India is a crazy place to travel to. There are crazy amounts of people everywhere, poverty beyond belief, and a difficult language barrier for most. This isn't my first time going to India, but the most eye-opening trip by far. In past trips, they have been surrounded around exciting weddings or strictly to visit family in various cities. I dragged a friend along with me this trip to visit Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mumbai, and various random destinations for tourism, and she too got to see all of the amazing aspects of India.
One eye-opening experience for me was going from Jaipur to Agra, the city where the Taj Mahal is. Agra is in Utter Pradesh, or UP. This state is not only the most populated state in all of India, but also one of the most corrupt, as those two are correlated. Regardless, as we drove through it, there were crazy amounts of poverty, alongside the main road. People filled the streets, vendors of all sorts trying to sell tokens, combined with broken roads, made it impossible to travel along. It took about 30 minutes to move about 2 kilometers or roughly 1.2 miles. But there's the light at the end of the tunnel, and the Taj Mahal was breathtaking. The pristine marble, the detail, the grand stature of it, the beauty is inexplicable. Yet, the two contrasting scenes, the devastating poverty and the regal world wonder, are crazy. How India can have such extremes within minutes of each other.
Another thing about India that stood out to me was the level of chaos. As a driver myself at home, seeing how people drive and how the traffic moves along, physically pains me. There's no concept of lanes in India, and I don't think I've ever sat in car that didn't beep every minute. Additional to all of the car traffic, the foot traffic reflects the large population. There are people everywhere, filling up every nook, and always a crowd in open markets to move you along. I have no complaints or criticisms about all of this, all of this is just open observations.
All in all, India is an incredible experience that someone could have. If I had to describe it in two words, I would call it "beautiful chaos". There is beauty in so much of India if you approach it with an open mind, as there is very different style of life than that of at home. There is so much rustic beauty, from stunning old forts in Amer, to the vibrant pink buildings filling up Jaipur, to peaceful tea mountains in Kerala. There's all of this to enjoy and I'm not even diving into the large large family that I have, with tons of cute little children to keep me going at every second. India for me, is always a fun and exciting experience, and this trip was eye opening to the realities of the "motherland".