India

India is a magnificent country of beauty, culture, art and architecture– a center of bustling activity. I found India to be a bit harder to navigate initially, as a woman traveling alone, but after everything, it was probably the most rewarding and beautiful.

For new travelers, I recommend getting a guide to show you the ropes, as I did. It makes the transition easier, and you’ll have less trouble getting around whatever city you find yourself in. Initially I did not have a guide, there were a lot of problems trying to get to all the places I wanted to go. Some of my favorite places were; Monkey Temple in Jaipur, the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Buddhist temple in Dharamsala and Ranthambore Wildlife Reserve in Ranthambore.

Paying a bit more for nicer accommodations and a western toilet ended up being worth the cost for me. My first night in New Delhi, I stayed in a cheap hostel that was not as advertised when I booked it online. I only spent one night in the hostel, even though I’d booked five days. From then on, whenever I went to a new city, I would find a place close to where I wanted to go sightseeing, find out what the rates were as well as check the rooms before I booked. This way, I was making sure to get was getting what I was paying for while also making sure I’d be comfortable.

For the ladies traveling by yourselves, finding feminine hygiene products when you aren’t staying in a major city can be an uncomfortable experience. When I was staying in Ranthambore Aunt Flow payed a visit. I asked the concierge for some pads and was soundly rebuffed. I wasn’t expecting this after my relatively easy stay in Thailand, but every country has it’s own set of challenges. So I enlisted the help of my very uncomfortable male driver to purchase lady products. It took two days to get what I needed, but my driver pulled through.

And while India had it’s challenges, it was also an amazing place. The food is phenomenal; masala soda, hot lemon ginger honey, curry, and fresh naan. The people are very friendly and want so badly to be helpful, even when they are giving you the wrong directions;) There are so many interesting animals and places to see, that one can’t help but be amazed and overcome with the ancient beauty of a culture that has stood the test of time. So if you’re looking for an adventure, I’d have to say India is worth the effort. You might have challenges just as I did, but you’ll come away with interesting stories, hopefully new friends and a new appreciation for their culture and yours as well.

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