Travelling in India: Does India Really Change You?

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Travelling in India: Does India Really Change You?


The main point I have heard a lot when someone talks about travelling in India, it’s that it’s one country that will change you forever But has it really changed me?  

Here’s what it’s like travelling in India

India is a one of a kind country.  I have never been so emotional. One minute I’m at peace, the next I’m ready to punch someone’s lights out.  It’s a very testing country at times and like no other place I have experienced before.  It’s a destination that can be beautiful, ugly, smelly, fragrant, intense and calm all at the same time.


Travelling in India: Does India Really Change You?


I have had some deep thoughts while travelling India by myself which has made me question a lot about the human race and the planet we live on.  While I’m not religious I do admire their devotion to their Gods.  No matter how hard their life is, as long as their God is watching above them everything is okay.  In India, religion is first then its family, friends and lastly money.  In my opinion, people from my country’s thoughts are family, then money, friends and finally religion.


Travelling in India: Does India Really Change You?

The part of the Indian culture I love the most is the connection to their families.  Most families live all together in one house, even when having kids.  It is up to the father to make sure his son is home by his curfew at 10  (even if he’s 30 years old!) and that everybody is where they are supposed to be and doing what they are supposed to be doing.  Constant phone calls asking where are you and what you are doing are common in India.

check out these tours in India

When talking with an Indian man he said he felt sorry for me because I’m not close with my family.  I kind of got defensive because I am SUPER close with my family and absolutely adore them, especially after losing my mother at 15 I understand the importance of family.  Travelling solo and living away from your family is frowned upon, in my mind it sounded like such a bizarre concept living with my family or my boyfriend’s family until I was 30 or 40.

A girl told me that if they see a solo female traveller that means they have gone off the rails.  Well, I assured her I haven’t, travelling is just my passion.

Travelling in India: Does India Really Change You?

What do you learn from India?

  • You learn to be happy with what you have already got.
  • You learn to not be so greedy.
  • You learn that family is the most important thing in the world.
  • You learn that despite the poor conditions someone may be in, you should always be thankful that you have your religion to keep you grounded.
  • You learn to relax and take every situation as it comes.
  • You learn that ‘Go with the flow’ should be an Indians mantra.
  • You learn that you will never be stuck for a taxi because a random mans, friends, cousins, brothers, sisters, husband has a rickshaw and he is happy to take you.
  • You learn that it seems every Indian is talking on their phone.
  • You learn there is this thing called time and then there’s Indian time (takes 100x longer basically).
  • You learn everything is not chaotic, its organised chaos.
  • You learn to recycle and reuse everything you have.
  • You learn you have never seen and experienced a culture so rich and educational.
  • And finally you learn to love India, it may take time but you will fall in love.


So, did India change me?

Of course, how could it not with all those lessons learned. I have learnt the importance of simplicity and that you don’t need all this ‘stuff’ to be happy.  I sometimes get too caught up with life and need to enjoy it more and take a step back.  That’s the number one lesson I have learnt for myself.

www.anitahendrieka.com travel-blog India

What are your thoughts on travelling in India?  I would love to hear them!


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  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    This is a lovely post. I completely agree with you that India can be amazing yet frustrating and chaotic yet calm. I loved my time travelling around the country but after a while I just wanted to get back to normality! It’s such an incredible place though and I loved learning about their culture. Homestays are the best in India!

  • Reply
    Prianka | Map Halves
    November 5, 2015 at 5:53 am

    I wrote a big, long comment and the comment box ate it! This is a very nice post and I am glad to see a more moderate view of traveling around India – yes, it is an important destination but not more so (and certainly not more affecting) than many others.

  • Reply
    Sparsh Jain
    November 5, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    A country depends on the native persons individual and collective personality. No one is perfect and collectively same person will be perfect. Nationality did not comes in few days. It comes/ develops in centuries and become a integral part of our genetics. So as far as indian social values are concerned we are on top. Your country may also be best is some respects

  • Reply
    Sue @ NoFixedAbodeForSue
    November 5, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Having lived-in Mumbai for two years now I always tell people that it is an assault on all my senses: the noise, smells, tastes etc are all at both extremes. I keep hoping that my time here will teach me to be more patient, but alas that has not been the case so far, oh well I will keep trying.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Oh man, I’ve always wanted to go to India. It looks insanely beautiful! Sounds like you’ve really gotten so much out of it! Sounds like it has been an amazing experience for you!

  • Reply
    November 6, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    There is a really great book, The Seven Suspects, written by an Indian author (same one that wrote the book Slumdog millionaire is based on). It is laugh out loud funny as he works his way through Indian culture and every steaotype there is. You should read it, you’ll enjoy it after your trip.

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      May 10, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Oh, I will definitely have to find that book, thanks. I’m currently reading Holy Cow and that has make me laugh out loud quite a few times!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2015 at 1:39 am

    I think wherever you go your experiences will have an impact on your life, and perhaps your outlook on it. India is no different to anywhere else, so it’s refreshing to read something that doesn’t constantly harp on about how India is THE place that will change you.

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      May 10, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 7, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I had an amazing time in India and you were right its chaotic and fascinating at the same time!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    I went to India two years ago and i had an amazing time! It can be scary at first, specially with the news about rape and all that. But its a beautiful country, chaotic but fascinating at the same time.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2015 at 3:33 am

    I haven’t been to india yet but it’s on my list. But everywhere you travel or go there’s a part of you will be affected or change by your experience.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2015 at 7:39 am

    India looks like such a special and interesting place. I want to go so bad but have held back for fear of traveling alone. Looks like such an interesting and amazing experience though.

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      May 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      If you scared of going alone then it’s best to come here with a tour first and experience it that way so it’s not such a shock.:)

  • Reply
    Grietje | TravelGretl
    November 8, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Learned a lot in India 🙂 Like being nice, is not always the way to go. At the end I said a much firmer NO and just turned around without bothering to be impolite. Not that I am using that all the time in daily life now, but it comes in quite handy actually in some situations! Just say there your limits are 🙂

  • Reply
    Christina Sunneklep (@cavaforlunch)
    November 9, 2015 at 4:47 am

    I haven’t been to India, but I’m definitely going in the future! Lovely post xx

  • Reply
    Nic Hilditch-Short
    November 9, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Beautiful post, just can’t wait to visit india and experience this amazing place for ourselves.

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      May 10, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks for reading! Yes, it really is an amazing place.

  • Reply
    Shailender (@againboarding)
    November 9, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Your last picture of beautiful Taj Mahal is making me nostalgic. I was born and brought up in Agra and Taj Mahal was just 3 kms from my home. Thanks for writing this post on India.

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      May 10, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks very much! Wow how amazing that the Taj was so close to your home. What a blessing!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Such a great and thoughtful post. I still have not made it to India and am intrigued by all of the strong opinions on the country.

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      May 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks for reading! I hope you can visit India one day 🙂

  • Reply
    NYC JetSetter
    November 10, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Looks like you left with some great life changing experiences. Makes traveling what it is!

  • Reply
    Julius from Traveltipy
    November 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Every country changes its visitors forever. Only those who do not travel are still the same 🙂

  • Reply
    November 25, 2015 at 8:26 am

    great post. I think traveling in any country will change you in a way, but some countries, (like India for you) have much more of an impact! I’m in new Zealand, pretty to similar to the UK in a lot of ways, yet I faced my fears and did a skydive, and recently got my first ever tattoo…more on that later 😉 I think my mum is glad I’m leaving soon before I do anything else a bit ‘crazy’ and out of character for me…but really I’ve just changed and grown more courage at stopping thinking about things, and just going and doing them! 🙂

  • Reply
    Milosz Zak
    December 18, 2015 at 6:28 am

    A lot of interesting lessons, many sadly connected with the experience of poverty. I have to agree that travel changes you, but it really depends on the destination – all the power to you.

  • Reply
    December 27, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I love this:)! India definetely changed me. I am in Sri Lanka right now and I am surprised how much the two differ!
    Keep up the great posts! and hopefully meet you at the TBEX in Stockholm next summer?

  • Reply
    January 7, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Lovely post! Shared on twitter.

  • Reply
    Anita Hendrieka
    May 10, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Haha no I totally get it. India can be overwhelming even for the experienced traveller. You really have to dedicate yourself to the experience and just go for it!

  • Reply
    Evelyn Dewitt
    March 2, 2017 at 1:47 am

    “God takes care of India.!” my Teacher on my spiritual journey last Novemer said.
    Horrible( one minute..Sublime the next. Cow poo (watch your step) and flowers. Garbage (smelly) and beauty. Flying monkeys (literally ) and serene temples. Time is non existent but all is “Hurry Hurry “.
    I left a piece of my heart there and will go back.

  • Reply
    Parker Emilia
    August 30, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Traveling is my favorite hobby. Most of the tourist has come to India because India is a beautiful country. You shared the information is helpful for tourist about India travel. I am impressed with this blog. Such helpful information shared. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    I’m leaving for a 2 wk guided tour of Rajasthan on Monday, it’s been my dream for years. I’m 60, and it’s the first time going on holiday alone. I booked in May and thought I would be getting a bit panicky by now but I’m amazed at how calm I am! I have enjoyed your blog……….. so watch this space!

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      February 3, 2020 at 6:52 am

      Thank you Kate, happy travels!

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