The last 8 weeks were the most intense time in my life so far. India is so different in comparison to Europe and to everything I was used to. Country, people, traffic, dirt, culture, traditions, language and food … The first month here in India was a jump into cold water as some of you might call it. Everything began with the home stay at Mary and George’s house and this was 100% India right from the start 😀
During the first nights, when Mary locked our room from the outside, I wasn’t sure about all of this. Wouldn’t it be easier to discover a country which is a bit more like Europe? Yes, definitely it is, but in those moments of doubts I reminded myself of the reason why I had chosen India. India is a country with many prejudices and no matter whom you ask, you will get different stories, experiences and cons and pros about this country. For us, those who are used to a clean Europe and to high European standard, is India quite challenging, because India doesn’t hide a thing. India is real, India grounds you and India is so beautiful in a way that I have never expected.
During my home stay I learned how important water is. I will never miss the experience living with a certain amount of water every single day. Standing under the ‘shower’ waiting for water to come was a new experience for me. Today I am happy whenever water comes out of the tap and I noticed how lucky we are that we don’t need to care about fresh water back home. And money was a big deal during my home stay. 5 children and 4 grandchildren and then 4 german people – so many people in a small house, so many members to care for and so many bills to pay. The upcoming wedding was just the peak and I can tell you one thing : back in Germany I worried about so many things which all disappeared or became a little less important thanks to my experiences here in India. My host family taught me how to live a simple life and they used to say: Living a simple life is not easy (and much harder than a rich life), but once you have learned it nothing can stop you.
Three times per day rice, no blankets, less water and electricity and no air conditioning during hot days and no heater during cool nights. No money to afford a good standard of medicine or to go out and having dinner at a restaurant. But nevertheless this family is happy and the way how they treat each other with respect and how they care for each other is amazing. I am so thankful for this experience and for this family who took care for me and gave me an insight in the Indian lifestyle. Furthermore I learned a lot about the traditions, saw the most beautiful places and got to know how spiritual India is and how amazing all these locals are. Smiling faces everywhere, always someone with an helping hand and of course all the locals who asked for pictures were an experience I will never forget.
With all the good things and the challenges of the last 4 weeks I wasn’t sure if staying in India for another 4 weeks was such a good idea. India is tough and whenever I struggled I told myself that this visit is not endless and I will manage everything. I think Cas and I were the perfect match and thanks to her the 4 weeks in my family went by quickly and whenever one of us had a bad day the other one took care.
But now I knew that Cas was on her way back to Germany and I had another 4 weeks of India ahead.
It was a mix of excitement to discover the rest of India and of fear that I might not take it that easy without Cas.
The stay in Hampi was perfect for my soul and heart. I was able to relax and to let all the things settle. And then I went to Delhi for meeting my G Tour. The first three days in Delhi I spent alone and to be honest with you, this was the first time where I experienced the reason why women should not travel alone through all of India. I don’t know why but it was the first time that I didn’t feel that comfortable after sunset. Delhi is beautiful and I really enjoyed my stay here but I couldn’t wait to meet my group.
And then the G Adventures Trip started and I cannot tell you how beautiful and stunning this adventure was for me. Even on the second day all of us were so closed that someone from the outside probably thought that all of us were friends for a long long time. The Taj Mahal on our second day was definitely an highlight, but retrospective I have to say that every day was unique and that it is hard to compare or name the best one.
I met great people during this trip and found really good friends. And India offered me a totally new side with all these stunning monuments, beautiful nature, holy places, loving people, new traditions and so much history. There is so much more to discover here that I will definitely come back!
The highlight of this trip was probably the day when we received our blessings and slept in the desert in Pushkar. But that is only my personal feeling, because this day offered me a lot of spirituality and energy. That was stunning!
But also the train rides, the drive with the Jeeps, the home stay at the back waters, the visit of Mumbai and the slums and all the hours I spent together with my group strolling around and exploring new places and observing local life was amazing.
It is true that with every 15 steps you take, the taste of water changes, the countryside, the people and the culture are changing. You can call it the diversity of life and I know for sure that India gave me the greatest gift of all: being thankful for everything I have in life and showing me what is really important. The majority of the problems back home are luxury ones and there is no reason why these problems should determine our day or our mood. The only thing that matters is health, family and love. You cannot buy happiness or love – it is for free you just need to take it and open your eyes for the beauty of life.
And whenever there is a time in which you might struggle or things don’t work out the way you have expected, that’s fine. Life is not meant to be easy in every moment. Live has plenty of sides and it is important that we get to know all of them: easy going or rough, crowded and lonely, dark or colorful, light or heavy…. but no matter in which phase you are right now, it will pass and we should be thankful for everything, because with every phase we are learning new things and we grow.
I think that I made a huge step for myself here in India. It was not always easy during the last two month, but I hope that all my experiences I have made here and all the lessons I have learned and new friends I found will last my whole life. India was more than I have expected and offered me such a beauty that it is hard to believe that I am leaving this amazing country now.
India is the perfect place to step out of your comfort zone, to overstep inner borders, to get grounded and to experience such a beauty and diversity in one place that you might think being in a dream. I had plenty of WOW moments here in India and I don’t want to miss one single thing.