I first visited India during my gap year and instantly fell in love. After volunteering and travelling on my own through this remarkable country, I decided that I had to return ASAP.
By December 2013, I was on a flight back to Delhi. Packing my Mum, a Rough Guide to India and a lot of essay notes (I had to write my dissertation whilst overlooking the Himalayas and the river Ganges… I couldn’t complain), we set off on a 3 week backpacking adventure across Rishikesh, Rajasthan and Kerala.
I am now in the midst of planning my next trip – the big ol’ gap life, and guess what country is on the top of my list (drum roll pleaseeeee)… you got it, India!!
Therefore, I thought I would share with you some of the reasons why I love India so much and why I jump at any chance to go back:
***Please note, this list is not extensive***
Everywhere you go in India, there is an abundance of beautiful, vibrant colours.
From the exquisite, intricately embroidered saris, iridescent, sparkling bangles and radiant coloured turbans to the mounds of traditional, scarlet vermilion powder, bowls of multicoloured, fragrant spices and wacky, psychedelic tuk tuks, there is not a single corner of India, which is without a splash of colour.
You only have to admire the awe-inspiring Holi Festival, which dances its way through the streets of India like a Catherine wheel of colour every year, to understand the importance and allure of colour in this kaleidoscopic country.
I LOVE Bollywood music. If I’m ever feeling a bit down in the dumps and need a good pick me up song, I don’t wack on the most recent Taylor Swift tune, I pop on a Bollywood soundtrack and pretend I’m sexy (I’m not) and can dance like the Bollywood stars in the videos (I can’t)… but hey, it always works…
In India, whether you find yourself in a shop, a rickshaw, a side street, a slum, a tuk tuk or a temple, everywhere is alive with the joyous sound of body bopping, shoulder bouncing, hand jumping, Indian music.
Don’t let being in public stop you from busting your moves!
Here is a link to one of my favourite Bollywood film soundtracks (if you don’t mind subtitles, the film is also definitely worth a watch!)
Whether you are looking to become a full time yogi, a pro at meditation or, you simply want to find your ‘inner self’, India has a spiritual aura, which will help elevate you to become a more calm, peaceful and focused person.
Enroll yourself into a yoga and meditation retreat or an ashram and see how India can awaken your inner spiritualist.
People in India are some of the happiest, kindest, most thoughtful, smiley, grateful and polite people I have ever met (especially the children). Yes, some Indians will try and scam you and others may curiously stare however, this doesn’t mean that everyone else is the same.
Spark up a conversation with a tuk tuk driver, hotel receptionist, shop owner or a local on a train and you’ll soon discover how good-natured and warm-hearted the people of India are.
From the towering, snow-capped Himalayas and serene, secluded desert to the picturesque, tranquil backwaters and scenic green tea plantations, India has every possible breathtaking scenery you could ever imagine, all under one tropical roof.
Whether you’re enjoying an extravagant thali of delicious and flavoursome curries, rice and bread or, delving into a crisp, spiced street samosa, food is always a prominent highlight whilst travelling through India.
Don’t be afraid to try food from the street vendors and to sample strange, new delicacies. It’s all a part of the experience (and ridiculously cheap)!!