First things first, this post was written keeping a backpacker in mind — someone who travels on a limited budget! Those who are into luxury travelling, may not experience below mentioned plights.
I know you must be thinking how can I hate anything about travelling when I love it to a degree that I quit my job to travel. You’re right, I love travelling. It’s in my veins. But sometimes I hate certain things about it, and being on the road for months sometimes amplifies the feeling.
These are not the regular disappointments like paying high prices during a peak tourist season or lacking the comfort of home. The things mentioned below are the ones that irk me from time to time.
Things I Hate About Travelling In India
As a budget traveller, and after travelling in India for a long time, I can strongly say that I’ve seen my share of dirty toilets. I can handle a lot of filth during my travels but when it comes to dirty public toilets, I’ve had enough. And no matter how better I become at holding my breath for a longer time period, it turns out that I always end up taking that last whiff of eternal disgust before making it out to the rescue. I hate dirty disgusting toilets. And they hold the first position in this list of things I hate about travelling in India.
Despite having a fair share of luxury experiences, like this luxury train in India and this 1000 dollar island trip in the Great Barrier Reef, I consider myself a budget traveller, though not frugal to a point that I would save every buck possible, especially when it comes to staying in a smelly guesthouse. I can handle a lot of filth during my travels (I’m reminding again!) but when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, a clean bedsheet and a super clean pillow – giving a fresh smell of detergent – is a must. But sometimes you have no option. For example, you arrive in a new town, after the wee hours of midnight and you agree to take the first room you’re offered right next to the bus station. Or worse, you end up at an Indian railways’ retiring room. Hotels close to bus and train stations are the worst in India. I remember the last time I had to rent a room at Gaya Railway station in Bihar, I pleaded for a new bedsheet and then decided to put it on the floor and doze off. Dirty beds and pillows make my travel life tougher to the next level. And in India, we have them everywhere!
Getting Off The Bus
I love travelling to new places. But I absolutely hate getting off the bus or coming out of a railway station, when I arrive at a destination in India. It is exhausting being inundated by touts trying to push you for a ride in their taxi or help you find budget travel accommodation somewhere. I already hate the idea of searching a guesthouse while lugging a heavy rucksack on my back, but I hate having to deal with the mob of people waiting for tourists even more. So as my destination and the time to get off the bus draws near in India, the dread grows to a long moment of uneasiness.
But for some reason, India still has a strong culture of expecting bakshish and most tourist places expects it. If you’re dining in a restaurant, the waiter expects you to leave a few tenners on the table, even if he served you with a cold face. Similarly, hotel staff expects you to pay them bakshish the minute they see you leaving. I hate this obvious bakshish culture across India.
And now, One Thing I Love About Travelling In India
Local Experiences & The Family-Bonding
After travelling a few countries in the world, if there’s one thing I totally adore about India, it’s meeting local people and experiencing their spellbound hospitality. People in small towns across India are so hospitable and welcoming that in just a few days you become a part of their life. Nowhere outside of India have I felt such strong bonds happening that I’ve felt with local people in small towns in India.
What about you? What part of travelling do you hate or love the most while travelling in India?