You Know You’ve Travelled to India When…

Travelling through India is an absolutely unforgettable experience. Some moments you’ll be high-as-a-kite as you discover an amazing new food or chat to the nicest person that ever graced the planet, then out of nowhere you’ll receive some kind of karmic punishment in the form of illness, utter confusion or yet another travel delay.

Here are 24 things that everyone who travels to India can relate to.

1. You can’t start your day without a steaming cup of chai, and have withdrawal symptoms akin to a heroin addict when denied your favourite sweet treat.

2. You stop referring to things as ‘in front of’, ‘behind’, ‘left’ and ‘right’, and instead find yourself using ‘frontside’, ‘backside’, ‘leftside’ and ‘rightside’.

3. You refer to everyone as ‘my friend’.

4. You start to answer every question with a sideways head wobble. Whether that’s for ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘maybe’, it doesn’t matter.


5. Your ability to handle spicy food is now about a million times what it was before you arrived.

6. Every pair of trousers you own are either balloon or Ali Baba style.

7. You no longer look left and right before crossing the road. You just put your head down and go for it.

8. Curry for breakfast actually sounds rather appealing…

curry breakfast

9. Your digestive system has been entirely re-calibrated thanks to a few good bouts of food poisoning.

10. You give in to the 40 degree heat and buy yourself a sweat rag to pat yourself with during the day.

11. You’ve held more babies and posed in more photos than in all of your previous family gatherings put together.

india family photo

12. You’ve suffered a few near-death experiences thanks to bad driving / faulty wiring / holes in the road.

13. You’ve been eaten alive more than once by mosquitoes and other flying friends.

14. You actually really enjoy Bollywood movies and totally understand them, even when they spontaneously burst into another confusing dance routine.

bollywood dance

15. You will never complain about the state of a public toilet ever again.

16.You will never complain about your slow internet connection ever again.

17. You will never complain about your busy commute ever again.

full train

18. You no longer notice the near-misses and close-calls which happen during a simple journey from A to B. You’re immune to extreme and ever-present danger.

19. Things stop being ‘strong’ and start being ‘FULL POWER’!

20. You can sleep through anything. Traffic noise, people shouting, cows mooing, crows cawing at all times of the day, the end of the world…


21. You have been guest of honour at an Indian wedding.

22. You haven’t worn make up in two months and you don’t even care.

23. You’ve had more than one butt-clenching long train journey fighting yet another bout of food poisoning.

24. After all the crazy things you’ve seen and done, for all the soaring highs and the crashing lows, you wouldn’t change a thing. You’re hooked, and there’s no way you’ll ever be able to stop yourself from returning for more.

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You know you've travelled to India when.... all these things happen!

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Hayley is the author behind A Life of More, a travel and lifestyle blog with the goal of helping you to live a happier and more fulfilled life, whether you're currently travelling or happily settled.

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Comments 17

  1. Flora

    Ahh, those Bollywood movies will never get old… And I’d totally forgotten about ‘FULL POWER’! Top marks on this, Hayley 🙂

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  4. Gabby @

    Great post Hayley! I haven’t made it to India yet but it’s SO high on my to visit list. This post gave me a good idea of what to expect… dodgy belly is definitely up there! Thanks for sharing, hope you’re having an incredible time!


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    LovePuffin Travel Blog

    Thanks so much, Gabby! Yes, it is a bit of a rite of passage to have the dreaded ‘Delhi Belly’ but as Kelly Clarkson once said; ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’!

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  8. Steph

    hahaa I love this. I’m in India right now and I’ve got about a week left! Still getting used to wild camels/cows/God knows what else crossing the road at random points!

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  10. Mariana De Wet

    We are going to India and doing North South. Also Kerela and Poni. Can’t wait what’s instore for us.

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  12. Alexis

    HI Hayley your post is great. What has freaked me out is the mention of a rat by your head on a train trip! I’ve a real phobia of rats (serious fear of them) which has kept me away from India. If we don’t take trains (fly between destinations) and stay in good hotels and don’t visit slums or food markets what chance is there of not seeing rats?

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    Hayley Griffiths

    Hey Alexis. Oh dear I’m sorry to hear this has been holding you back! I would say that if you stay in good places then you’re giving yourself the best chance of not seeing them. I personally only saw them on trains and in shady food places, and of course in the Dharavi Slum but that’s just me, and I wasn’t really looking out for them as they don’t bother me too much.

    I’m not going to promise you won’t see any but you’re definitely doing all the right things to minimise your chances!

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