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Big Trip Blog Bigtripblog is a multimedia travel experience capturing the adventures of Kevin and Valerie during their one year trip around the world.

India Recap

INDIA | Sunday, 18 March 2007 | Views [1383]

You might recall the cute little acronym some people in Nepal made up to describe India: I’ll Never Do It Again. After some six weeks or so exploring the three largest cities, Varanasi, and the heavily touristed state of Rajasthan, we are prepared to give our verdict:

While not always a traveler’s paradise, we will hopefully be returning to India again sometime in the future. Six weeks isn’t enough to even scratch the surface, so we left wanting more. Our original plan was to spend two months exploring the major sights in the north and south, but this proved to be overly ambitious. It’s possible to travel cheaply in sleeper class on trains, but the long distances make this exhausting over time. Maybe if we hadn’t been traveling for six months already it wouldn’t seem so daunting, but for whatever reason, it does.

Most guidebooks don’t recommend trying to tackle both north and south in one go anyhow. Multiple trips are much better, breaking the huge sub-continent into manageable pieces.

There is certainly a period of adjustment when traveling in India. I’m sure it’s different for everyone. For us, it was a few weeks. We experienced culture shock, which isn’t surprising. Some things are truly shocking: men peeing anywhere at any time, filthy streets, near constant harassment by would-be con-artists, beggars and street children. Once you get used to handling it all, you barely even notice anymore, and you are able to fully enjoy the best that India has to offer.

And does it have a lot to offer. The food, as many people know, is delicious. India’s history is captivating no matter how you look at it, whether you are interested in the European colonization and control of India, or its much older history of Hindu empires, the Muslim invasion, the founding of Buddhism, etc. One of India’s greatest treasures are the people you meet on buses, trains, or on the streets who are profoundly curious and interested in you, and want nothing more than for you to have a great time in their country. At first the long stares feel offensive, but as soon as you smile or wave, many of them melt. To quote a fellow traveler, they often wear their heart on their sleeve. It’s the sort of thing that really grows on you.

Our main reason for leaving early was not because we were fed up, it was simply an overwhelming desire to hit the beach (in Thailand). We felt like the best course of action was not to rush through South India, but rather to come back on a separate trip and give it the time and attention it deserves.

So to sum things up: There are far more awesome things going on in India than there are bad things, and we hope we get an opportunity to visit again. We certainly left enough of the country uncharted to warrant at least one more trip!

You can get the full story at bigtripblog.

Tags: Adventures

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