This post is part of a series of articles written while I was in India
I’m an accidental traveller in India. Many would dream of going to India at least once in their life. That wasn’t the case for me. I must admit that the picture I had of the country was everything but idyllic. I imagined it chaotic, polluted, underdeveloped. In short, it was far from being the place where I was hoping to spend my next summer holidays.
And still I went.
I arrived in Delhi one lovely morning in August, whilst a hot and humid air wrapped around the city… and just after a scandal hit the political scene. To make it brief, the scandal happened because a member of the government had just complained about the behaviour of foreign women visiting India, which was, according to him, “poorly appropriate”.
Everything, thus, suggested that the time of my arrival wasn’t ideal.
But this trip was actually an opportunity to attend one of my close friends’ wedding. I couldn’t not go. I had to be there and, while being on-site, I should take the chance to travel around and discover India. In the end, I would spend 15 days in the country.
As the day of departure approached, though, the slight interest I had managed to take in that trip gradually diminished.
Apart from booking my flight tickets and my electronic visa, a great deal of work remained to be done. The first three days were planned by my friends (hotel room included) but after that, I had no accommodation, no contacts, no roadmap.
So I did what I had never done before. I simply borrowed a travel guide from a friend the day before departure – which I still have to read! – and I stuffed a few clothes into my backpack.
I remember just crossing my fingers and hoping everything would somehow turn out all right. And it did.
Although nothing suggested at this point that this trip would be a success, I realise, looking back, that having no set plan was precisely the best way to discover India.
Here is my story…