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A sadu sitting along the ghats of the Ganges River. Photo by Jen Goings, India Semester.

Why should you go to India/ Why should you not go to India?

India is a place rich with culture, and the people who populate it have very busy lives. Traveling in India allows us to understand the lives of the Indian people and fully immerse ourselves into the culture. The streets are full of beautiful colors, intricate decorations, delicious food, and people who work hard out on the scorching streets who are willing to help you find your way around. The Ganges river is a sacred place in Varanasi devoted to the goddess Ganga, where people cremate their loved ones and have festivals. We were able to experience a boat ride to the festival, and it was truly memorable. The community in Varanasi comes together to celebrate, which is something truly beautiful to witness. These things make India a beautiful place to travel to.

These beautiful sights also come with a very crowded place, a hot climate in the summertime, and polluted air. These characteristics of India became obstacles on our trip, however we were able to overcome them and enjoy our fun filled days visiting different places in Varanasi and eating delicious food. Air conditioning truly makes all the difference on a trip to India, because even a small break in a quiet, cool room can let you relax and escape from the busy, hot, and crowded streets. We get a lot of attention from the people in Varanasi because we are a strange looking crowd of people dressed in strange clothes traveling in packs. However it is so exciting to be able to talk with the people who live in Varanasi and connect with them, just as it is exciting for them to meet us foreigners and explain their culture to us. These aspects of India make it difficult to enjoy the trip without being prepared, however as we have shown, it is definitely something that we can overcome with the right mindset and some time to relax.