A few summers ago I found myself in a dark space - a friend was dying, i was unhappy at work, i was uncomfortable with my living situation, etc. You get it, we've all been there. One week during all of this, a friend offered her place up in the city for a week to housesit and "get away". I said "sure." I didn't really do much but feed the cat and read Geoff Dyer. The story that spoke to me the strongest was Geoff in Venice, Death in Varanasi. Skip the Venice part and go straight to Varanasi. There, he is a travel writer on assignment who then in turn loses his minds in the filth ridden streets of one of the most ancient cities in the world. The book afforded me the ultimate escape. All of a sudden someone else was experiencing the darkness with me, through me. As a result I became singular about Varanasi. India was added to my flight price alerts on Kayak, and life went on.
A few years later I was able to finally visit Varanasi. Here are some of the things that caught my eye: