I have had the great fortune of traveling many places so far in my life : India, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, and Fiji (5 times). I have traveled to all of these magical places with my mother, who has been so kind and amazing to make it all possible.
*In Turkey, at the rose distillery, playing in the petals*
For anyone that has traveled to a far away country, you know what I mean when I say that travel to these countries changes you as a person, always in a good way.
My first journey out of the country was to India when I was 21, I turned 22 in India. It is an ancient land, with an absorbing history. India presents endless varieties of physical features and cultural patterns; In short, India is “the epitome of the world”.
There is no way to describe the poverty that blatantly slaps you in the face when you arrive, in addition to the smells, the overpopulation, the pollution, the cows, goats, camels, elephants roaming the streets, the mysterious sari clad Indian women flowing their colorful wear behind them as they go about their day, the wafting of the street food lingering in the air, the shop vendors calling out to you, doing whatever they can to sell their crafts. It is utterly overwhelming and beautiful at the same time. These people who often survive off a mere $ 5-$10.00 per month, and live in overcrowded one bedroom tin shacks with their family, are so happy. Happy happy happy.
This is not, of course to say that some parts of India do not have a middle class, and a very small percentage, upper class. Either way, the people of India work hard. WAY harder than any part of America I have ever seen. Their happiness is based off of family and togetherness, while much of America seems to base worth on money. I must say I came back from India feeling ungrateful and ashamed. I had a GREAT life, and lived better and more comfortably than most maharajahs. India is a land of color, busy-ness, spirituality, and happiness. It is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been too.
I am happy to say I have earned the opportunity to revisit the country I first visited 14 years ago. Not only do I get to go with my mother again, but this time I get to take my amazing husband who has NEVER been out of the country; even Canada. I cannot begin to describe how utterly excited I am to take this journey again and to share it with my 2 best friends. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to travel out of the country at least once in their lifetime. To tell you what it feels to be across the world is not the same as experiencing it. It is like walking back in time, and it truly has helped to mold me into the person I am today.India, the land of diversity, the land of spices, a land of magic and amazement!