India attracts a large number of travelers every year. What is it about India that is attractive ? Is it the diversity, festivals, spirituality ? And why do some people find India repulsive? I have read posts titled ‘Why I love India’ to ‘Why you should never travel to India’. Maybe it is because of this mixed response, I got the idea to come up with my first collaboration with travelers who have visited India.
Daleya (Dolce & Masala)
The Agony: I lived in Delhi for two years and feel that Judi Dench’s character in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel aptly described, “India is an assault on the senses, a riot of noise and color.” India had been on my bucket list since I was a child and mistakenly thought that prior South Asia travel and the ability to speak Hindi had prepared me for life in Delhi. Bad luck with timing didn’t help matters as I arrived while the city experienced its worse monsoon in 30 years and was in the midst of an unrealistic construction plan to host its first Commonwealth Games. The pressure on the infrastructure as immense. Patience and stamina were required to accomplish anything. As a female traveler, I found that you had to develop a tough persona or pre-arrange transport to ensure safety and peace of mind.
The Agony: Despite the challenges with construction, the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies triumphantly broadcasted Indian culture to the world. That is the magic of Incredible India – so many inspirational feats that take your breath away – all accomplished in the midst of chaos. The travel opportunities are unparalleled, whether it’s appreciating historic Moghul architecture, spending a lazy afternoon on a houseboat in Kerala, or observing a cultural performance in old Rajasthani forts. Where else can you enjoy street food for less than a dollar and then head to a diamond fashion show? Spice lovers will rejoice in trying Hyderabadi dum biryani straight from clay pots or a South Indian fish fry on a banana leaf. My personal favorite is sipping masala chai and overdosing on samosas and traditional sweets at the Bengali Markets.
Daleya, a travel enthusiast, shopaholic, dessert aficionado, and DIY’er. Specifically, Bengali sweets, Haagen Daz, House Hunters International, and all things sparkly, turquoise, and teal are her obsessions.
You can find her work here : http://www.dolceandmasala.com
And follow her on
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/dolceandmasala/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/dolceandmasala
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/DolceandMasala/
Jure (Call Of Travel)
The Agony : When we were traveling in Ooty, I got robbed and my guide brutally beaten while fishing at a nearby lake. A local fisherman who was also with us was attacked us well and sustained only minor injuries. To make the incident even more disgusting, our attackers first befriended us and spent over 2h watching us fish, chatting and in general getting us to trust them. Suddenly, while all three of us were facing the lake, the attackers pounced on us from behind, each of them choosing one of us as the target. In the short scuffle that resulted, both the fisherman and the guide were knocked out and didn’t know what hit them. The guide was savagely beaten with a metal road and was later rushed to the hospital where he received 86 stitches to his head. I was more fortunate and managed to get away without injuries, but my DSLR and iPhone were stolen. You can read more about it here.
The Ecstasy : What I love most about India is how open people are and how quickly they let you in their lives. Basically every other big city me and my wife visit, there is someone that takes us around the place. That someone somehow knows somebody else that knows somebody we know. The fact that these conversations are so natural, people so warm, feels incredible. I mean I’m meeting this person for the first time and it feels like we’ve been friends for years. If you’re in need of friends, just come to India 🙂
Jure is from Slovenia, currently living in Qatar. He decided to start this blog, since he loves traveling and probably has some sort of a condition that makes him anxious and depressed if he goes without it for too long. He has visited 34+ countries and counting…
You can find his work here : http://calloftravel.com
And follow him on
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/calloftravel/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/CallofTravel
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/CallofTravel/
Simone & Alice (Take Your Bag)
The Agony : When I arrived in India, I was excited but also scared because of all the horror stories I had been fed. I was scared of men, of the overwhelming dirt and poverty, of the diseases I could catch through mosquitoes… One morning I woke up to find more than 40 mosquito bites on my body. I felt feverish and I was sure I’d have to catch a flight to get treated in my country. Of course it was nothing, but the beginning of my trip was spent being terrified of everything…
Throwback to August 2014… I’m doing a collaboration on India with @g.raj15_plansavetravel so I had to look back at all the pictures I had taken during this trip. Talk about a trip down memory lane… It feels like forever ago… This was a very important trip in my life, it broadened my view of the world and taught me humility and fear management and «letting go»…. This picture is one of one of the most unprivileged child I’ve met. He and dozens of children and adults lived under a bridge, with no solid shelters, only tents made of big blankets and wood. I was volunteering in the slums as a teacher, and once I’ve been driven to this place, much worst than slums… I taught maths to kids and grown-ups alike this afternoon… If it’s true that I forgot about a lot of places I’ve seen in India, I don’t think I can ever forget any of the kids I taught… Talk about life-changing experiences…
The Ecstasy : The terror I felt quickly dissipated, mainly thanks to working with children. I was volunteering in the slums, and my young students were very excited to learn and very curious about me. They taught me a lot about myself and about life, probably more than what I had taught them. It was heartbreaking to leave them. And as much as I hated it when I arrived, it was very hard to leave India behind, too. I don’t know how it happened, but I had ended up feeling “home” there, and it took a lot of adjusting to being back to my own country…
This is the second picture taken in India (aug. 2014) that I want to use for my collaboration with @g.raj15_plansavetravel While I was looking at the pictures, I realized that I had forgotten about a lot of things I had done and seen in India! I guess the most important – the human experience – took all the space in memories. By that I’m rather referring to the « bonding with children » experience, because human experiences weren’t always great… This picture was taken at Sunset Point in Udaipur, where I went to with a friend. It was a bit of a hike, and once at the view point we were harassed a lot by men… It was uncomfortable and hard to manage, to be honest…
Simone & Alice, self-proclaimed explorers of the world and happy nomads. The first is a music-driven bartender working on the road, the second a vegan student and researcher in (medieval) linguistics roaming the world hoping to learn its languages and history.
You can find their work here : http://takeyourbag.org/
And follow them on
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/alicealeksis/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/takeyourbag
Phew…..That was an end to one good Collab Series. I would like to thank all the bloggers for sharing their experiences in India.
And I would like to leave you with this wonderful video I found online. This video by Neal Howland probably summed up the whole purpose of this Collab Series.
With precise editing, a catchy background score and powerful words to go with it….this video shows the pure bliss in the chaos that is India.
(Videos posted after getting permission from Neal Howland)
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