Ileke Travels: India Overveiw
Hi everyone! I feel so bad saying this in March but Happy New Year! So far for 2016 has been all about getting my life together. I'm going to be moving in a month and starting school again so there has been a lot of planning and organizing going on. January was a rough for me and it took me a whole MONTH to recover from my trip. India is 10 1/2 hours ahead of Michigan, and the jet lag I experienced was unlike anything I've ever been through. With all of that said, the trip was totally worth it! Before this trip, India wasn't really on my list of places to visit and even in the weeks leading up to the trip I was anxious about the extreme culture shock I anticipated experiencing. All these concerns were unfounded though and I had an amazing time.
I think my biggest impressions of the country have come from the media and Americans I know who have visited India. Both of these sources illustrated a chaotic, crowded country that is overwhelming to all the senses, but that wasn't how I found my trip there. I think coming from a developing country prepared me, because India is similar to Nigeria in a lot of ways and actually more developed in many respects. Yes it was crowded, and different but what Westerners consider "chaotic" actually makes a lot of sense to the people living there. Take for example the driving, in India cars drive on the left side of the road and the lanes on the road seem to only be there as a suggestion. However for an Indian driver there's a sense of order in the way cars switch lanes and move through the road. It was completely terrifying the first few days there, especially when it seemed at times that we were going to crash into another car but by the end of the trip I was totally used to it!
We visited 6 cities in 5 different states, if you didn't know already India is a huge country and each region has its own unique culture. Our trip started in Bangaluru (Bangalore) and while staying there we took a day trip to Mysuru (Mysore). We then visited Kolkata where we celebrated the New Year and from there we explored the "Golden Triangle", which consists of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The trip took 12 days, including travel time and was amazing. My favorite city was Agra which is home to the breathtaking Taj Mahal.
Overall I had a wonderful time. I found India to be exciting and culturally very rich and stimulating. It was amazing to walk through places that have stood for centuries and witness traditions and customs that have been practiced for millennia. The people who I met there were incredibly respectful and that translated in the way we observed people treating us and one another. Though I don't think many Black people visit because everywhere we went my mom and I were a spectacle!
I'll be dedicating posts to each of the places we visited in the next week, starting with this video! I hope you enjoy and please let me know of a place you've been to or somewhere on your bucket list that you'd like to travel to in the the comments!