Where to begin?
- Tourist visa
- Flight booked
- Yoga (Teacher Training Certification) tuition paid
- Evacuation insurance (because you never know…)
- YOGART STUDIO swag (printed t for photo ops)
Things to consider:
1) I’m travelling to the 7th largest country and second only to China in population…which means that I’ll have travelled to the two most populated countries in the world –Go fish!
2) Despite the large land mass, all of India is under a single time zone and is 10.5 hours ahead of Canada (eastern time)…yes, I will be tweeting from the future
3) India is boarded by Afghanistan, China, Nepal and Bhutan to the north, Bangladesh and Myanmar (Burma) to the east and Pakistan to the west…a country hop certainly has its appeal 🙂
4) Every major world religion is represented in India! Hindus comprise 80% of the population, Muslims 13% and there are millions of Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains….how refreshingly diverse!
5) OK, here’s my favourite fact: 23 official languages are spoken (and more than 1,000 minor languages and dialects) and Hindi is spoken by over 40% of the population
6) The birthplace of chess! Yup, elephants were eventually replaced by bishops
India’s tourist season begins during the dry, cool months from November and lasts until March. Consequently, I’ll be embracing the prolonged downpours (interspersed with bursts of hot hot sunshine) during the very wet monsoon season…three cheers for pervasive humidity! I’ll be in the northern states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh so the rainfall will be slightly mitigated but the temperatures will be unforgiving with highs of 41°C in Delhi. There are no vaccinations required for India and I’m confident I shot up enough vaccines before my previous stint in China. So what else should I anticipate? Hmm, let’s see: drinking bottled water only, women’s rights and safety, Delhi belly (intestinal troubles), getting around (oh hello largest rail network in the world), food (curry and tandoori here I come!) and culture and etiquette. Of course cultural differences will extend to all sorts of things but here are the top two on my list:
1) eat with my right hand only – the right hand is reserved for eating and for greeting people and the left hand…you don’t want to know
2) dress modestly taking special care to cover shoulders and legs (I’m packing: shawls, baggy tops and capri pants, maxi skirts) and taking additional measures to cover up before entering shrines and temples (shoes off, head covered)
That’s it so far…if you have any tips or advice I’d love to hear them! Leave a reply!