One of our staff was lucky enough to travel abroad to India recently. Read all about their trip below
Ancient forts, religious ceremonies, lost caves, towering mountains, lush untamed rainforests.
Everyone can find something to love about India!
India has the ability to excite, inspire and leave you breathless. It also has the ability to confuse, frustrate and exhaust anyone unprepared for what a trip to the country may hold.
So the best advice I can give anyone planning a trip there, is know the type of traveller you are, the places you want to see and prepare as much of it as you can before you leave.
I think most people travel to India with a similar mindset to myself. When my partner and I first landed in Jaipur we expected the usual struggles of anyone travelling through places like Africa, Asia or South/Central America. We expected begging, we expected overpopulation, we expected to be charged ludicrous prices if we didn’t barter our hearts out and we expected to be exposed to confronting poverty.
We were prepared… kinda.
You see these things are the things everyone tells you about. What you don’t hear or read about is how pretty much everything we have come to expect will be made easy for travellers is not. Do you want an Indian SIM card for your phone? That will require you finding one of the few retailers that cater to foreign visitors, and the card won’t be activated then. You will need to wait in the same city you purchased the card for at least 24 hours before you can phone to activate the account (provided the store person actually gets around to processing your SIM application).
Do you want to book a train anywhere?
Well unless you want to book it at the station every time or be charged a huge handling fee that will require an Indian phone number. While we are on the subject of trains, if you want a comfortable carriage in other words anything other than the free for all cabins where people fight for seats, then you might want to make sure you book at least a week in advance or you’ll find yourself out of luck.
Perhaps you want to travel more locally though?
Tuk Tuks are common throughout Asia. I think we have all experienced at some point getting in to one of these rickety little motorbike and car combinations and asking the driver to take us to some tourist attraction. In India however it isn’t always that simple. Most won’t speak English, be able to read or understand maps so again unless you are only visiting the Taj Mahal you might want to invest in that SIM card!
Despite this though there is magic in India.
Walking through temples thousands of years old carved from solid rock, the walls and ceiling decorated with a patchwork of ancient plaster and intricate paintings. Standing among thousands on the banks of the world’s holiest river watching priests conduct the evening worship to mother Ganga. Watching how the sunrise paints the Taj Mahal an array of pastel hues that are far too delicate and beautiful to ever be captured in a photograph.
These are the moments that capture you; erasing the memories of all the challenges you’ve beared to reach your destination and transporting you to the India of old. To a land of mystery and beauty; and a land worth preparing yourself for.