Monday, October 18, 2010

Nope, not once. Honestly.

"You will love it and hate it more than any place you have ever been in your life."

This was the overwhelming consensus on India. Every single person we've met in our travels has said nearly the exact same thing. Each and every day - heck, each and every moment brings with it an opportunity to love and hate this conundrum of a country with a passion.

Sitting on my Malaysian Airlines flight after nearly two months in sixteen places across India, I've gotta say... I never hated it.

I have to admit.  Upon our arrival, I had hopes that I would be the one person I know to never hate India. It captivated me so fully and so quickly, I didn't want the love affair to be tainted by such a harsh sentiment. Did I get frustrated at times? Yes. Was it hot and dirty and poverty stricken and in your face? Yes, yes, yes and yes. It was also beautiful and spiritual and colorful and delicious and serene and giving and inspiring. It's not a perfect place, by far. But I never felt the need to conjur up the 'H' word.

For most of the countries we have visited on this trip, I can say that we've had a whirlwind tour of the best they have to offer. Peru's Machu Picchu. Tanzania's Zanzibar and the Serengeti. Argentina's Iguazu Falls and Mendoza vineyards and the Lake District and Patagonia. To go back would be purely to dig deeper. In India however, I think we saw but a fraction of the highlights. I am certain that the best is yet to be seen. And I have no doubt that I will return for more.

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