I started travelling in the earlier 2000s, and most of them were weekend trips. I would either travel solo or with a friend, and destinations were picked based on the bus available at the bus stand. We never really planned any of them, nor did we have an agenda. It was fun! We visited quite a few small towns in Tamil Nadu, 4-5 hour journeys from Chennai and on each trip have discovered some hidden place, or meet interesting locals who shared personal stories. This is what got me going, and over the years I have visited quite a few places across the country. While I have travelled to a few countries outside India, I firmly believe our country has a lot more to offer and plenty of hidden treasures being unearthed every day. If only the walls could talk more, we would be overwhelmed with stories and history. 

Whenever I meet someone, be it a friend or just a person I met at an event, and the topic of travel came about, I would tell them I’ve travelled widely within the country and can’t wait to explore more. They would stare with a “really?” kind of look, which would lead to a bigger conversation, at the end of which the other person would shake their head in disbelief or comment how they never knew of these places or things in our country.

I have realised that for most people, travel = going abroad. Their idea of a holiday is to visit Europe, Southeast Asia, or Greece and do touristy things or explore the length and breadth of those cities.  While I have nothing against them, or these places, I feel sad when they mock “Oh what’s there in our country, you should go to France or UK or Vietnam and see how amazing it is”. Yes, I agree those countries are rich in history and culture, but our country is no less.

It doesn’t help that the flight tickets to travel within the country are exorbitant and one would think it makes sense to go to Singapore, Thailand or even Dubai considering the flight tickets to these places “don’t” seem as high.

Recently met a friend during a trip and she shared “We had actually planned a holiday to Mauritius/Maldives, paid for the 10-day package and nearly booked our flight tickets, but something came up and so we had to cancel”. The cost of this trip [excl flights] was 7 Lakhs! To top it off she mentioned she would love to explore the town, and see some landmark places but then Mauritius/Maldives was more about chilling and water sports/activities which was something she was curious about. Incidentally, the guy who’d organised the trip we were on was planning one to Leh, Ladakh, and when I asked her if they had been there, she replied “no, what is there?” I showed her some pictures from my trip and shared some stories about the places and landscapes, which piqued her interest. Heck, it got her so interested, she has now signed up for the trip and is looking fwd to going to Leh~ 🙂 

I mean India is a country with a rich history. From the Indus Valley Civilization to the Mughal Empire, India has been home to some of the most important civilizations in the world. Visitors to India can explore ancient ruins, temples, and forts, and learn about the country’s fascinating past. In addition to its culture and history, India is also home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the world, not just The Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, and the Golden Temple, which are worthy of a visit, but well there are far more interesting places like the Ajanta Ellora caves, Kailashnath temple in Kanchipuram or maybe the Living roots in Meghalaya and more… 

Here are some of the reasons why India is an amazing travel destination: 
  • The people: Indians are some of the most welcoming and friendly people in the world. They are always eager to help out a stranger, and they will go out of their way to make you feel welcome. I, honestly have never felt unsafe in any of the places I’ve visited so far. Yes, you do need to be aware of your surroundings and be wary of strangers, listen to your intuition etc, but people are nice & willing to help… 
  • The food: Indian food is some of the most delicious and varied in the world. There is something for everyone, from mild to spicy, vegetarian to meat-based.
  • The culture: India is a country with a rich and diverse culture. Whatever your interest, you are sure to find places to give you that and more. From the step wells, ancient temples, mosques, forts, and even hidden beaches and gardens, it is mind-blowing. 
  • The cost of travelling: India is a relatively inexpensive country to visit. You can find affordable accommodation, food, and transportation. Hostels and backpacking accommodation options are plenty, but then so are resorts & 5-star hotels, if that is your thing… 

If you’re looking for an amazing travel destination with something to offer everyone, start with a place near your home and keep going. In case you want options, do drop me a mail at aaroo4@gmail.com or leave a comment on this post and I would be happy to help you out~~ 

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