Nervous. That was the answer I gave when people asked if I was excited about my pending trip. I felt ridiculous. I've been to over 40 countries, lived in several, and generally am pretty street smart. India scared me though. I'd put if off for many years for fear of going alone. It seemed to get so much bad press, rape, robbery, scams, hassle and Delhi belly. It just seemed like hard work travel. Not like SE Asia or Europe. The colours in images always dazzled me, luring me to come. That and my textile obsession. Any print I fell in love with, any delicate cotton or the lightest cashmere - India. Always India.
My mother decided to join on on this trip, at 78 years old! Side note: She's a bad ass! And I am no longer a 20 year old backpacker. This was going to be one of the first trips I hadn't gone on with a shoestring budget. I had no idea what to expect.
Leading up to the trip I bought my first money belt - you know those ugly beige things you wear under your clothes? Well happily, I never used it.
I loved the hospitality of the Indian people, minus one day tour guide who tried to hustle us for extra money, every Indian we met was polite, generous and had a great sense of humour.
The food was incredible and made me consider becoming vegetarian again. Plus I didn't get sick!! Whoo hoo!
Yes, bad things happen in India. As they do everywhere. I refuse to judge a society on citizens of the lowest poor character because if I did I'd have to judge Australia equally.
I'm realistic in thinking my trip was so smooth because I'm no longer a young woman, because I wasn't alone. It's was definitely made easier by the booking company www.indiasomeday.com and our fantastic driver in Jaipur. Even though I will never fly Air India again (that was the worst part of the trip), I loved every moment and can't wait to go back!