India… There is so much to say about this amazing country. My husband and I learned a lot about ourselves (and others) in this part of our journey. So, where do I start? Let me start by telling you why we chose to travel to India. A lot of people ask us, why would you want to go there? While I am always thinking why would I not want to?
I have dreamt about traveling to India since my teenage years and into my adulthood. I would think many positive thoughts about visiting, rather than the negative associations that people talk about. I can be naive at times- I have never lived there and am not educated on all subjects that go on there. On a high level, I am aware of the ongoing issues they have, such as pollution, treatment of women, inequality, upper vs/lower class. You may be wondering, what would I daydream about travelling here? I thought about a country that is colorful, vibrant, cultural, spiritual, rich in history, an architectural and natural beauty, wildlife, delicious food, and friendly people with big hearts. I would often think about experiencing a true culture shock and explore a more challenging side to travelling. My husband says I am always challenging myself and putting myself in unknown situations (side note: this does not mean dangerous situations – I am very street smart). I have always naturally done this, and I think it is because I believe there is always something to learn and gain from these types of experiences. Of course, the down side is when we challenge ourselves, it can be both good and bad. It can be tough at times when actually going through those ‘shocking’ moments- for example, being out of my comfort zone, seeing poverty in front of my eyes, language barriers, etc . In the end they are always so rewarding and satisfying. They are life lessons that no book, teacher, program can teach me. They are unique and irreplaceable. I am so thankful to be able to immerse myself into another culture through travel – which has been so rewarding and I have learned so much.
Knowing what I know now, in the 27 days we were in India, I would choose to do either North or South but not both. It is a lot to cover both areas in 1 month. Some points were slower paced, and some places felt rushed. If you want to explore both and have the time, give yourself a minimum of 1.5 months to do both or choose one over the other. Also, many people highly recommended going with a travel company when visiting India and that there really is no other way to do it. This was great in many ways, such as having a reliable driver, and everything is planned out for you. What we realized later is that we didn’t really need this, especially after backpacking for about 4 months prior. We already had quite a bit of travel experience and are savvy on getting around a country (even India). To be honest, we really enjoy this part of the travel! None the less, the travel company was fantastic, and our trip overall was incredible. India was everything I thought it would be and much more. We will be back one day!
BLOGS COMING UP NEXT:
- 27 DAYS IN INDIA – ITINERARY
- GOA RETREAT
- TOP 10 MISCONCEPTIONS OF INDIA
- FLAVOURS OF INDIA