The Fascination of India

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The Fascination of India

 

WE TRAVEL NOT TO ESCAPE LIFE BUT FOR LIFE NOT TO ESCAPE US

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By far the most fascinating country I have ever visited, India kicked me about and threw me out the other side with a profound understanding and appreciation for their culture, their religion and most of all, their people.

 

img_7283 India is a vast country, often referred to as a sub-continent and is a land filled with contradictions. Noisy, raucous towns buzz below peaceful mountain villages. The pollution and uncleanliness is completely overshadowed by its profound and undeniable beauty.

It’s a tough travel, it will wear you down and induce exhaustion, make you exasperated and on the verge of giving up, but one thing is for sure, if you’re resolute and fight through the hard days, India will surpass any country on your favorites list and leave an indelible mark on you.

 

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In India, on a daily basis, you see what life must have been like hundred of years ago. Some things remain totally unchanged. And yet you also get a glimpse of the future, the exciting potential of a fast-developing superpower.

What did you like most about India?” – that’s the question on the tip of everyone’s tongues these days when asking me about my recent trip. And I continue to have one very simple answer: the Indians. I’ve never encountered people so friendly and welcoming in all of my travels. Often not rich in wealth, the Indians I met were abundantly rich in happiness and warmth. It radiated from them as brightly as their vibrantly hued saris and shimmering gold jewelry What made this so especially meaningful was that it allowed me to engage with their culture in a way that I haven’t necessarily had the opportunity to elsewhere. We shared a mutual curiosity: They wanted to ask me questions, take pictures of me and with me, and I therefore felt comfortable doing the same with them. The result was a warm exchange between two cultures – one that left me humbled, awestruck and even perplexed. Perplexed because it made me wonder: if we could all approach those that are different than us with this same enthusiastic curiosity – the same happiness and eagerness to get to know – then what a different world this would be.

 

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So while India offered me an experience filled with magical moments — the food, the sights, the music — it was the people that truly left the most meaningful mark on me.

 

 

 

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Surprised, Confused or Amused

There’s never a dull moment in India. Wherever you look, at all times of day or night, you will see something that surprises you, confuses you, or amuses you.

 

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Tea

If there is anywhere on Earth that is more obsessed with tea drinking than us English, then it is India.  A hot glass of sweet, milky tea at a roadside stall is a lovely way to pause, relax, and chat.

 

 Colour

India is a photographer’s dream.  The spices, the dyes, and the beautiful saris mean that you’ll definitely need to take more memory cards than you anticipated needing.

 

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Food

The variety and deliciousness of India’s street food is wonderful, and a definite highlight of travelling in the country.

 

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Religion

The variety, colour and devotion involved in India’s kaleidoscope of religions is mesmerising.

 

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Trains

Train journeys in India are brilliant. Cheap, reliable, regular and a great way to see the country, meet people, and eat a lot of samosas!

 

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Cows

A country that has cows wandering around the street is never boring

 

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The People

it was the people that truly left the most meaningful mark on me. And it’s because of the people that I return again and again.

 

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Many people try to cram too much into a visit to India. To get the best out your trip, concentrate on a few places rather than trying to tick off as many as possible. Seeing one place slowly can be much more rewarding than seeing loads of places, but not having time to appreciate any of them. Spend a few days in a place and you'll be less stressed, gain a deeper understanding of where you are, and have more time to get to know the people you meet.

 

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“India will cut to the core of your soul and overwhelm your senses in a way like no other place on earth. It may not be the easiest country to navigate alone, but it will certainly be one of the most life transforming experiences you ever have. If you can keep your heart and mind open and have a good sense of humor, then this is a destination you won’t want to miss.”

Peace, Paint, Travel

in love

Michelle xox

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Artful TravelMichelle Fletcher