This is a question that many people have asked me. “Why would you go to India?” “Isn’t it dirty?” “I’ve heard it smells.” “My friend’s cousin’s nephew’s wife’s sister heard about someone who went to India and had diarrhea and then was kidnapped and sold into a prostitution/drug ring.” Ok so that last one was the typical worst-case-scenario that people throw at me and not an exact quote, but you get the idea.
India isn’t the terrifying third world country that movies make it out to be. For every slum, there is a well developed area. For every beggar, there is a highly educated office worker. There are McDonalds, Starbucks, KFCs, Pizza Huts, malls (yes, malls), and some roads have so many American brands that you don’t even feel too far from home until you realize how low the prices are. And yes, the people do speak English. Quite well, I may add.
But the charm isn’t in the American restaurants. It’s in the small 5’x5′ shop that sells penny snacks or the restaurant that doesn’t even have a menu. It’s in the eyes of a little girl practicing dance steps or a little boy playing cricket with his neighbors. It’s a different world, a different sense of community, and a phenomenal place that I’ve been going to for the past four years.
If you go to India expecting to be in America or on a European vacation, you’ll be sorely disappointed. If you open your eyes and your heart, you’ll have a one of a kind experience that you’ll never forget.