I have finally got to tick off backpacking to India off my bucket list! I loved it, enjoyed it and would definitely do it again. Let me clear up some misconception about that awesome country. I hesitated for quite a while for my circle of friends & family would react badly to the idea of me traveling to India – alone. It is rather safe to travel as a solo female based on my experience.
It’s a beautiful country.
Vibrant colours and amazing festivals everywhere I go. I know its weird but I get all excited whenever I spot a group of beautiful women donning bright colourful sarees walking on the streets.
Why does this excite me? Coming from a big city where the cityscape is peppered with people donning neutral coloured outfits on a daily basis, this is an entirely refreshing sight to behold. Snagged myself a few pairs of sarees during my stay in India too. It cost about SGD$2-5 for an everyday wear piece.
Amazing local food
Cheap, unprocessed food comes in abundant in India. Don’t be intimidated by the local terms, just randomly pick a few and give them a try. My personal favourites are their local tea, puri masala and dahi puri.
It’s not cluttered with tourist
You get the whole place to yourself. Its a pleasant change to walk around by yourself as you visit famous UNESCO sites or art galleries. No touristy crowds and selfies activities blocking your sight. A change I highly appreciate and is grateful for during this trip. The pleasant weather makes an excellent excuse to explore the city on foot all day too.
Despite the language barrier, the locals are actually very friendly and chatty if they know any English. Rarely have I come across any situation, where I felt it was unsafe for me to backpack across the country by myself. In trains, there are dedicated female coaches which you can opt for. This segregation applies to queues for train tickets & in the airport as well.
During my trip, I had pleasant encounters with lots of older India ladies who were more than happy to help me with my saree shopping & fitting. We had some language barrier but it did not deter us from having a ball of time picking out bangles & fabrics that suited me well.
Beautiful traditional attires
I need not explain how beautiful women attires can be from India. Apart from the usual Pashmina shawls, Lehengas skirts are worth checking out as well for its beautiful embroidery work. They are my favourite after everyday wear sarees.
I got my saree blouse & saree sewn for USD6.50. Need I say more?
For most of the places I’ve traveled to, mosquitos are actually not a widespread issue. I’ve only gotten bitten once when I opted to sleep outside for a night. That said, I was traveling in the South & West area during the cooler seasons. That might have played a factor and was told mosquito isn’t really an issue over there.
Kitchenware & Fabric shopping
Remember to opt for check-in baggage. Their stainless steel dining wares are of really good quality and are ridiculously cheap!
Drowning in garbage
I can’t deny that some cities are notoriously known for their trash issues like Mumbai. Try not to let that stop you from visiting their amazing Gothic-Indian architectures that are available all over Mumbai that was left behind by the British colonial times. I was absolutely in awe with their majestic train terminal, Victoria Terminus.