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.
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.
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.
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.