As Tuesday looms ever closer, my time in Pune is coming to an end. Next stop on our Indian journey is the country’s capital – New Delhi. So what have I thought about my time in India and Pune. What have I taken away…
The first thing I believe I have taken away, is the ability to challenge myself. A word of warning to fellow travellers who wish to journey to India – This is by far the most challenging place I have ever travelled too. Getting to grips of the culture, the people and the surroundings was difficult. I knew after the first 2 minutes of stepping off the bus that Mumbai and India was going to be extremely difficult for me to adjust. However, this trip has given me confidence in challenging myself. It’s made me more confident to try new foods, new experiences and showed me how easy it is too meet and make friends with like-minded new people.
India is full of adventure. Pretty simply during my time in Pune I have had the chance to travel around the local community (which is huge – over 6 million people live here) and really experience a different culture. Pune has allowed me to open my eyes and see a part of a world that is practically invisible to me when I am in England. It has open my mind, my way of thinking and most of all my sense of adventure.
Finally, I have learned how to embrace another culture. Whilst being here, Indian culture has been ingrained in my stay and this country fully encapsulates you. There is no escaping from India and that’s the beauty of this country. It isn’t like a Turkish resort full of English and Europeans. You can easily escape Turkish culture. But with India it is everywhere. There are very few white tourists in Pune. There is very little European influence. But there is a considerable amount of national identity. Which I believe has been fundamental to the enjoyment of my trip.
One thing I have seen in India is how welcoming and friendly everybody is. For me as a foreign person coming into this country all I have been met with is warmth. All the staff at restaurants give incredible service to me due to my heritage. They will always pour my drinks for me and give a smile. Market sellers will always wave and ask me where I’m from. Many people come up to me asking for a photo because they are so blown away by my heritage yet always are polite and equipped with a smile. Furthermore, when our auto-rickshaw broke down in the middle of a Pune slum, all the people around there deliberately came out of their way to help us find another rickshaw and translate the address we desired to go to from English to Hindi or Marathi.
So in conclusion, what is my verdict on India? I feel that this has been one of the most interesting and eye-opening trips I have ever been on. It has taught me so much about travel, independence and adventure. It has taught me so much about culture differences. But most importantly it has equipped me significantly and inspired me to write my final major project script on India.
On a separate final note as well, I believe this India trip will act as a catalyst for my future travels. By going on this trip I have developed an even bigger desire to continue traveling the world, and opening my mind to new cultures, new people and new adventures.