I can’t even remember precisely for how long I already want to go to India. It feels infinite. There is always something that keeps me from going. But yesterday I booked a flight, arranged a visa and within a week I am standing in downtown Delhi. Surreal. My expectations? To expect the unexpected and a mind blowing mix of people, traditions, colors landscapes and food. I am so stoked and nervous at the same time and I truly still can’t believe it haha!
Due to heath waves and the start of the monsoon our first choices to travel to -Darjeeling and Rajasthan- are out of the question. There is only one part of India, which is perfect to visit in June and July, and that is the Northwestern part of the continent. So we head to Himachal Pradesh. Read: Himalaya foothills, yoga and meditation retreats, Indian winter sport peak season, colourful dressed traditional subcultures and valleys full of tulips. But before we travel up North we make a quick stop in Agra, because even in 45 degrees I have to see this spectacular world wonder at the dawn of light and take that cheesy shot that everyone has.
India can be challenging, especially for first-time visitors, I am aware of this fact. It is rather chaotic, not the safest country for women, there are insane wealth differences and it has some questionable cultural habits. I read about Sheroes Hangout Café, a café near the Taj operated by victims of cruel acid attacks. I suppose it’s going to be horribly confronting but at the same time beautiful to see these brave women take control and help each other to see the beauty in life again.
I try to prepare as good as possible and I believe I am as ready as can be. This weekend we do some last minute shopping in Bangkok. On the list are vintage covering clothes and strong stomach pills. Holy India. One month full of endless exploring, challenging unpredictability, mysterious spiritual believes and dazzling devotional celebrations.
I believe this trip and country can change the way I see the world and my place in it. I suppose it’s a culture of extremes and that’s a style that suits me often, quiet well. So here we go, all or nothing, now or never, head over heals and full in.