Living by Giving through India (Ch. 1 – Waking Up)

Living by Givingblogpic

This is not a normal travel story, this is an adventure that explores what’s humanly possible when we live by giving to others. This journey will take us deep into rural and remote southern India through difficulties, love and lessons that changed me fundamentally as a human. I promise to present the facts in an honest way, how you interpret what happened is completely up to you.


I touch down in Mumbai, India at around 5am. After hearing so many damn stories about getting tricked as a traveller you tend to take an overly cautious attitude at first. I notice a pre-paid taxi rank and happily walk towards the counter. There are confusions with our first interactions. The information I had from the couch surfer Fahad only outlined block number 19 and the street. So I gave him a call and he woke to hear me on the other end. “Sorry to have woken you Mate, this is Pete. I’ve just landed but this taxi guy doesn’t know where to go. Can you help him?” He slowly regains consciousness and explains where to go.

I jump in the back of the rickety rickshaw and arrive through dark alleyways with stray cats chasing rats. The driver assures me this is the place, I thank him and slowly make my way to the stairs. I hope I’ve come to the right house I think to myself! This is 5am and I could be interpreted as an intruder…

I cautiously climb 5 flights of wet moist stairs, knock on the door and thankfully my couch surfer friend answers with a sleepy smile not a samurai sword. “You must be tired” he says, here come this way I’ll show you where you’ll be sleeping. He takes me into what looks like an everything room where kitchen, storage and living room are all combined. He asks me to put my stuff down and pulls off one of the mattresses from his brother’s bed in the other room. We chat a little but I’m exhausted. I tell him I need to get some rest as I hadn’t slept a wink on the plane due to excitement and anticipation. Unaware of who else was in the house, the sound of the broken fan above sends me to sleep.

I wake to find a fat bellied man looking down the end of his glasses with a surprised look on his face. “Who are you!?” he asks. I wake out of my daze to say “My name’s Pete and I’m a couch surfer staying with your son”. He quickly relaxes his face and says that his son had failed to mention there would be new travellers this morning. He quickly lets it slide and welcomes me in with a fresh cup of chai tea (keeping in mind I am not this mans couch surfer). To him he had no previous knowledge that I’d be coming. He then asks me where I’d like to go today.

After getting the maps out he asks if I’d like to share an apple with him. Strange, yet subtle offer of selfless giving except coming from him! I thought I was going to be doing the giving?


Fahad the Couchsurfer & I

Fahad the Couchsurfer & I in the everything room

Munawar & I

Munawar (the Father) & I

6 thoughts on “Living by Giving through India (Ch. 1 – Waking Up)

  1. Peter ever since I saw your clip on you tube it allows me to feel less lonely on a journey of proving that maintaining a sharing, trusting, faithful and positive heart in many different environments changes everything. It is the biggest reward to my “Soul” when genuine love and sharing returns in the most unusual way. as a result of “As above so below” Keep writing and so long as i have a good signal here in Lombok I would love to keep reading:-) The change is here on the planet and there is no running or hiding from it and your LOVE and COURAGE is rippling to places you wouldn’t even be aware of:-) Anyway love to you and your family and friends x

    • Jeannie! The spiritual soul sister living in Indonesia. Indeed it’s through the act of giving to others that entire social paradigms have been redefined positively. It makes me wonder how different the world could be with a simple shift in personal perspective? What have you found? Have you always been with this attitude? Or did you discover it somewhere along your journey? Keep doing your thing and sending your positive vibes!

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