I’m not going to lie, I had a very distinct preconceived idea of what India was going to be like.
Many of my friends & colleagues have travelled through India and almost all gave the impression of a chaotic, dirty, stomach bug inducing place, that you either loved or hated.
The bit they missed out is that it’s an absolutely huge country with very different cities and places throughout.
New Delhi is big, spacious & very British.
Old Delhi is busy, bustling & full of life
Jaipur was beautiful once but us in desperate need of investment
Varanasi is spiritual, magical & chaotic all at the same time
Madurai is rural, far less touristy with the most beautiful temples
And they’re are only the places we have seen. There are many more towns and cities that will have their own vibe.
However it’s no dirtier or more chaotic than Bangkok in Thailand, parts of Vietnam, Myanmar, Borneo or even some parts of London!
In fact for the most part it’s pretty modern & a lot more Western than I expected.
You can’t love or hate it as a whole because there are so many differences across the country,
I wouldn’t go back to Jaipur, nor Madurai, but Delhi & Varanasi are definitely on my return list.
The most important thing though is now when I’m taking to someone from India, whether they be Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist or Muslim, I have a greater understanding for who they are, what the history of their country is, where they live, how they might have grown up etc.
Any fear I may have had of the cultural differences between us is eradicated through travelling here and seeing it for myself.
The only way to get rid of fear, intolerance & hatred is for people to come face to face with those they do not understand and realise we are all the same.
Different backgrounds, upbringings & beliefs, but essentially all the same.
To travel is to increase understanding, tolerance & love.
Namaste 🙏 ❤️