Dearest People of India,
We write this letter to you to show you the gratitude we have for the many life lessons you have taught us! We hope this small token of our appreciation will show you how much you have impacted our lives.
When we created this blog, we did so with the premise that it would be for us. To reflect back on our life and to communicate our travels to those that care to read about it. We set out to educate others on the joys of traveling and inspire others to do the same. The blog has changed over the years and we now not only want to inspire others to travel, but to change their perspective on life. Travel has been that catalyst for change in our own perspective and now, we want to help others open their minds and heart to a world perspective. By developing a world perspective you gain a perspective on your own life and what role you take in the big picture.
The Diversity of The Indian People
We decided to go to India. The New York, New York (lame reference to Frank Sinatra and "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere" quote) of traveling destinations for many, and a land with an enchanting world history and remarkable monuments and architecture. We have been many places in the world, and everywhere we have been, has taught us something. Something about ourselves. Our perspective consequently has changed as a result of what we have learned. We knew India would change us too and we were nervously excited to see what this ancient culture would teach us about ourselves. Not out of fear of negative things we had heard about the country, but because anytime you change in life, it can be a bit scary. We had heard from our friends some of their experiences in India. Usually, we don't pay much attention to what other say about a place or another person. In the case of India, we couldn't help but feel, that with all the negatives we heard, there must be some truth to it.
Our Friends Say No India
While traveling in Southeast Asia in 2011, we met a couple from England. We became great friends and are still friends today. We split ways and continued on our journeys in the world, and met back up in Koh Tao, Thailand, after they had been to India. They told us their experiences in India and they were terrible. They told us to "skip it". We met a guy in Thailand the last time we were there in 2016 before going to India, who marveled at the fact we planned on spending 3 months traveling the sub-continent. We asked him what he thought, and he explained his two month trip there was "work". When we asked him to expound upon this sentiment, he said it was hard to describe, but traveling in India isn't easy and it feels more like work. We couldn't understand this statement nor our English friend's perspectives, but still felt as if India would be an experience that is less than gratifying compared to other places we have been in the world.
There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things.
The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.
Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times.
I travel not to cross countries off a list, but to ignite passionate affairs with destinations.
Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you- it should change you.
Traveling. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.
The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.
A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.
The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.
Traveling outgrows its motives. It soon proves sufficient in itself. You think you are making a trip, but soon it is making you – or unmaking you.
If you’re… physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.
Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover
The journey not the arrival matters.
A great way to learn about your country is to leave it.
Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.
There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s books and write your own.
It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.
How you live your life is up to you. You have to go out and grab the world by the horns. Rope it before it ties you down and decides for you.
If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.
At its best, travel should challenge our preconceptions and most cherished views, cause us to rethink our assumptions, shake us a bit, make us broader minded and more understanding.
Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.
No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.
Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.
You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel for the unknown, that reveals you with yourself.
Once you have travelled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.
…to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.
For the born traveller, travelling is a besetting vice. Like other vices, it is imperious, demanding its victim’s time, money, energy and the sacrifice of comfort.
I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.
And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.
NOT I – NOT ANYONE else, can travel that road for you, You must travel it for yourself.
Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.
Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted
We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey
To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.
Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you travelled.
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.
Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of the experience.
Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.
Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.
I am a passionate traveler, and from the time I was a child, travel formed me as much as my formal education.
The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
Live life with no excuses, travel with no regret.
The saddest journey in the world is the one that follows a precise itinerary. Then you’re not a traveler. You’re a f@$%ing tourist.
Too often. . .I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.
Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.
A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Not all those who wander are lost.
I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Make voyages! Attempt them… there’s nothing else.
To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.
A wise man travels to discover himself.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
I finally felt myself lifted definitively away on the winds of adventure toward worlds I envisaged would be stranger than they were, into situations I imagined would be much more normal than they turned out to be.
Nothing can be compared to the new life that the discovery of another country provides for a thoughtful person. Although I am still the same I believe to have changed to the bones.
Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.
I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
Holi In Vrindavan
Our Experiences In India
When we arrived in India, we knew we wanted to do two things; Celebrate Holi in Vrindavan and see the Taj Mahal. We booked a one way ticket to Chennai, because it was the cheapest flight from Thailand. No other plans or expectations. Once we got to Delhi a couple days later, we really began to understand what our friends were saying about India. We were not liking India either, and felt as if our trip to India would be a short one. We were determined not to let Delhi poison our views and we tried to keep an open mind, moving on to Varanasi. Everything changed for us in Varanasi. We got to Varanasi and met some people who were able to help us understand better the people of India. From our guesthouse owner Govind (who was Mr. India in bodybuilding) to a traveler who has been in India for nearly a decade and our friend Raj who sold boat tours down on the ghats, we began to understand more about India and ourselves. We opened our minds and came up with a few sayings:
1. India punches you in the gut and then gives you a big kiss.
2. India teaches you a lesson, whether you want it to or not.
3. India is like Chinese handcuffs. The harder you pull, the tighter the grip. When you loosen and stop pulling, it releases you.
Woman In Red at the Taj Mahal
Places vs. People
Even though we have seen some amazing places in world, it is always the people of that place, that make the biggest impact in our minds and hearts. India is no exception. There were times when the Indian people would punch us in the gut, but always returned with a big kiss. When we pushed against the Indian people, they pushed back. When we relaxed our grip on our fears and prejudices, they released their love upon us. We learned lessons from them, without looking for a lesson and in times when we were opposed to learning one. We became better travelers, better students of life and better people. We grew in our understanding and acceptance of others and their culture.
Through the Indian people, we opened a little more our minds and released some of our own prejudices. We realize more than ever, how important it is not to listen to what others say about the places of the world. One can only say what THEIR experience is. YOUR experience will be different. Not that our friend's experiences were not authentic or true, however it is up to you to see it for yourself. It is up to you to visit the places you always wanted to see. It is up to YOU to experience the culture through the people of a place, and not just "see the sights", to better understand a country and yourself. This is to say you need to experience the culture, and India oozes it!
Thank You From Brady and Shelly - The Indefinite Journey
Acceptance vs. Tolerance
India has changed us. We have India to thank for this. More so, we have the people of India to thank for teaching us more about ourselves than we had ever thought possible. One major thing we learned from the Indian people... ACCEPTANCE. Once we opened our eyes and realized that the Indian people accepted us the way we were, we then began to accept the Indian people for the way they were. Isn't this the goal of the world? To understand each other? How many wars would be averted if people would only accept and understand? The people of the world could learn a lot from the people of India and their widespread acceptance of religion, culture, ethnicity and foreigners. India is not just tolerant of other religions, they accept them. India doesn't just tolerate the many unique cultures of the different states of India, they accept them. India didn't just tolerate two tattooed foreigners traveling through their country, they accepted them.
Thank You Letter To The People of India
Now, we are posting our experiences in India on social media, and the acceptance and reception of our thoughts have skyrocketed to nearly 1 million views on our social media, over 40 thousand likes, and nearly 100 comments on our blog and more than we can count on social media. The kindness of the words of our new friends in India, in countless comments across social media, is humbling. It shows us all over again the amazing gratitude and warm hearts the Indian people have.
The amazing comments and interactions with our Indian friends on facebook, Quora, Twitter and our Blog have renewed our desire to go back to India, see the places we missed, and meet up with new friends to learn more about the culture and people of India. Thank you from the deepest parts of our hearts! India is not the Taj Mahal, Holi, the Golden Temple, the backwaters of Kerala, the Himalayan Mountains, or any of the beautiful places in between. It's the people! We thank YOU, the people of India, for helping inspire US to be better people and change our perspective.
Brady and Shelly
The Indefinite Journey
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