Just a few days before leaving
Sounds promising, somehow still unrealistic and far away: Going to India. I am sitting at home with a coffee, the newspaper on the table, the family members hurrying from the bathroom to the kitchen, where is the key, Mum, I need to pay a book at school, Mum, I will be back late today….the children leaving for school, the day starts. Everything is going as usual. Well organized, luxury of warm water where needed, freezer and microwave work, the infrastructure is there: whether with the bus, the train or by bike – everything is just a few steps away. Health assurance? That’s clear. Regular income? Know how to bring the family forward in the next months? Good professional education? Of course. Planning holidays? We need to do that after my trip, soon, for getting a best offer…
Incredible, how well our life is organized, although there is a huge number of social needs and problems visible in the developed countries, too. The raising numbers of social enterprises active here is just a small testimonial of this fact.
How will life be in India? What to expect where the contrast of extreme poverty and richness is that visible?
I just think: Twoandahalfweeks in India – starting soon. Twoandahalfweeks that will be different. Rethinking and experiencing how life can be. It’s probably not just a travel to India, to an emerging country, a country full of contradictions, but also a travel to understand more of myself, about lucky circumstances and own life barriers.
Traveling back to the original roots of life? A travel to a total different world? Or just a travel to understand more about the world and its complexity?
You love it or you hate it
I have read a lot, probably like many other people who plan a trip to India. I have read several times that India is a ‘yes or no’ country: there are just two options, to love it or to hate it.
For sure, it will be an unusual trip. Not the sightseeing stuff, no nice hotels, a few big cities, Mumbai, Cochin, Pune for a few hours…but mostly rural India. First in the hinterland of Mumbai, later in the South of India. A experience-based travel organized by a foundation that works for years now with students who are sent to several locations for six to twelve months. They share knowledge – and they learn a lot from Indian people, their lives, their way of thinking – it’s an experience and sharing for all involved people.
Why I do that? Because I want to learn, to observe and understand. I know it will be just about getting some insights of this vast country, ten times bigger than Germany. A voyage to meet a few Indian ways of life in the area of agriculture, micro financing, social enterprises … and people. Talking to people from different social levels, farmers, children, women, startups, university professors, students.
We will be a small group of travelers with different background. People who are interested in Indian agriculture, people working in ministries, social workers, retirees who want to understand more on social needs and culture, a journalist, too.
Of course, I have some ideas of what I will experience and what I am looking for. Not all I have read and heard will be wrong. Not everything right. There is always the personal factor, how things relate to the own life.
Let’s go and see.