As promised, The Top 10 Reasons to Visit India continued.
6. To Partake in Festivals & Celebrations
One of the best ways to experience the Indian culture is to participate in an Indian celebration. Whether you are having a paint fight during Holi, or dancing at a wedding, you will see beautiful colors and experience interesting new traditions. Indian celebrations showcase the importance of family and the Hindu religion, along with the traditional foods and rituals.
7. To go Beyond your Comfort Zone
India is an assault on your senses. The sights, smells, and heat can be a shock to your system. You will often find yourself in situations where you are overwhelmed by crowds, traffic, blaring horns, 115 degree heat, and unsanitary conditions that make you cringe. However, experiencing those things are part of the human experience where we leave our creature comforts and encounter feelings we often intentionally avoid. I think that being in these situations out of our comfort zone allows us to truly experience a new culture, and discover things we never knew about ourselves.
8. To Un-Plug
India is a great place to check out from technology. How often are we burried in our phones that we miss so much of what's going on around us? I was inspired by someone who was an engineer in Scotland, who decided to leave his job and travel for the next 6 months around the world without a phone! He found ways to check in occassionally with family, but wanted to get the full experience of India so spent weeks teaching at Vatsalya without any access to the internet. India provides a great opportunity to escape technology and truly be present.
9. Meet Interesting People
If you're travelling through India, it is a guarantee that you will meet other travellers from all over the world. Although it is difficult to find long-term expats in Jaipur, I have met individuals who are often coming through for a few weeks. It is so interesting to hear the stories of people from across the globe who have decided to visit India, From young interns in the textile or jewellery industry, to retired folks looking for a new experience, you're likely to hear some great stories.
10. To do Good!
If you're looking to do some "responsible tourism" and give back to the country you're visiting, there are so many amazing volunteer opportunities. You don't need to have money to donate to make a difference. Giving your time to an NGO can be an invaluable experience both for you and those you are helping. Offering your skills to women who make handicrafts to help support their families, teaching children, or assisting in providing basic medical care to families in slums can make an impact that will extend far beyond your visit. If you have something specific you're interested in, you can often find an organization that will put you in contact with other volunteers from your country to provide you with details of their own experience. And as always, Vatsalya is a great place to help in a variety of ways in Jaipur!