10 and a half time zones from Minneapolis, I arrived at my destination. India 🇮🇳. Who would have thought I had the chance to go here one day. It was so amazing though, it’s like going to a different world. They drive on the other side, speak different languages, wear different clothes, eat different food and have a completely different culture.
Getting to India was probably one of the most stressful journeys I’ve ever had. Not only was I traveling more than 24 hours with two layovers but I had to catch my flight in Istanbul after my first one was delayed. So within an hour I had to collect my bag, go through the passport control, recheck my baggage and get through the border control, I arrived at my gate just in time for the boarding. And well, now I have two pretty stamps from Turkey in my passport without really being anywhere except for the airport 😄.
Finally in India and out of the airport (by the way, the border control is almost as strict as in the US, it took forever because they couldn’t get my fingerprints the first five times I put my hands on there 🙈), I was picked up by one of my host mom’s best friends to stay with her in New Delhi.
I stayed in New Delhi for a week. It was such a busy week being out every day but I wouldn’t change a thing. On one day I went onto a Delhi tour to see all the popular places in one day. I was by far the youngest on the tour, everyone else was at least 50 years old but it was still amazing. Halfway through the day my head was already completely red because it was so hot outside and it was so weird being stared at. I have no idea why, maybe because I’m more pale than they are or maybe just because I looked crazy with my red face, we will never know why people wanted to take pictures with a red faced me (not even kidding. Probably the weirdest thing that happened to me in my life 😅).
On the other days I went out with either my host mom’s friend or on my own (well, the driver was there, too, so I wasn’t walking around completely by myself in a foreign country). Unfortunately, some buildings were pretty crowded or closed because Independence Day was coming up so I couldn’t go up close.
My favorite place was the Akshardam Temple – not the Taj Mahal which surprised a lot of people. It’s a pretty new building with a lot of beautiful detailed carvings but unfortunately, it wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside. The Dilli Haat was another place I really liked, it’s a little market full of booths with colorful bags, clothing and food. It was just different that you had to pay an entry fee only to get in there.
If you thought the Taj Mahal was in New Delhi you’re definitely not alone. Turns out it’s actually a three hour drive from there. We did a one day trip to Agra anyway because well, Taj Mahal – duhh 💁🏻. And even though it started raining a bit it was absolutely stunning. It’s crazy how everything is so detailed and thought through.
The Agra Fort was really close to the Taj Mahal, you could even see the Taj from some balconies, so we thought why not go there. Some rooms could have even been part of the Taj Mahal with the white marble.
Most of my time in India I spent in the south of the country with my host family where I got to know my host mom’s brother and her parents. It was definitely more relaxing because there aren’t really any popular tourist places – if there are even any tourists 😅. But we went out a lot and I got to see more of what life in India looks like. On one day we were at a hotel restaurant and suddenly there was a bridal show right outside which was so cool! So while waiting for the food, we went over there to see all the dresses (which were really pretty, just not exactly my style for a wedding 😅).
India is pretty popular for its cuisine. During my time there I had the chance to try a lot of it and although I’m not the biggest fan – I don’t like spicy or fatty foods and onions which they use plenty of – it was definitely worth trying. And of course I was happy to have banana chips, those are so good and not sweet like the ones you can get at home in Germany or the US 😍.
This post would not be complete without some impressions so here is a selection of Snapchat pictures I sent to my friends 😄:
I’ve been back in the US for about two months now and I couldn’t be more thankful for this trip. It was a crazy 1.5 months at home and India right after but so worth it and full of new experiences. This was it with all my stories from my summer trip, I hope you liked it. If you haven’t read about Germany, click here to read it. See you next time,