Mike began in Sleeping Dog as a blog site in 2007 as a way to share his photography and writing when he first began traveling to India. The name came a couple years later when he realized the significance of the sleeping dog that jumped up and bit him that first year before meeting his astrology teacher and the family he still stays with in Varanasi.
What began modestly with some family and friends following for a few years soon grew into thousands every week.
And his trips home, on the road in Canada, were inspiring for people. He began teaching yoga as seva as he traveled and then began introducing people to Vedic astrology.
So many people began asking him when they could travel with him that he decided to arrange a pilgrimage along the Narmada river to visit the ashrams and places holy to shiva and devi. A way of offering a different perspective of yoga as pilgrimage; a practice in giving your life and activity to god for at least a few weeks.
North East India was also calling him. The land and the people affected him deeply, just as deeply as those of Narmada. Perhpas it touched something in his own metis heritage (scheduled caste for my Indian readers). The aboriginal understanding of nature and the forest and life. The simple worship of the sun and the moon as father and mother of this earth.
These trips are about sharing an experience of life on the road seeing new things, meeting new people, opening our eyes to this amazingly diverse world. Ultimately he offers a new and unique mirror in which which allows us to recognize a deep side of ourselves.
Traveling with Mike is less formal than with your typical tourist guide. Each trip has the flexability to adjust to the group as well travel. He seeks to offer an authentic India adventure without the sanitization of the mainstream guides. Mike is a natural leader who believes that a good leader is a servant of those he leads.
His trips are always unique, as he follows his own curiosity when he designs them, so its often as new to him as it is to you (your never traveling with some bord guide. He’s a memeber of the group.
India can be unpredictable, and although most people are very friendly and accomodating, everyone can have a bad day. There is usually quite a lot of walking in India, the roads are rough and the suspension is poor, the terrain is always uneven; natural hazards abound so delays and changing itineraries are not uncommon.
A) Do I need a travel Visa for India?
Yes, you need a travel visa for India. You cn get uo to 2 months by applying online and picking uo the visa on arrival (but you must apply for this one in advnce). If you want more then two months in India you can get this by applying thru the local Embassy and forefeiting your passport for a week so they can insert the visa before you fly. Best is to visit the Embassy website.
B) Should I get immunisations for India?
This question is best asked to you doctor or local travel nurse. There are also websites that deal with this.
If you are planning to bring Malaria medication for this trip I strongly advise getting the more expensive varieties that offer treatment for malaria as well as prevention.
C) Do I need travle insurance?
Travel insurance is recommended. Have it include helocopter evacuation.
D) What am I paying for?
Shared accomodation, food, water, transportation, most entrance fees. Local guides, porters and/or security when needed. You are also paying for the organization of transportation, food lodging and guides. Your ultimately paying for a unique Indian experience with the benefit of an experienced India traveller to to lead, advise and manage any situation.
E) What kinds of things are not included?
Flight tickets, travel visa, insurance, taxes, imunizations, food and drink from snack shops & chai shops as well as food taken outside of the group meals. Camera fees in the parks and monuments or photography fees of ny kind. Specialty drinks or alcohol. Excursions that fall outside the scope of the itinerary (for example, extending a back country trek with guides and porters. The extra fees will be the responsibility of the individuals in the group. The group will also equally share the extra cost for your guide as well.) Personal expenses, souvenirs, sim cards or phone expenses.
Also note that astrology readings, massage and acupuncture are extra on every trip, even the Narmada pilgrimages. It’s better for everyone this way.
F) How do I reserve a spot?
Contact Mike at email@example.com and arrange to pay a deposit. Deposits are $600 for most trips, however for back country trekking trips we ask $1000 in order to assure the local guides of our commitment as well.
Refunds for those who back-out of the trip before we leave are dealt with on a case by case basis.
Full payment is expected at least one month in advance.
G) How many people to a group?
Groups are limited to ten people, including your guide. This accomodates a single Jeep with minimal discomfort and allows us to function as a single group, while also allowing. Also, many home stays, guest houses and ashrams are quite small and can only accommodate a limited number of people.
H) How do I pay?
Canadians can send payment, plus 10% tax as an email interact payment to firstname.lastname@example.org
People from countries other than Canada can pay in USD to PayPal or Internationl Bank Transfer by going into their branch (followthis link for details). USD typically facilitates the extra fees Paypal takes for transfers and transactions. As well as taxes.