Do you get tongue tide like me, when people ask you for your favorite travel destination? Personally, I find it impossible to pick just one. I have been privileged to visit so many amazing places and honestly can appreciate every single one for different reasons. Food, architecture, history, uniqueness, culture, people… I can think of countless reason to fall in love with a city or country.
With that in mind, I thought of shedding some light on my travel favorites based on different categories. Hope you enjoy and please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Most fascinating: India
Ever since I was a child, I had an inexplicable fascination with India. I daydreamed about visiting one day and that yearn only grew over time to the point that I would state on regular basis that I wanted to visit India before I died. Finally in 2015, my girl friend and I set out to New Delhi.
I was aware that India would be very different from I had encountered before. I was theoretically prepared for the stark contrasts and ready to embrace the expected culture shock. But all my years of research and love from afar did not prepare me for the actual impact it had on me.
For any first time visitor, I imagine that India must be overwhelming, especially if you land in the mega cities New Delhi or Mumbai. But even when you leave the cities, there is so much to process. So many unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells, tastes, senses… and all of it an insane combination of good and bad sensations. India has great beauty, but also shocking ugliness, both in the literal and in the figurative sense. The architecture and temples are gorgeous, the food is delicious and affordable. But there is also overwhelming poverty and pollution. The traffic is “crazy” and loud and the cities are packed with people. Due to the heat, you get the impression that you are constantly covered in sweat and sticky dust. Traditions and rituals are found all around you and carry an appeal of their own. You spell delicious spices and repugnant sewers on every corner. Especially during the first couple of days, it can feel like too much, like you want to take a break to digest, but there is no proper escape. So you have to carry on and work through it on the fly.
But after the initial week of one culture shock after another, and sometimes the inner question whether this trip had been a mistake, my initial fascination took over again. I went back to becoming the curious explorer that I am at heart and managed to take in my surroundings with open eyes and an open heart. Our two-week trip did only brush the surface of the subcontinent and only gave me a taste of it. I left hungry for more and hope return someday to dive deeper, see more and understand better 🥰
How about you?
What travel destination has fascinated you most?
Cover picture was taken in Sawai Madhopur (India) in Oct 2015