Traveling (to India) alone is always impressive, let alone traveling to the unusual India, this somewhat “alien” place, the simple thought is overwhelming. That is why I want to share my humble opinion on this matter and my own experience, and let you know that I it possible.
…surrounded by the howling of the monkeys, the scent of fresh flowers, the wallahs (suffix used in India for different professions, crafts or the origin of the people) evening shouting, offering chai (a delicious mixture of tea and spices), people singing while making puyas (a religious ritual presenting respect and love to the Hinduist Gods), you wake up in India.
“India maa”, a fertile land of endless history, rooted culture and infinite colors. But, sometimes, also too straight about the death, unpleasantly severe and hard to contextualize.
If you are traveling alone, from my point of view, there are two plus points, probably not that beneficial eventually: you get to recognize yourself clearly and you re-build up, even though you don’t want to. No one can remain indifferent.
But, let’s get to the matter: Traveling to India alone
Traveling to India alone
I will describe several matters that are of great importance when planning your trip to the land of more than thousand Gods.
- Having a goal
Traveling to India alone (or with someone) is in itself a whirlwind of emotions, with a certain feeling of not belonging, and an overwhelming amount of inputs on every step of the way.
That is why having a goal is a must. Studying cookery or a dance form, taking Yoga classes, meditating in an ashram… whatever reconnects you with your decision to discover India in the first place.
- Take it easy
Observe, wait, reconsider, and more than anything – don’t ask questions that may be answered with a “yes”! If this happens, you may not figure anything out, due to the Indian character (as long as I remember), even though they don’t understand your question, they will say “yes”.
- Physical contact is not part of the culture
That is why, even if they want to shake your hand, try to keep the distance if you feel more comfortable. You can always greet with a Namaste, joining the palms of your hands at chest height. This may spare you possible unpleasant situations.
Let’s keep it up!
- Dressing appropriately is a plus
According to my experience, camouflage is a good idea, get some nice kurtas (typical garment worn by women) because they will help you integrate, not only in the culture, but also in the every day life. This marked a before and an after for me when I traveled alone to India.
- Avoid moving about at night in certain areas
I usually find cities more hostile and complicated, in India and elsewhere, however, we do want to visit them. My suggestion is to stay close to your accommodation when the night is near. Also, if you can, avoid traveling by night, and enjoy all the beautiful spots by day.
India is an amazing country and traveling alone is an incredible experience. So, my main “advice” is to listen to yourself, enjoy the moment and smile profusely. India will give so much in return.
I hope you find this useful, and please let me remind you that if you want to study Indian Dances, check my online classroom