It's true what they say. A trip to India answers questions never asked. My first trip there lasted 3 months. It was just after I made the decision (not an easy one) to quit my masters degree and go on an adventure. My second trip lasted a month and a half and I was there to learn how to teach yoga, in Rishikesh, in the mountains.
As a traveler, I have particularly evolved during these two trips to India. It's a bit of what I like about travel: whether you like it or not, you always come back different. We learn so much about ourselves, about life and our horizons. We walk around, we see beautiful things, but at the same time, we play hide-and-seek with ourselves (or Marco Polo, same thing). I love that.
This is all the more true in an intense country like India. A country that invades our senses by its sounds, its bright colors and its odors. A country of contrast, where poverty borders opulence. A country that travelers hate and adore at the same time. It's not easy to travel to India. It's hard to find a place among so many people. You have to be 100% in the present moment otherwise you run the risk of being kicked by a cow or worse, stepping in one of their droppings. We must try to focus on what we do, while our senses are over stimulated. We have to say no to the small, lean children who beg, because in the long run it does not help them at all. We must hold in our tears often; tears of sadness, tears of anger, and tears of happiness. India is a little magical country, which asks a lot of us, but that gives back a lot too. But the fact remains that it is a country that confronts, that goes inside. No choice but to change the way we think, whether we like it or not - and to find ourselves in the process.
It is a country which, in my opinion, travels more slowly. Its intensity has enough to burn the most energetic person. Sometimes you have to take breaks to recharge before continuing our journey. It's a country that is doing very well in learning! Also, because it is a very ancient civilization that has something else to teach us, we who come from the world of rational thought and Western medicine. Ayurveda, reiki, massage, chakras, yoga, hindi ... there are classes of everything happening everywhere! Traveling is a good time to discover new interests and open your mind to new ways of thinking. Often, this is done only by takig time to slow down, instead of changing cities every 2-3 days. India forces us to stop, refocus and open ourselves to something else. What a great experience!
In my first trip to India, at 24, I discovered the country at the same time that I discovered myself. On my second trip, two years later, I learned and found a lot. I learned more about India, learned to teach yoga, but also learned to open up. I found love (ahh yes, in a yoga ashram!) And found the courage to start my own company, Yogadept.com. Life's pretty good hun?
Well, that's the India effect, where coincidences do not exist. And by learning to know each other, by opening up to the new, by going out of our comfort zone, one can only find good. In my case, I think that all this made me win the game of hide and seek and I am quite happy. So, what are you waiting for to book your flight?
I leave you on one of my favorite phrases, which in my opinion applies as much to yoga as to travel: "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions ". AMEN.