Does India Really Change You?

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The main point I have heard every single time people talk about India, is that it’s the one country that will change you forever.  But has it really changed me?  Here’s my thoughts on the subject.

India is a one of a kind country.  I have never been so emotional, one minute I’m at peace, the next I’m ready to punch someone’s lights out.  It’s a very testing country at times and like no other place I have experienced before.  It’s a destination that can be beautiful, ugly, smelly, fragrant, intense and calm all at the same time.

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I have had some deep thoughts while travelling India by myself which has made me question a lot about the human race and the planet we live on.  While I’m not religious I do admire their devotion to their Gods.  No matter how hard their life is, as long as their God is watching above them everything is okay.  In India, religion is first then its family, friends and lastly money.  In my opinion, people from my country’s thoughts are: Family, then money, friends and finally religion- or if you’re like me then it’s just making sure you’re happy and positive.

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The family part of Indians culture is amazing to see.  Most families live altogether in one house even when having kids.  It is up to the father to make sure his son is home by his curfew at 10  (even if he’s 30 years old!) and that everybody is where they are supposed to be and doing what they are supposed to be doing.  Constant phone calls asking where are you and what you are doing are common in India.  When talking with an Indian man he said he felt sorry for me because I’m not close with my family.  I kind of got defensive because I am SUPER close with my family and absolutely adore them, especially after losing my mother at 15 I understand the importance of family.  Travelling solo and living away from your family is frowned upon, in my mind it sounded like such a bizarre concept living with my family or my boyfriend’s family until I was 30 or 40.  A girl told me that if they see a solo female traveller that means they have gone off the rails.  Well I assured her I  haven’t , travelling is just my passion.

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What do you learn from India?

  • You learn to be happy with what you have already got.
  • You learn to not be so greedy.
  • You learn that family is the most important thing in the world.
  • You learn that despite the poor conditions someone may be in, you should always be thankful that you have your religion to keep your grounded.
  • You learn to relax and take every situation as it comes.
  • You learn that ‘Go with the flow’ should be an Indians mantra.
  • You learn that you will never be stuck for a taxi because a random mans, friends, cousins, brothers, sisters, husband has a rickshaw and he is happy to take you.
  • You learn that it seems every Indian is talking on their phone.
  • You learn there is this thing called time and then there’s Indian time (takes 100x longer basically).
  • You learn everything is not chaotic, its organised chaos.
  • You learn to recycle and reuse everything you have.
  • You learn you have never seen and experienced a culture so rich and educational.
  • And finally you learn to love India, it may take time but you will fall in love.

 

So, has India has changed me?  Of course, how could it not with all those lessons learned. I have learnt the importance of simplicity and that you don’t need all this ‘stuff’ to be happy.  I sometimes get too caught up with life and need to enjoy it more and take a step back.  That’s the number one lesson I have learnt for myself.

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What are your thoughts on India?  I would love to hear them!  If this made you want to book a trip to India then read this so you can get the cheapest flight and don’t forget to read this.

 

Does India really change you

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30 Comments

  1. November 4, 2015 / 10:23 pm

    This is a lovely post. I completely agree with you that India can be amazing yet frustrating and chaotic yet calm. I loved my time travelling around the country but after a while I just wanted to get back to normality! It’s such an incredible place though and I loved learning about their culture. Homestays are the best in India!

  2. November 5, 2015 / 5:53 am

    I wrote a big, long comment and the comment box ate it! This is a very nice post and I am glad to see a more moderate view of traveling around India – yes, it is an important destination but not more so (and certainly not more affecting) than many others.

  3. November 5, 2015 / 3:21 pm

    A country depends on the native persons individual and collective personality. No one is perfect and collectively same person will be perfect. Nationality did not comes in few days. It comes/ develops in centuries and become a integral part of our genetics. So as far as indian social values are concerned we are on top. Your country may also be best is some respects

  4. November 5, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    Having lived-in Mumbai for two years now I always tell people that it is an assault on all my senses: the noise, smells, tastes etc are all at both extremes. I keep hoping that my time here will teach me to be more patient, but alas that has not been the case so far, oh well I will keep trying.

  5. Oyster
    November 5, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    Oh man, I’ve always wanted to go to India. It looks insanely beautiful! Sounds like you’ve really gotten so much out of it! Sounds like it has been an amazing experience for you!

  6. November 6, 2015 / 10:33 pm

    There is a really great book, The Seven Suspects, written by an Indian author (same one that wrote the book Slumdog millionaire is based on). It is laugh out loud funny as he works his way through Indian culture and every steaotype there is. You should read it, you’ll enjoy it after your trip.

    • May 10, 2016 / 3:12 pm

      Oh, I will definitely have to find that book, thanks. I’m currently reading Holy Cow and that has make me laugh out loud quite a few times!

  7. heather843
    November 7, 2015 / 1:39 am

    I think wherever you go your experiences will have an impact on your life, and perhaps your outlook on it. India is no different to anywhere else, so it’s refreshing to read something that doesn’t constantly harp on about how India is THE place that will change you.

  8. November 7, 2015 / 6:51 pm

    I had an amazing time in India and you were right its chaotic and fascinating at the same time!

  9. November 7, 2015 / 6:54 pm

    I went to India two years ago and i had an amazing time! It can be scary at first, specially with the news about rape and all that. But its a beautiful country, chaotic but fascinating at the same time.

  10. November 8, 2015 / 3:33 am

    I haven’t been to india yet but it’s on my list. But everywhere you travel or go there’s a part of you will be affected or change by your experience.

  11. November 8, 2015 / 7:39 am

    India looks like such a special and interesting place. I want to go so bad but have held back for fear of traveling alone. Looks like such an interesting and amazing experience though.

    • May 10, 2016 / 3:09 pm

      If you scared of going alone then it’s best to come here with a tour first and experience it that way so it’s not such a shock.:)

  12. November 8, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    Learned a lot in India 🙂 Like being nice, is not always the way to go. At the end I said a much firmer NO and just turned around without bothering to be impolite. Not that I am using that all the time in daily life now, but it comes in quite handy actually in some situations! Just say there your limits are 🙂

  13. November 9, 2015 / 8:01 am

    Beautiful post, just can’t wait to visit india and experience this amazing place for ourselves.

    • May 10, 2016 / 3:08 pm

      Thanks for reading! Yes, it really is an amazing place.

  14. November 9, 2015 / 3:43 pm

    Your last picture of beautiful Taj Mahal is making me nostalgic. I was born and brought up in Agra and Taj Mahal was just 3 kms from my home. Thanks for writing this post on India.

    • May 10, 2016 / 3:08 pm

      Thanks very much! Wow how amazing that the Taj was so close to your home. What a blessing!

  15. November 9, 2015 / 4:36 pm

    Such a great and thoughtful post. I still have not made it to India and am intrigued by all of the strong opinions on the country.

    • May 10, 2016 / 3:07 pm

      Thanks for reading! I hope you can visit India one day 🙂

  16. November 10, 2015 / 2:01 am

    Looks like you left with some great life changing experiences. Makes traveling what it is!

  17. November 10, 2015 / 11:24 am

    Every country changes its visitors forever. Only those who do not travel are still the same 🙂

  18. November 25, 2015 / 8:26 am

    great post. I think traveling in any country will change you in a way, but some countries, (like India for you) have much more of an impact! I’m in new Zealand, pretty to similar to the UK in a lot of ways, yet I faced my fears and did a skydive, and recently got my first ever tattoo…more on that later 😉 I think my mum is glad I’m leaving soon before I do anything else a bit ‘crazy’ and out of character for me…but really I’ve just changed and grown more courage at stopping thinking about things, and just going and doing them! 🙂

  19. December 18, 2015 / 6:28 am

    A lot of interesting lessons, many sadly connected with the experience of poverty. I have to agree that travel changes you, but it really depends on the destination – all the power to you.

  20. December 27, 2015 / 7:05 pm

    I love this:)! India definetely changed me. I am in Sri Lanka right now and I am surprised how much the two differ!
    Keep up the great posts! and hopefully meet you at the TBEX in Stockholm next summer?

  21. January 7, 2016 / 3:50 am

    Lovely post! Shared on twitter.

  22. March 2, 2017 / 1:47 am

    “God takes care of India.!” my Teacher on my spiritual journey last Novemer said.
    Horrible( one minute..Sublime the next. Cow poo (watch your step) and flowers. Garbage (smelly) and beauty. Flying monkeys (literally ) and serene temples. Time is non existent but all is “Hurry Hurry “.
    I left a piece of my heart there and will go back.

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