Event Management Intern, Alex, recently traveled to one of her bucket list vacation destination spots, India! We had the pleasure of chatting with Alex to hear about her amazing experience.
Where in India did you go and who were you traveling with?
I was traveling with a group of students from my university (University of Indianapolis). The trip was led by one of my professors. We spent most of our time in Delhi, but we did spend several days in Kochi, which is in the state of Kerala.
How did you get around Delhi?
For transportation, we mostly traveled by bus, but there were several times we took the metro. We also had the opportunity to take an autorickshaw, which is a motorized three-wheeled vehicle. They operate kind of like taxis in India.
Were there any cultural barriers you had to overcome?
English is not the first spoken language in India, so communication was slightly challenging. Fortunately, my professor speaks Hindi so he was able to translate for us.
There were security officers and lots of safety protocols in public spaces. Most of the stores required patrons to walk through a metal detector and be screened by a security officer. This wasn’t anything I had to “overcome” perse, just something I found surprising.
What was the best thing you did on your trip?
Traveling to the city of Agra to see the Taj Mahal was probably the highlight of my trip. I got to see the countryside of India and it was fun wandering through the snack isles and seeing unique treats sold in their gas stations. I felt more like a traveler than a tourist. Seeing the Taj Mahal in person was surreal. The structure is breathtaking, and when you see it in person, you understand why it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Another highlight was seeing the Qutub Minar. Not only is the tower itself very impressive, but the surrounding ruins and gardens take you back in time.
What was the best thing you at on your trip?
The dosas I ate for breakfast every morning were amazing. Dosas are very similar to crepes, but they’re made from fermented rice and lentils. The fruit was so fresh and delicious. I ate my weight in papaya, watermelon, and mango. Every day, the temperature ranged from 89 to 99 degrees, so eating ice cream after every meal was a must! My favorite flavor was black currant.
What was the biggest difference in how people live there, compared to here?
The driving! They view it as an action sport! Lots of horns being honked, no real defined lanes, kind of a free for all. If you want to get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time you just sort of have to drive straight into traffic.
Also, there were no “rules” about lines. If you are in line for food or waiting to use the restroom, do not be surprised if someone cuts in front of you and don’t be shy to cut the line yourself.
What advice would you give someone going there for the first time?
Immerse yourself into the culture as much as you can and embrace every second you are there! The terrain is so beautiful, and the culture is so unique. You’re surrounded by so much history and there are so many natural and cultural treasures waiting to be explored! Also, don’t be afraid to try different foods. I really had a great time eating different dishes.
By Elliott Hodge, marketing & communications intern