Is India safe to travel?

India Safety Travelling Tips

This post might be a bit boring to people who already think traveling anywhere in the world is safe. But for others who have been asking me this question since the past two months here you go.

I have been travelling a little over two months. I have met people from various countries and this is how the typical introduction conversation happens:

Traveler 1: Hi ya, I am — and you are?
Me: Hi, I am Sai and where are you from?
Traveler 1: US/UK/Australia/Europe/Asia/Africa/South America and where are you from?
Me: India
Traveler 1: Oh thats an awesome country but is it safe to travel there? I mean with all these news about people getting assaulted/robbed etc.

India is a great place to experience various cultures, cuisines and people. Here people are friendly and would generally be helpful to other nationalities who are coming to visit. It is a fast developing country where there is no short of cosmopolitan clubs, fine-dining places as well as the authentic street food and local charm. And it is a pity that due to few of my countrymen many people who would love to experience this amazing country is backing down. It is a shame that we were not perceived as a safe country.

India Safety Travelling TipsIndia Safety Travelling Tips

As an Indian, I believe my country is safe as long as you follow the basic safety requirements.

Don’t stay at a place just because it is cheap:
In this era of internet it is possible to find out if a place is safe or not. Read the reviews and figure out  the location and if your intuition is screaming at you to get out of the place then do yourself a favor and get out ASAP!

Some people genuinely wants to help the backpackers and you go to the countryside many will offer you food or tea in their house. Most of them are curious about you and you could always accept or reject them politely depending on how comfortable you are. But if there are people who are offering food on the trains/buses well better be careful.The “taking food from stranger” rule applies in India as well.

Don’t trust strangers and don’t get inebriated to the point where you would black out. There are many more of these basic stuff that you need to take care of while travelling in any country.

I think we Indians have to represent our country and help people understand that India is like any other developing Asian country when it comes to safety. This is a call to all you Indian travel bloggers and enthusiasts out there. Lets tell people what its like to travel in India. Share your experiences and help people understand that it is safe to travel in India as well. To everyone who wants to travel in India you could contact me or any number of Indian travel bloggers regarding your queries.

India Safety Travelling TipsIndia Safety Travelling TipsIndia Safety Travelling TipsIndia Safety Travelling Tips - Rajasthan

 

Note: Indian government has recently introduced the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for over 76 countries. Citizens of these countries below can obtain an e-visa prior to their date of travel and for 60 USD. For more details visit: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/
Capture

 

 

From “What Next?” to “Where Next?” – Travelling around world

Travelling around world

What Next?

The question we absolutely love or rather the question people who are slightly older enough love to ask the younger enough generation. I am not averse to this question, as I have been answering it all my life. Recently I have decided to take a break from the professional race. Hence, when I said I would rather prefer you ask me where next, people were flabbergasted.

“What do you mean you don’t want to work for the next few months? Are you crazy?
Do a French or Spanish course, apply for a university and get a PhD, you are wasting your time, make use of this time, get married and have a kid” are just the tip of the crazy suggestions I have received. I haven’t yet reached my BIG 3-0. I completed a bachelors degree, a masters’ degree, worked with 3 different companies for 2 and half years and ran my own company for about 3 years and it’s funny that people still think I am wasting my time. Then again, there are some awesome people who wished me luck and hoped I will have amazing fun. Thank you for supporting me and for not thinking I have gone off the rails.

Here’s an answer

to the questions of people who have difficulties in understanding my incomprehensible decision to travel around. Yes, I will not have the six figure salary for a while and I will probably start below my actual qualification when I get back to the grind but this time, the time I am taking off to pursue a dream that I seem to have for the past 7 years is much more valuable.

I am not losing time or qualification rather I am experiencing something beyond words. In just one month, I have met over 15 people from different nationalities, interacted with them, ate and had fun with them, understood their culture while sharing mine, laughed at the stereotypes we all seemed to have. Well that multi-cultural experience we get by going to a B-school or working abroad, there you go, I have it. I got my introduction into the amazing world of diving. Spoke to a monk about why it is important for him to become one. Have experienced eating bugs and understood that rat meat is super delicious to some people along the Mekong delta. I have been asked to get out in much more ruder words in Vietnam while some others of the same country smiled and understood what I am going through.

Travelling around world – Being the lonely traveler,

I was scared at times, I panicked sometimes but more importantly I got through everything. I am glad to have made this choice. If anyone of you wants to join me in this amazing journey, please do. All I want to say is this journey makes me strong, open-minded, independent and lastly it makes me HAPPY.

Finally, I am glad to add broken Thai and broken Vietnamese to my resume in the languages section now. For the next few months, ask me “where to next?” and I will send you a postcard. Well if you are one of those awesome people, I will send you an amazing local trinket.
Experienced something similar? Let’s have a chat: https://twitter.com/localtravelista

Travelling without research is like jumping off a plane without skydiving gear!

Travelling without research

If you ask me how my travel around Asia started, I will try to sound cool and say this. “Hey, one day I woke up, packed my backpack and took the next flight to Thailand”. In reality, though it took me months of research prior to even having this thought. I researched about the places, restaurants, monuments, markets and more. I know now I sound totally “uncool” but here is the thing. How would I know that there are floating vineyards in Thailand or a teddy bear hostel in Singapore. Or a place to find traditional Benjarong pottery and experience the royal cuisine.

IMG_1744Photo Credit: http://www.offbeatthailand.com/2014/11/02/boat-ride-in-a-floating-vineyard-near-bangkok/

Travelling without research is like jumping off a plane without skydiving gear. It will be exhilarating at first, well adrenaline rush is the new high isn’t it? And then freedom starts to become free doom very fast. It is the same with travelling. Going to a country you are unfamiliar with is thrilling at first but the thrill only lasts so long. You will end up doing all the touristy things suggested by your local tour guide or cab driver, probably spend a little too much on everything, get duped and more importantly miss out on the actual fun and the local culture.

It is very important to know why you need to do this particular journey. There are many answers to that question and all of them are right. Some people want to have fun or relax; to understand and enjoy the history of the place; some need to find themselves in this journey to far off lands; others wants adventure and for some local cuisine is the most important factor. You can have a mix of all these and more as the reason for your travel.

I have met a lot of people on my journey who said their reason in travelling to that particular place is to experience everything and anything. This got me thinking. I have lived in my hometown for 17 years of my life before shifting to a new city or country every few years. And every single time I go back to this place I find something new or something I missed in my previous visit.

I believe an entire lifetime won’t be sufficient to experience anything and everything in any place. That is why you need a reason or a motive for this particular journey. Don’t agree with me? Well, as I have always said my views are my own and you can probably achieve the unthinkable but I can’t. I would like to leave a place with this mindset “It was an awesome trip and I have loved every part of it. I still have lots more to see and someday I will come back here again”.

Finally, I would love to jump off that plane or boat knowing that I will never get bored of it and there is always something new to discover.

Travelling beautiful world

Travelling beautiful world

A 20-something year old engineer-entrepreneur whose love for travel surpassed every other comfort and happiness money could buy. I haven’t been born with the travel gene or on an airplane. My parents never traveled to the far off lands nor did they educate me on the benefits of seeing the world. What I have is a passion to see the world. To experience the difference between various countries, regions and people before it all amalgamates into one single boring place. Now you are probably thinking there is no way this would happen, right?

10403355_1509845079304880_3965459694617311937_n

Well, think about this, few decades ago, the only way you can travel to some countries are by road or water. Few years ago, there is no onslaught of fast food on Asian countries. Coffee is traditionally made and tastes different at every place. Countries have their own traditions, clothing styles, food choices and drinking traditions which made them unique and interesting. The world we know now is not the world our parents knew. Change is always better but when I travel to a different country, I don’t want to feel at home. I want to live the local culture. I want to taste something for the first time overcoming my mental block and experience their festivals. It could be different for someone else but I am not someone else and my views are my own.

What can you expect from this blog?

I want to experience living like a local in territories that I am unfamiliar with. Join me in this beautiful journey as I walk through every street, take the local transport, eat the most delicious or well not-so-delicious local food, drink through the most amazing local drinks, experience the most touristy and not so touristy regions. Get off the beaten track from time to time and travel to a place you probably wouldn’t think of going to when in that country.

Finally,

the world is not just a unified place but is a mixture of little beautiful experiences in exotic lands with different languages and people.