Why You Deserve At Least One Backpack Trip in India

Overworked? Running on fumes? Wondering why you couldn’t live a rather casual life like those guys in movies? Ok, now you just want to somehow grab your bag, pack only what’s required and set off to, where your eyes carry you!

Here are the reasons why India can be your place!

1. Relaxation, you say?

Yoga in Rishikesh
Photo by Swiatoslaw Wojtkowiak

What better land than the one that pioneered arts like yoga? Once you set your feet in, it’s like Xiao Dre from the Karate Kid! “It’s India! Most people are familiar with yoga, pranayama and other such exercises.” (Uh… Doesn’t imply everyone knows it, but you’ll have many to learn from, free of cost.) Ever wondered how refreshing an early morning walk by the Ganges, or how a mere trek amongst the Himalayas can endow tranquility upon you?

2. Its favorable low cost of living makes it favorable to save on food.

restaurant in Dalhousie
Sunil, with his two-wheeler moving restaurant in Dalhousie gets a brisk business on a foggy day. Photo – Amit Sengupta

Street foods, dhabas, stalls, shacks can present the most rejuvenating ‘chai’ (tea), or the most delicious ‘parathas’. Even if you avoid restaurants, you can always find yourself a healthy and tasty diet. Moreover, these joints bring you an essence- so quintessentially Indian! (Oh, did we mention the utterly social and happening environment that’s so omnipresent?) Before you know it, you’ll be spending times just having ‘adda’ (gossip) sessions with your fellow customers, over some glasses of tea! (And sometimes, getting treated by these people!)

3. Even though it’s not always possible to get yourself some company in these backpacking trips, you might end up enjoying the solitude. You can simply converse with the environment around!

trek lost

Be it the chaos of the market, the silence of the hills, the life of the streets, the peaceful countryside, the sanctity of the religious hotspots- you’ll find the environment attempting a conversation with you! Now, how to respond… Well, that’s upon you.

4. Public transport. Cheap and entertaining even though you might have to compromise on luxury.

new friends in train
Photo by Julia Pristavska

But then, what fun is it if you don’t experience the life, the natives of the place do? Get over those stereotypical movies and TV series, you get a chance to witness the robustness and randomness of the street life of India!

5. The countryside is a nice place to go for a walk.

Bullock Ride
Photo by Rahul Kumar

Witness the farmers lost in paddy fields, the boys and women herding the ‘holy cows’, children playing native games, the cultures and traditions in a way that could be deprived if you had taken those set-up tours. You get a chance to live the rural experience! (In case, you’re that intimidated, you can of course ask them to let you use those indigenous separation processes, taste the pickle off your fingers, have some fresh fruits and vegetables from the field.)

6. Why should the urban streets be left out? You can of course, wander among its labyrinthine lanes and by-lanes.

Female tourists in Delhi, India

Getting lost, finding the way out… believe me, being a city boy myself, I assure you that’s just too much fun! Only when you allow the city to consume you can you truly appreciate the charm of the place! Be prepared to see scenes to which you’re normally unaccustomed to- barbers setting business on the streets, hand-pulled rickshaws, sadhus, vagabonds, children enjoying street football, hordes of hawkers in competition.

7. You get a chance to live the nomadic life of ‘jugaad’ i.e. collection. We were hunters and gatherers, remember?

8. Last but not the least, you don’t want to miss an opportunity of experiencing the land as a native. A planned tourist can only do so much with his itinerary, but why should you always be a man with a plan? Of course, with a plan, you can do all that’s in it, but then don’t you miss out what’s not?

window seat train

Just pack it up, set off and meet what awaits you! And what better choice than the ‘mysterious land of India’?

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