In the past couple of years India has peaked my interest. The more I learn about it, the more my infatuation grows. I can’t quite recall when it started to climb my list of places to visit, but it’s quickly approaching the top of my destinations to visit.
One thing that immediately comes to mind when I think of India is all of the bright colors.
From food to clothing when I think of India I see the vibrant colors of the spices and the gorgeous hues of the fabrics. It’s like someone went there and turned up the saturation of all of the colors. Writing this brings the movie The Hundred-Foot Journey to mind (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a great family movie, my 7 year old loved it!). The movie did a great job bringing the story to life. For me it made me fall deeper in love with India.
When I travel, I love to immerse myself in the culture and life of the locals. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to travel experiences, but mine don’t entail high-end hotels and typical touristic attractions. I love finding hole in the wall restaurants that are filled with people that live there eating, talking and enjoying a break from their day over a delicious, authentic meal. I like seeing the historical aspects that the country features, letting my mind picture how life was lived in the past and imagining what was there before modern buildings, power-lines and structures took over. I love to find beauty in the nature of the country, finding plants and landmarks that I wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else.
Of course, as with any other country, it’s not all beautiful sunsets and delicious food. There is also a sensitive underbelly that exposes itself outside of the confines of the high-end touristic mirage. I think one aspect that I would have trouble dealing with is the poverty and the homeless children. While the Taj Mahal is an obvious place that many visit when in India, even it has been tainted by the reality I was exposed to in Million Dollar Arm; showing the poverty in the area surrounding the beautiful, intricate and iconic structure. I’m not a travel expert nor have I been to India, but from what I have read and not been able to watch documentaries about is that there is a large population of homeless children. It would be difficult for me to turn a blind eye to that if I were to experience it in person and the thought of experiencing such an eye opening situation scares me. This isn’t an issue limited to India, it is just one that I am aware of in the most minute of ways.
I wouldn’t want to let my selfish fear of exposure deprive me of the opportunity to visit such a beautiful country. The land of Yogis, enlightenment and of course Bollywood. I would love for my exposure of India to extend beyond the food I’ve tasted at restaurants and recreated at home, and images that I’ve seen grace the screens of both the restaurants and the big screen. I would love to see the streets and markets for myself. Capture the colors in all of their hues in images of my own. Smell the mixtures of spices and herbs of the food cooking. Let the music speak to my soul. The more I write, the more I convince myself that this is a country I will one day experience for myself.
I love this image and wasn’t going to feature it until I ran across this post and decided to include it because it gives some background for those that aren’t familiar with this tradition.
Is India on your list of countries to visit? What draws you to it? Have you ever been to India? What did you like about it? Was the food so good it put you in a food coma? Did you go tour guide package or did you venture out on your own? Did you stick to hotels and touristic areas or did you venture off to explore? Did you go alone or in a group? Do you have any tips or advice? Do you have a post or a whole blog dedicated to this topic? Share it in the comments, I’d love to check it out. I know I have readers from India because I see you on my stats, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you have to say about your beautiful country.