In April of 2013, I was asked “Wanna go to India?” Now, I can imagine what is rolling through some of your minds right now… Some of you are thinking,
- What is in India?
- What would you eat?
- It is dirty!
- For how long?
While others of you are thinking,
- What a great opportunity!
- Great food!
- So much to see!
- The cultural experience would be awesome!
Well, trust me, when I was asked to go, I thought all of those things myself.
My initial reaction was that I was a student and I had heard that internet accessibility was not the greatest, and remembered that I am not a fan of Indian cuisine… and how would native people react to me being in India?
I have a lot of friends that I consider world travelers and have visited so many places and experienced so many cultures but I had not yet had the opportunity to do so. They were telling me about all of the things I would need to bring – nets for sleeping, gallons of bug spray, small packages of American snacks — in preparation. Which honestly, made me a little more worried to go!Not to mention the scary names on the shots I would have to get at the travel clinic.
Working things out with school, I went. The travel was long (about 24 hours was the shortest route I could find). On the packed fights, were interesting people to chat with and hear their travel plans. Upon arriving to Bangalore, the airport was full of chaos- long security lines, few people that spoke English, security guards with machine guns, and the list goes on…
The travel to the hostile that I stayed in was a bit depressing. A late night drive through downtown where people were sleeping on cardboard boxes and had a few branches nuzzled together for a pillow, people begging at the car doors without fingers, stores that looked tattered and dirty with the dust that was picking up and blowing from the streets. This was reality for the days to come.
I stayed in Bangalore to two weeks. Much to my dismay, I loved every little bit- congestion, traffic and horns, seeing how others live. I went, I tasted some amazing food, and I met a whole new network of peers and friends. Even though this is the actuality of Bangalore and there were some pretty disheartening things that I experienced, there were some very beautiful parts of my trip. I got to see temples, become associated with the game of Cricket, went to some authentic stores (even though the population there really enjoys their American stores in the Malls), and even food that I could not live without and everyone should try (Masala Dosa)!
I encourage anyone who has the opportunity, whether for work or play, to travel to India. It is a fascinating place to explore. As we have all heard before, “the world is your oyster”. Make the most of what we are give and experience all that you can. Whether you are five or fifty years old, you should take the time to explore. I took the time to be mesmerized by my findings while I was in India and I think you would be fascinated as well. This is just the just the beginning of my adventures to come and this has only got me started.