5 tips to emotionally prepare for India

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If you are planning to visit India, then be ready for an experience of a lifetime. Your trip is sure to be eye-opening and amazing. If it is your first-time, planning logistically is not enough.  Prepare to have your emotions overwhelmed! The following tips will help you get through emotionally challenging situations that you may come across during your visit.

You will see people everywhere

International flights usually land in metropolitan cities which are crowded, busy and fast-paced. Right as you step out of the plane, the first thing you’ll see is lots of people. And this will be nothing compared to the number of people outside the airport.  Brace yourself! If you’re not used to seeing so many people, this can get overwhelming.  Some people get paranoid thinking everyone is looking at them, while others may feel giddy or nauseous. Just remember that this is temporary, and within a a few hours, the sights and sounds will become part of the background, and you will soon be able to phase them out.

Once you are out of the city, the rest of the country will charm you with its quiet, rustic scenery.

shutterstock_164268962.jpgNavigating through the craziest traffic

Indian roads accommodate all kinds of traffic like cars, scooters, bicycles and yes, the occasional cow as well. The traffic might make you feel like you’re in a live frogger arcade game.  Just remember that the driver knows what he’s doing, and wouldn’t be in this profession if he couldn’t safely navigate his way around the traffic. Metropolitan city traffic typically crawls at 15-25 miles per hour, so serious damage from an accidental encounter is probably unlikely.

Getting extra attention? Don’t get overly excited

India is a country where guests are welcomed wholeheartedly. This being said, foreigners, in particular, become the center of attention.  People may try to talk to you and get friendly. They may even ask you to pose with them for some photos. You may feel like a celebrity for a while, but this will soon become tiring. Don’t let it overwhelm you!  Just smile back and say no firmly.shutterstock_740347477.jpg

You will see children working

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Child labor is not completely outlawed in India.  Children below the age of 14 are permitted to work as long as their work is in non-hazardous environments. You will occasionally see children as domestic help or working in small shops, when they should be in school studying or having fun.  Poverty is rampant in India, and every working child has a devastating story.  Many are working to support their families and send money back home.

Even though the government provides free education, not everyone is able to avail of it.  Just remember that these children may not have the ideal childhood, but they are most likely not isolated, abandoned, abused, nor are they orphans. Most of them have families that love and protect them. Also, many of these children grow up to have successful lives being shop-owners, plumbers, electricians, drivers, and even politicians.

(It is hard to understand and accept this, and I am definitely not advocating child labor.  I am only trying to help explain the socio-economic conditions in India and other developing countries. Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India, is a tea-seller’s son. Modi worked with his father as a child, where he would hop from one train to another with a tea kettle in one hand. He later ran his own tea-stall, and he is now the prime minister of India. You can read more here.  )

People living in overcrowded slums

shutterstock_238334668.jpgshutterstock_238334668.jpgAbout one in eight people across the world lives in slums. In India, more than 17 percent of urban Indian households live in slums. Most slum houses do not have indoor plumbing or running water, and many do not have proper doors. Be prepared to see sights that will probably shock you at first.

Final Thoughts

India is a beautiful country, and one visit to this captivating place WILL change you. You will come back with gratitude in your heart and appreciate your life in your home country a lot more. No matter which part in India you are traveling to, study about it ahead of time and enjoy your trip to the fullest.


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