India Your First Country Abroad

I came back from my 2 month adventure in India, it was my first trip abroad, and so I want to tell you the reasons why you should make India your first country abroad as well.

After one year of working hard, playing hard, eventually I got enough money to go on my first adventure abroad. By the time, I had never had the chance to go far from home. So I was super excited for that. I made a list of where I could go and that place had to be cheap to fit my budget. And trust me it was not a long list. It included some inexpensive countries in the South East Asia (Vietnamese passport holders don’t need to get the tourist visa to other countries in the same area) because the cost of living is around the same level. I also listed some other destinations outside of the SE Asia, like the South China, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and of course, “my India”.

When my parents got informed about me deciding to have an Indian getaway, they freaked out because of the shitty news about the country which we frequently heard on the media. “India, uprising, raping, poverty, dirty … =”. But they knew that they couldnt’t do anything to change my mind since I was travelling on my own money. Yes being financial independent feels so good  Despite of the bad things that got broadcast on the telly, the country of the Great Ganga River was my final choice. And below are the reason why I made that decision, and you should too, either you are a travel expert or the noob like me:

1. Media only shows the bad side.

Why? Because drama sells more. Things like fighting, shooting, crime, blood always make it to the news. Those topics attract more viewers.

I was wise not to listen to the news, since I always knew they manipulate the bad side of the story, not the other side. I don’t deny the bad things happening in India, but, will people stop their American dream just because of the recent crime rate in the US? No, right?

I am not telling you to ignore all the warnings though, just don’t pay serious attention to them. If you are planning to travel to India, put the bad news about it in a corner of the backpack, and stuff the rest of the space with positive thoughts. India is waiting to be explored.

2. India is huge.

It takes the seventh spot on the ranking of the world’s largest nations, measured in square kilometers of land area. That means you will have a long list of places to see and things to do. Whether you decide to get tan on Goa’s beautiful beaches, riding camel on the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, or sightseeing on the holy Ganga River in Varanasi, you will probably get the best time of your life. (I did all of those things)

Its population is also huge, which to me is both good and bad. You will meet all kinds of people on the train, the bus, actually everywhere. And you will get a lot of attention as a foreigner.

3. India is super cheap.

Eveything is cheap in India, even comparing with other developing countries. I traveled the whole country in 2 months even on a tight budget. With around only $50, I could buy enough train tickets (sleeper) to commute between 15 destinations, from south to north and east to west.

Food and accomodation are cheap as well, considering you don’t go to luxurious restaurants and sleep in 5 star hotels. Even in big cities, there are bunches of hostels for backpackers with the price of only $2 or $3. You can even stay overnight for free in many temples or masjids. Many travelers do so.

I guess most of the first time travelers plan their first trip in a low budget, so India is sure a place that won’t cost you much.

4. India has an interesting culture.

By “interesting”, I actually mean, overwhelming. India is the most diverse country in the world. Be it in religion, caste, food, geography, language, culture and traditions, appearance of people etc. Home and the birthplace of at least nine recognized religions. The major religions practiced in India are Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. All of them mix together in the community. Within the radius of 1 km, you can find a lot of religions in presence. But it is the truth, religions play the important part of harming the country’s development.

Everything is a little bit too much in India in the way people live their life. You will find a lot of interesting architecture, brightly painted houses in different colors, holy cows on the street, etc. There are just so many thing happening in the country. Believe me, you will see so many interesting things that you can never do at home.

5. You don’t have to worry about the language.

Even though there are more than 100 different languages in India, but the usage of basic English is almost everywhere. Indeed, you can communicate with the locals. One other thing is their English accent is pretty hard to understand for some people. But don’t worry about the language barrier. They will make you understand 

However, it’s always better to learn some basic simple Hindi words, so that you can have the better chance at bargaining, for example

6. You will either love the country or hate it. No where in between.

My trip to India was a life-changing experience, in the good way. I missed it already before even leaving. So many good memories were made. Being abroad for the first time like me, and alone, being scared and nervous was understandable. But after one day or two, you will get used to it and start enjoying.

Because of the extreme diversity, you will have to decide to love India or hate it. You will never ever have a neutral feeling about the country.

But one thing for sure, doesnt matter which side you are in, love or hate, I am sure that you will have a lot lot lot to tell, once you get back

7. India your first country abroad, will make you want to travel more.

All the things you will see in India, will make you question the image of the world you are having in your mind. You will get wowed to see people burning their dead ones on the edge of the polluted Mother Ganga, to see the obvious gap between social classes, to see the bad living condition that poor people are having.

It will make you question how much you don’t know is happening out there in the world. Thus, it will make you want to travel more, experience more. You won’t be able to wait for the next time you set your feet on the road again.

There are a lot more reasons than those above, to why I recommend India to the first time travelers, since the trip will literally define a new you. With pretty much awesomeness in the world, you could start with some in India.

Later on I will tell about my detailed 2 month backpacking trip in India. If you want to read more about it, stay tuned.

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