“Where’s the best place you have ever travelled to?, “What’s your favourite country in the world?”.
Those two questions are the hardest to answer when you have been travelling for over 7 years, have had some of the most beautiful experiences and the seen the most beautiful places in the world. But, there’s one trip that was unforgettable to me in particular because it not only pushed me to become stronger, but I learnt an enormous amount about myself and the country. That country was India.
India was one of those dream destinations for me ever since I was a little kid, I know everyone says this but it’s the truth. I remember my older brother coming back to New Zealand after he had lived in India for a little while. He brought back a bunch of necklaces and colourful Holi powder (which later I preceded to spill on the carpet, sorry Dad). My brother had some incredible stories about India.
Maybe it was the stories or maybe it was the colourful powder which looked like gold to a child of my age, but somehow the seed of India was planted in my head. As I started travelling more and more the trip to India was always one that came up, but to be quite honest I was scared. India has a lot of bad press when it comes to women travelling alone. Reading stories about travellers who had bad experiences in India really put me off at first. But, I am the type of person that believes to always make your own experiences and your own thoughts about a country – never to make a decision based on someone else’s experience. If I had listened to all the bad experiences from people about countries around the world I would have just stayed at home my entire life. That’s not for me. I want to inspire people to go out and see the world, not for them to stay in their own bubble for the rest of their life.
So, without thinking about it I brought a ticket to India. Non-refundable, paid in full, no turning back.
The day of my flight was rough. I was so scared as I had friends and even family message me about all the negative stories, only one person wrote me a fully positive message. I really didn’t know if I was strong enough to travel alone around India for 6 weeks, but I had no choice. I made myself get on that flight and I can tell you now, that was the best decision I ever made because that was the best holiday I had ever been on!
6 weeks from Delhi to Goa
Hours and hours of train journeys, seeing the most spectacular forts, eating the most delicious and tastebud dancing food I had ever had in my life. That trip was really something.
It wasn’t all rainbows though. A trip to India never is. A trip to India is beautiful but ugly, it’s colourful but grey, it’s calm but stressful, it’s fragrant but it’s potent.
By the second city, Varanasi I was ready to give up on India. So far, the trip had been stressful, I didn’t know who to trust and I felt extremely anxious. It wasn’t until I met a Dutch woman that I really started to enjoy it and ‘ride the wave of India’. She had told me this was her 6th time in India and gave me some incredible advice. Just relax, trust your gut feeling and enjoy this incredible experience.
From then on, my time in India was filled with beauty. I saw the Taj Mahal at sunrise and almost got attacked by a monkey, I drunk endless amounts of chai sitting on questionable stools on the side of the street, I visited fort after fort, I camped in the desert of Jaisalmer, I marvelled at the blue city of Jaipur and relaxed in a beach hut with too many bugs in north Goa.
I had many ups and I had many downs but my trip to India was one that I learned the most from and it pushed me to become a stronger and better person. The love I received from strangers and the beauty that India showed me I will never forget, making it easily THE best holiday I have ever had.
Why am I telling you the best holiday I have ever had? #TanzaniaWithYZS
Well, not only to try and convince you to visit India yourself but also, I am entering a competition with Yellow Zebra Safaris which has the prize of a luxury safari for two in Tanzania! Experiencing a safari is another one of those trips I have dreamed of as a child. My obsession with animals and seeing the big 5 have always been an absolute dream of mine, which is why it would be SO incredible to be able to do a trip like this. I want to learn and experience all that Tanzania offers, not only the animals but to see the interesting nature and to meet the people and learn about the culture. This is why I would LOVE to go to Tanzania. This would be a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I cross my fingers, toes and eyeballs!
Tell me below, what was the best holiday you have ever been on? I would love to know!