“Why travel to India?” was the first question that my closest friends asked me when I told them about my plans for traveling India with Intrepid Travel. Traveling to India is really not on top of the list around my circle of friends; they usually prefer destinations like Thailand, Maldives, UK, Korea, Japan. I was always a bit different.
When it comes to choosing my travel destination, I always think about the destinations that are exotic, different, and breathtaking, but not the usual choice of many. India, Morocco, and Turkey, for example. Although the later two might have to wait, I didn’t want to wait on India anymore. I knew I was going to move away from Asia, so it was crucial to cross India off of my bucket list. I wasn’t brave enough to go alone, but I still had the guts to go. So, I browsed trips from Intrepid, Contiki, Gecko, etc., and finally settled with the Indian Getaway with Intrepid Travel. I also managed to get 10% off using a discount code offered by Nomadic Matt. That trip to India ended up to be one of the best trips of my life.
So, since this trip turned out to be more than what I had expected, I wanted to share it all with you and push you to get the same, or even better, experience. Here are the reasons why you should travel to India:
1. Traveling to India is life changing
If you’re reading this, you probably live a quite comfortable life. You have a decent internet connection, you have access to a phone or computer, and you most likely have access to electricity. In India, these aren’t things that everyone can get access to. In some parts in India, people don’t really have all that, but they still appear to be doing good with their lives. For me, this was life changing, because I saw many different realities and ways of life. And in the middle of the chaotic roads I came to a realization that ‘hey, life is good and it is truly a blessing’. Perhaps, you will have a change of perspective as well when you embark your journey to this land.
2. India is colorful
Color is pretty much all you see when you travel to India. Color is not only seen on buildings and exotic cuisines, but also in Indian style clothing. Since many women still dress in a saree, you will see different colors and patterns walking past you on the streets. It’s a different feeling when you are in such a colorful place; you start to notice even the smallest of things and appreciate them.
3. Food is super delicious
Yes, many have said that food in India can cause stomach problems. However, these cases only happen on food or drinks that have not been cooked (water must be boiled before served as drinks) or served completely raw (salad and fruits that you can’t peel). If you know how to avoid all that, then you are golden! The spices in the food and the flavor, they are truly amazing. Of course I will forever vouch for Indonesian food, but Indian food is still super delicious. And I can’t even begin to express how much I loved to drink masala chai (chai tea with spices). Plus the food is super cheap as well!
4. The architecture
Let’s face it, Taj Mahal is definitely one of the architectural gems that a traveler must see at least once in their lifetime. However, did you know that there are so many architectural gems in India? There are more than 25 UNESCO Cultural World Heritage sites! While you travel in India, you will witness many palaces, mosques, forts, etc., that will take your breath away. Many different stones and architectural styles are implemented as one dynasty begins and ends, and let’s not forget the colonial period that also influenced the architecture of India.
5. Taj Mahal
Although I mentioned architecture, I still want to give Taj Mahal its own space. This ivory-white marble mausoleum is something else, especially if you visit Agra Fort first and get insight regarding the history and love story of Shan Jahan and his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. I would say ‘don’t visit a country only because of one site’, but Taj Mahal is definitely a good reason for putting India on your destination list.
6. The spirituality
India has different kinds of religion such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and many more. The people are really spiritual, and they show it through many rituals and prayers that they do in the mornings and evenings. Since it is very well known for its spirituality, India has attracted many people from all over the globe for spiritual reasons, such as participating meditation retreats in ashrams.
7. The chaos
Traveling to India means willing to experience chaos, especially if you’re used to traffic lights and crossing roads on zebra crossings. During peak hours, Indian traffic can be super duper chaotic and the honking can cause major stress. My cab driver was honking at an empty street, so it’s basically what they do on a daily basis. Some streets in Varanasi (during my visit in early 2016) don’t really have traffic lights, so…you can imagine what that is like, or maybe not. This sounds stressful already, but trust me when I say that this chaos is something that you will want to experience at least once.
There you have it! Those are my top 7 reasons of why you should travel to India at least once in your lifetime. If you’re not sure about doing it all solo, then look for a tour that works for you. I personally would recommend Intrepid Travel’s Indian Getaway, since that was what I went with. So, I hope this article helps and pushes you to pursue your dream to travel to India. Happy travels!