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Bindi Girl: Diving Deep Into the Heart of India
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Erin gives an overview of the book:

Erin Reese is a one-of-a-kind travel writer – a spiritual seeker and solo backpacker who dropped out of a successful career in corporate America, hit the road,and never looked back. Her memoir, 'Bindi Girl: Diving Deep Into the Heart of India,' is a high-energy adventure travel tale, packed with plenty of spicy curry, cows, and comedy to make for one heck of a wild ride. From Dharamsala and the Dalai Lama, to meditation melodramas and yoga schools on the banks of the holy Ganges, Reese educates and entertains as she goes. We discover the Hindu gods and goddesses, the tourist trap mafia, and the beach havens of the hippie trail. From the disappointment of "Guru Disney" to the heavenly hell of Varanasi during high festival, Reese has us clamoring for more masala chai every step of the way. But the real odyssey begins when she meets an attractive...
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Erin Reese is a one-of-a-kind travel writer – a spiritual seeker and solo backpacker who dropped out of a successful career in corporate America, hit the road,and never looked back. Her memoir, 'Bindi Girl: Diving Deep Into the Heart of India,' is a high-energy adventure travel tale, packed with plenty of spicy curry, cows, and comedy to make for one heck of a wild ride.

From Dharamsala and the Dalai Lama, to meditation melodramas and yoga schools on the banks of the holy Ganges, Reese educates and entertains as she goes. We discover the Hindu gods and goddesses, the tourist trap mafia, and the beach havens of the hippie trail. From the disappointment of "Guru Disney" to the heavenly hell of Varanasi during high festival, Reese has us clamoring for more masala chai every step of the way. But the real odyssey begins when she meets an attractive young stranger, an intrepid traveler who is more than her mental and physical match. He whisks her off to the furthest reaches of India - the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. There, in an isolated jungle, they attempt to live out a Robinson Crusoe fantasy. Will their love recreate Paradise, or end up a natural disaster? Set amongst the wild beauty and danger of the islands and the kooky madness of 'typical India,' Reese takes us into the heart of India and her very self.

Bindi Girl is a gift to the adventure traveler, the spiritual seeker, and the yoga practitioner as well as the armchair tourist – anyone yearning for honest inspiration and a real kick to get out and truly live!

Read an excerpt »

Arrival

 Oh, that night. That crazy, crazy night.

That middle of the night when I landed at Indira Gandhi International airport, arriving in Delhi on the holiday of Diwali…

 Night of Lakshmi! Night of the great light!

Crackers blasting, blowing eardrums, taxi twisting and turning through the inky black night!

 Whirling through the smoke-filled air, chai wallahs and street people huddling on the side of the pothole-ridden, dingy road as the driver hurls through time and space.

 Crash-landing in the capital city of India, another planet entirely – there’s no place like Om! Whizzing past the “March to Independence” Gandhi Memorial toward the Main Bazaar, explosions of light and kaleidoscope as fireworks shoot through the air…

 This – this is my personal welcome party!

“HAPPY DIWALI!!!” yells India.

“HAPPY DIWALI!!!” yells the cab driver, turning his head to speak directly to me, continuing pedal to the metal, one hand steering the wheel as we barely avoid sideswiping a bumbling bullock cart and we tear into the narrow streets of the bazaar.

 “HAPPY DIWALI!!!” yells the hotel night manager, shoving a box of sweets in my face as I lug my backpack up and drop it before the front desk. My first prasad (food blessed by the gods), that fateful night – milk sweets made from chana (chickpea) gram flour and loads of ghee (clarified butter).

Flashes of travel guide warnings pass before my eyes: to accept the stranger’s sweet offering, or decline gracefully. Like Alice contemplating her next move on the chessboard, I weigh the risks: delight, diarrhea, or drugging. Hmmm, let me think – but not too much! That millisecond of standing there in the lobby of the cheap hotel at 3 a.m., wondering whether to go ahead and let life “EAT ME” alive, I opt to throw caution to the wind and shove the sugary cube down the hatch.

 Simultaneously scared shitless and ferociously fearless.

 Mother India called, I answered, and I came.

I lived to tell about it – and to share it with you, exactly as it happened.

 Enjoy the ride.

 

 

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Erin

Erin Reese is a one-of-a-kind travel writer -- a spiritual seeker and solo backpacker who dropped out of a successful career in corporate America, hit the road, and never looked back. Her memoir, 'Bindi Girl: Diving Deep Into the Heart of India' is a high-...

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Author's Publishing Notes

PRAISE FOR BINDI GIRL: "… lovely, lyrical, gentle, and informative. It made my world bigger…" ~ James Fadiman, author of The Other Side of Haight and editor of Essential Sufism "…an amazingly visceral writer. I can't wait to see Erin Reese's name on the bestsellers list, because that's where it belongs." ~ Lynn Braz, editor and travel writer featured in Dallas Morning News “Wow! My head is so full of images and Beatles song snippets and imagined smells of spices and cows. Thank you for creating such a vivid picture. You really do a great service to single women who are waiting to take the plunge into world travel, by making it seem so possible.” ~ Becca Costello, arts and entertainment editor, Sacramento News and Review "It's like Eat, Pray, Love - with teeth." ~ Jessica Shepherd, author of A Love Alchemist's Notebook: Magical Secrets for Drawing True Love into Your Life “Reese reports on an India few outsiders get to witness - not the Goa parties or tourist sites or political turmoil, no. Instead she dives into the throbbing spiritual centre of India and tries to place her California soul amongst the gurus, mystics and visionaries that remain a constant of Indian religion. Yet Reese is no New Age tourist full of cosmic waffle. Her writing is both beautifully descriptive and very funny. She captures the sweaty heat of India, its madness and charm. Her own spiritual quest mixes with her lusts and frustrations to create a new kind of travel writing. If I ever return to India it will be with Bindi Girl as my guide.” ~ Garth Cartwright, author of Princes Amongst Men: Journeys with Gypsy Musicians and More Miles than Money: Journeys through American Music