Thought I’d write a quick post as I’m sitting in the Bangkok airport waiting for my flight to Kolkata, India. I have to admit that I’m not 100% sure of what I’m getting into. Of course I’ve done some background reading on Lonely Planet, browsed through some other travel blogs, as well as talked to a few others who have been there before. The general consensus that I’ve gathered is that India is unlike any other country or place, and it totally it own unique entity.
After having spent 6 weeks in Cape Town prior to this trip, I had gotten my first taste of Africa, and was aware of what the other countries would offer. In Thailand, I met up with some friends from home within a few days of travelling there, and I was well aware of of Thailand’s reputation for their tourism sector running like a well-oiled machine (sometimes too much, in my opinion), making it extremely easy for daily life and travelling around the country.
I really have no yardstick to measure up with India, except to have no expectations. I plan to start in Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), and work my way west through the northern states, before spending a few weeks in Northern India to beat the heat. I’ll probably have about 2 months in India if all goes well, enough to give me a inside look into this chaotic subcontinent, but I’ll be saving popular places such as Mumbai and the hippie scene in Goa for a future (hopefully) trip. I’ve been told to expect an attack on all of my senses, as well as witness more displays of poverty and human suffering than anywhere else in the world. The same people have told me of the magnificent temples and history, mouthwatering food, and friendly people, illustrating the love/hate dichotomy that people have been known to embrace.
I feel a sense of excitement as I think ahead to the unknown, of what new sights and experiences I will come across these next couple of months. I’m ready to be alert and have to think on my feet again, as these past couple months of lounging on beaches in Thailand have softened me a bit. This feeling, on the precipice of a new adventure, is what renews my spirit, and makes me feel fortunate to be able to pursue my dreams.
If anyone has any tips/recommendations for India, feel free to pass them on!