I recently got back from my vacation - I was fortunate enough to spend 4 amazing weeks in India, and since my arrival I have been asked multiple times how my trip went. So I thought why not write a general overview about my experience. The last 4 weeks have been one of the most memorable days of my life, I learned a lot about my family dynamic and also learned a lot about myself, however, what I really wanted to address first are people’s ideas about India. I got asked a bunch of times “is India like what we see in the movies and TV, over populated and in the slums?” yes, but only certain areas. I have an issue when it comes to media perception on countries and it’s not just India, there are so many countries where only the poorer areas get highlighted. Now don’t get me wrong those areas do need to be showcased and to rise awareness that more needs to be done to help those areas and the people in it. However, I’m here to tell you all the things I got to experience, like going to the beautiful city of Chandigarh. Let me tell you if you’re ever in India you must visit this city, talk about a well developed area. This city has it all to the common fast food places we have here (McDonalds, KFC, Quiznos, Subway, and more), high end restaurants (that didn’t just serve Indian food), to the largest mall I’ve ever been to (I’m talking 7 floors of amazing shops like Zara, Mango, Nike, and more!). Next we go to the city of Patiala, this was a lovely place where mom managed to buy all our traditional clothes from, there were great local coffee shops, and some highly credited professional schools (medical and dental). We now move to the city of Amritsar, I visit this city every time I go to India to visit the Golden Temple, and every time I go it’s a new experience for me. This is another city I highly suggest visiting, the Golden Temple isn’t just another beautiful structure to just take pictures of, but for me it was a place for great self reflection. Walking around the temple and reading all the scriptures really helped me to realize there is far more to life than just school, work, and all that other stuff we stress over (I say this now but will over-stress in the next few days, probably should work on that). For me going to Amritsar was a bigger deal than I thought, after leaving there was a sense of sadness because I wouldn’t be able to be near such a beautiful structure for another few years. But the experience I did have, I will take with me forever. Last but not least we visit the Capital State of India - Delhi, talk about one of the cleanest most well kept cities in India! There are so many wonderful things to see there such as the Lotus Temple, Indian Gate, Garden of Five Senses, and much more. Delhi was wonderful but also super confusing to get around, so many buildings, apartments, and shopping complexes! Although there were many amazing things to see, there were also some heart breaking moments. Yes, it’s true there is poverty in India and there was always someone on the street knocking on the window of our car asking for some money, and majority of them were kids. Yes, it’s true the country is overpopulated and walking around the street was difficult at times. Yes, it’s true there are some areas where it looks like the slums, garbage everywhere and a very strong foul smell that sometimes made your eyes water. There will always be different angles of everything, we are more in tune to seeing the angle of poverty and slums and although I did see that, it was not all that I saw. I saw beautiful farm lands, kids running and laughing, huge malls and amazing restaurants. It’s hard answering people who ask “is India like what we see on TV” because honestly there is a lot we see on TV, but I’m here to say don’t just see what we view on TV, but do some research and who knows if you have the time experience the country for yourself to. My trip was one to remember and being older I can appreciate those short 4 weeks and take it with me everyday, and remind myself that there’s so much more to life (yeah I know very cliche). It’s true though, I’ll have my days of being angry and stressed, but I have my memories and pictures to look back on to remind myself to just breathe. If you want to know more about my trip/experience feel free to shoot me a message/text.