I just wrapped up one of the most interesting, fascinating, and toughest trips that I have ever taken in my life, a 15 day trip through Rajasthan. The main reason to visit India wasn’t only to experience one of the most varied places in the world, but also to see the viability of opening a business here through my Day Trading Academy.
I have been in India for nearly two months now exploring the entire northern region with side trips to Mumbai and Goa.
How could someone come to India and not experience Mumbai and Goa?
I always try to arrive at a new destination with no preconceived notions but that couldn’t be possible in India. Being heavily entrenched with day trading and new international investment ventures it was going to be nothing short of captivating to experience one of the largest emerging economies in the world.
There has been nothing short of amazing experiences as I continue to explore the country.
Much of the content I have read about India has been nothing but positive reviews and comments about how amazing it is (excluding the infamous Delhi Belly). I perhaps have experienced something a bit different than most or other travelers just focus on the positive aspects of the country.
I am now roughly two thirds into my trip through India and what I have experienced is an extreme case of travel on both ends, positive and negative.
There apparently is no middle ground in India; things either work or they don’t, its first class or backpacking, things are either spotless or filthy.
In India everything is magnified; everything from the culture, diversity, and colors, to the poverty, unpleasant smells, and the filth.
India is what I would now describe as a 4th world country.
I have been living overseas in so called 3rd world countries a large portion of my life being born in Venezuela, living in Sicily (a 3rd world state in a 1st world country back then), and on this current trip around the world living in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Kenya and Ethiopia.
The people of India have been nothing short of curious, welcoming, and intriguing at every turn.
It seems there is an infatuation with those of the fashionable pasty white skin from the west. Anywhere I have visited, whether it be the financial capital of Mumbai, the beaches of Goa, or the desert of Rajasthan, I have been stopped continuously by the locals to have my picture taken.
Kids and teenagers have wanted to shake my hand and at times there were entire groups of school kids and families that would stop for a picture of me.
It may be my oversized build, the wide shoulders I received at birth or the extending waste line accentuated by my American habits. Most Indians are just curious to know where you are from. They are extremely friendly people with a basically passive nature.
I have stayed in numerous hotels ranging from 5 star palaces previously owned by kings to hotels owned and operated by locals. The differences in amenities and quality is quite drastic.
In the west there is a standard of service that if a hotel doesn’t provide it will soon find itself out of business.
In India the 5 star hotels offer all your common western conveniences like hot water, running electricity, internet, and edible food. All at once.
Once released from the careful care of 5 star expectations you no longer can expect these modern conveniences. Hot water will either work, be available for a lengthy 5 minutes, or not be available at all. But what am I thinking, we don’t need those modern western conveniences.
We can take cold showers, we only use internet for Facebook not getting any work done, and we don’t really need electricity now do we? Even the driver that was in charge of touring us around Rajasthan even commented on many of the memorable breakfasts that were provided.
Any traveler that chooses to come to India should know that the standard of service is much lower than most 3rd world countries. I normally wouldn’t talk about this aspect of travel but in India it is part of the charm of visiting the country, said no one, ever.
The sites, aromas, history, and people that you will encounter will simply astound even the most experienced traveler.
The smells that arise from the endless array of spices and tea as you walk from neighborhood to neighborhood will captivate your imagination. The sites of what seems the brightest colored clothes (women usually wear the customary Saris) will beg the question of how they find such bright colors which happen to be all natural.
The food which at its rawest form are basic ingredients of potatoes, wheat, and rice, are brought to life by the variation of spices used throughout the country.
The intricate details of architectural work throughout the many forts & palaces is unfathomable. The endless fields of yellow mustard flowers in the countryside will contrast ever so slightly with the goats, cows, and women working in the fields.
But unless you contract the luxuries of a private car you will be smitten by the efficiency of a 4th world country. I have experienced both ends of the spectrum and have to say that in the end India is nothing short of remarkable.
In order to see what the country has to offer there will be an endless array of surprises that most travelers never talk about. As a traveler myself I would want to know what I am getting myself into. On the positive end of the scale I can describe the landscapes, history, people, and culture of India to the time I first visited Machu Picchu or the Perito Moreno Glacier in Calafate Argentina. Even though the pictures are plastered all over the internet when you see the scale of these tourist attractions you hesitate for a moment, take a deep breath, and only in a small whisper say to yourself WHOA.
No picture, detailed account, or video can prepare you for what you are going to see in India. It also seems that no travel guide or firsthand account will also highlight what you will have to go through to actually see some of the most beautiful & incredible things you can find in our modern world.
It is truly Incredible India.