Alberto and Marina, known as @viajaentusofa on Instagram, quit their day jobs to travel around Asia and South America for nine months, and India was one of their first stops. As the Spanish duo continues to explore the world, setting couple travel goals, they recall everything that made their Indian trip memorable—from the colours to the chaos and everything in between. By Adila Matra
Tell us a bit about yourselves.
We are Alberto and Marina from Spain. A few years ago, we decided to spend seven months travelling around Asia, and two months around South America. We quit our jobs, and since then, we have been sharing our adventures on Instagram. The name ‘viajaentusofa’ is a combination of words in Spanish that translates to ‘travel on your sofa’.
What prompted you to come to India?
India has always been one of our dream destinations. Its culture, gastronomy, and architecture have fascinated us, so when we organised a trip around Asia, we could not miss the opportunity to visit the wonderful country.
What was your first impression of India?
It was love at first sight! We landed in Jaipur first and absolutely loved the colours, smells, chaos of the city, and the cultural shock—all of which make India unique.
What places did you visit in the country? Which one turned out to be your favourite?
We spent nearly four weeks in India. We visited Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Pushkar, Agra, Delhi, and Varanasi. We loved everywhere we went, but if we had to pick a favourite, it would be Jaipur, because it was our introduction to the country; we’ll never forget the sunset at Amber Fort and the exquisite architecture of Hawa Mahal.
Can you narrate one experience that stands out from your holiday in India?
Each day in India was unique and magical, but one of the most amazing experiences was seeing the sunrise at the Taj Mahal. Another unforgettable experience was a boat ride on the River Ganga in Varanasi—the city’s energy, its spirituality, and the way life and death come together on its ghats are incredible.
How do you suggest international travellers plan their visit to India?
We recommend visiting North India on the first trip to the country. Take a road trip or a train journey through Rajasthan (Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer), extend it to Agra and Delhi, and if you have time, add Varanasi to the list. You will never forget the trip and will definitely want to return to India.
Advice to international travellers visiting India for the first time?
Enjoy, don’t be afraid to visit the cities by yourself, be open-minded, take time to talk to the locals, travel slow, learn about Indian culture, but most importantly, try all the dishes!
Do you plan to return to India? What’s next on your Indian bucket list?
We would love to rent a motorbike and get lost in Kerala, often dubbed as the ‘Venice of the East’ and the ‘Backwater Capital of India’, and end the trip at one of the beaches of Goa.
Top five travel essentials while moving around in India?
Get an Indian SIM card—it will help you save money; drink water only from a bottle that is completely sealed; download and use taxi booking apps like Uber and navigation apps like Google Maps to move around; most importantly, don’t forget to charge the battery of your camera every night.
What do you miss most about the country?
Oddly enough, we miss the chaos of the cities; even crossing the street was an adventure. Those are the kind of things that make your trip unforgettable. We also miss the food. Indian food that we cook here doesn’t taste as good as the one we sampled on the trip.