India: a must see

When I told people I would be visiting India I didn’t get many positive reactions. ‘Its filthy’, ‘the men are gross’, and my all time favourite, ‘you’ll hate it’. I should actually thank those people for lowering my expectations because as soon as I crossed the border from Nepal to India I instantly loved it – rubbish filled streets and all!

A few things about this remarkable place and why you should visit:

– The food. I had eaten Indian once before arriving here and it is now my favourite cuisine. Thali, Murg Tikka, Tandoori. Eat it all!

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– Hotels and restaurants here just love surveys and will wait by your side until you have completed it. Service in India is second to none so maybe they actually read their surveys!?

– Always travel with a sleeping bag even if you’re staying in hotels. Mine definitely helped me get a better nights sleep when I discovered my bed had bugs or rough chalk-like sheets.

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– Taj Mahal. No further comment required.
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– Whatever you do don’t look out the front window, whether you’re in a car or touk touk. You will see your life flash before your eyes so just sit back and enjoy the chaos from the passenger side windows.

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– Embrace the squat toilet! I’m actually going to miss them…maybe just a little.

– Carry tissues everywhere. And no, buying the ten pack of travel tissues will not be considered excessive.

– Always carry small notes to tip the bus boys and drivers. They appear out of nowhere to help you out and make life easier when there’s no lift.

– Antibacterial gel will become your best friend. Most of you are aware I hate this stuff and think we should expose ourselves to some germs, however, in India you will definitely need it!

– There is a mass market saturation of Snickers advertisements and you will do anything to get your hands on one. Silly consumer!

– I wouldn’t advise your first visit to India be done without a tour guide. It is incredibly overwhelming even for the most keen of travellers so be smart and book a tour to test the waters first. I can definitely say my experience in India wouldn’t have been so positive if I had done this on my own.
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– Elastic waisted pants and baggy clothes will become your go to outfit of choice. It also helps when eating huge volumes of food!

– It is mandatory to eat a Club Sandwich by the pool, even if it does cost you $30. Just do it.

– Attend a Bollywood premiere. It will be one of the most bizarre cinema experiences but unforgettable at the same time.

– Treat yourself to some luxury for your last night. I stayed at The Imperial in New Delhi- super fancy over the top glamour. They’ve set the bar very high so check it out!

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– Spend time on an overnight train. It has to be done!

– Don’t get lost, and if you do, try to not look lost to avoid even further attention from the locals.

– Above all, remember you are in a developing country. Don’t be that person who complains about everything not being up to standard as back home. You’re in India, not New York you twit! >

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