come back to India next year. But now it looks like I’ll be trading the high mountains for the beach and Pacific Island hopping and many scuba diving adventures for the next six months or so. After Bali I plan to explore the rest of Indonesia as well as Malaysia, the Philippines, East Timor, the islands of the South Pacific, and who knows where else. I sure don’t. Stop yelling at me!

I am having a blast and enjoying the people of India very much. I continue to meet amazing friends who are following their travel passions and who enjoy the new adventures that each day brings. I am taking very good care of myself and and am very healthy and happy. I can’t imagine it any better, quite frankly.

In the meantime, please keep the emails coming. Even though I can’t respond to each individual email, I read every one (and I really like the funny ones.) I trust you understand. If you have any suggestions or comments, I would love to hear them. If you know someone who might enjoy this newsletter, please forward it to them and invite them to subscribe.

And somebody please print this newsletter and hand it to my Mom, who remains electronically-challenged and absolutely disconnected from the rest of the wired world. Hi mom! I love you.

Stay tuned for stories about Crazy Davor and Crazy Andy, a list of ways to get your donkeys across a bridge, interesting morning hygiene practices of the locals, and updates on how much coffee, Palak Paneer, and pancakes I’m consuming.

I wish you all the best. Gotta go, my coffee is getting cold, and empty.

Peace & Love,

Lex Latkovski

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