Namaste! Know what that means? Well you’re probably going to understand a whole lot more of this list too. Travelling in India is quite unlike travelling in any other place in the world. Not only is it huge, diverse, crazy, chaotic, beautiful, spiritual and all the rest of it, there’s just something else which I can never quite express. It’s why so many travellers are attracted to India in the first place. Way back since the 1960’s, travellers have been flocking to the beaches of Goa, the Tibetan communities of the Himalayas and the spiritual banks of the Ganges.
You can spot a traveller in India a mile off – overgrown hair, grubby shoes, mala beads hanging around their necks, hippie pants and the sheer look of joy and determination. India really does something to you that nowhere else I’ve ever been does. And what about when you get home? Well, it’s likely you’ll still be dreaming of India, and here is a few other ways to know if you’ve been travelling in the Motherland.
1) You know your naan from your papadam, your puri from your Paratha 10 points to anyone who knows what this one is…
2) You’re unfazed when you’re told you have to wait three days before the next train departs to where you want to go – An extra few days chilling in Pushkar? I’ll take that!
3) Travellers diarrhoea means nothing to you because you’ve been through Delhi Belly- and it’s really the shits…
4) You think first class travel is for beginners – Sleeper class all the way! Not only is it cheap, but you’ll meet amazing locals and be able to watch sunrise from an open window.
5) Going for a curry at home means all your friends and family enduring your constant scrutiny: ‘this meal would be GBP1 in India’ or ‘Chicken Tikka Masala isn’t even an Indian dish!?’ – But seriously, you know how Indian food should be done.
6) Markets will never be as epic and as cheap as in Rajasthan, and you’ll never be able to bargain as hard – Bargaining is all part of the game, and you know you’ve been ripped off far too many times.
7) You’ve brought the Indian head wobble back home, and it’s met with a lot of confused faces – You’re still convinced it’s the best body gesture ever, even if you never figured out exactly what it means…
8) Tea just doesn’t taste the same now that it’s not a mass blend of spices, cinnamon and milk – Give me a 5 rupee chai on the train any day!
9) You know that there’s nothing new about the chai craze – and you think paying GBP4 for it is insane!
10) You are completely unfazed by traffic jams, pot holes in the road, locals vomiting out the open windows and grinding to a long halt because a cow has parked itself in the middle of the road – these are all just part of a standard bus journey.
11) You get way too excited when you find a rare curry house back home serving Masala Dosa or Malai Kofta – Dosa for breakfast, everyday!
12) A 25 degree heatwave is nothing, you remember those 45 degree Kerelan days – Although sweating like a pig was a lot more pleasant while you were cruising on a boat through Allappey’s backwaters.
13) You think the bum spray is the greatest invention ever – and toilet roll is for weaklings.
14) Most of your wardrobe is made from loose fitting, hemp material clothing – and you’re trying to figure out how to work it back home without looking like you think you’re John Lennon in 1969.
15) You’ve got hundreds of Indian friends on Facebook – Some of them you’ll have for life, and others, well, that’s just a guy you met on the bus who said two sentences to you…
16) Your hard drive is full of photos of groups of school children, Indian families, and people who had never had their photo taken before – Sometimes a great portrait excuse, sometimes a little odd but it’s always a memorable and friendly experience!
17) You know that paying more than 500 rupees for a hotel room is utter madness – Even if it’s a back cupboard with no windows and bed bugs.
18) You reminisce about the times you didn’t have to choose a single curry from the menu, in India, it was so cheap, you could order every single one – ‘I’ll have a chickpea masala, tomato fry, malai kofta, mushroom biriyani, takha daal, five puri’s, plain yogurt and two chai’s please…’
19) Weddings back home just aren’t as fun anymore – In India, weddings are attended by the masses dressed in glittering gold and red, and there is always a communal vegetarian kitchen feeding everyone.
20) You love in depth conversations about spirituality – but still get some strange looks when you recount that mystical advice a baba gave you on the banks of the Ganges.
21. When things don’t go your way, you know to sit back and ‘Shanti, Shanti’ (slowly slowly).
22. You’ll never be as impressed by mountains anymore now you’ve gazed at the Himalayas – those mountains really are something else!
23. And you’ll never see temples as grand as the Golden Temple, Mosques as stunning as the Taj Mahal, rivers as Holy as the Ganges… basically India ruined travel for you.
24) You roll your eyes when anyone complains about the cleanliness of a toilet, you’ve really seen it all…
25) You fell in love with that wonderful and somehow unknown cuisine of Tibetan food – Now you are endlessly frustrated that you cannot find a delicious bowl of Thukpa or a tasty plate of Momos in your hometown.
26. You probably have a picture of the Dalai Lama on your wall – either that or that guru you studied with in Rishikesh.
27. You probably own a sari which you bought overpriced from a man in Agra who told you ‘special sari, only from Agra’- but you don’t care that it was a great scam because it reminds you of the day you saw the Taj Mahal!
28. You might have spent several months in the country, but you know it’s gonna take more than a lifetime to see and understand it all – A six month visa isn’t anywhere near long enough!
29. You left uttering the phrase, ‘I’ll Never Do It Again’ but a few months later, you’re already wondering when you’ll be able to afford a ticket back…
Have you been a traveller in India and share any of these sentiments? Can you think of anymore? Let us know in the comments below!