5 Helpful Tips for Women Solo Traveling in India
Being a tall, leggy blonde—who is an opinionated, independent, and hardworking woman—living in a male dominated country such as India comes with rules, to say the least. Although these rules don’t exactly come in a pamphlet given to all female adventurers at the airport in New Delhi, upon their arrival, I’m here to fill you in.
Here are five rules for women traveling solo in India:
Now the subject of men is a very sensitive one, especially for all you ladies out there looking for love. Now I’m not trying to say that love in India doesn’t exist. As an expat and resident in India for over two years, I’ve met plenty of happily married Indian-American couples to say the least. Having said that, there is a purple elephant in the room that most foreign women hate to acknowledge. And that purple elephant is sex.
That’s right, I said it. It’s important to understand that many Indians have never met or spoke with a foreigner before. Although they speak perfect English, are chivalrous and seem at first to be completely charming, it’s important to realize that there is a notion about American women having a “bad reputation” and being an “easy-American.”
Stay classy, keep your hands to yourself, and don’t be afraid to tell a man “no.” They usually just want that photo standing beside you with their arm over your shoulder just so they can update their Facebook profile photo. (True story.)
2. Dress Code
India is a cheap country, and in the right market, it’s easy to find really cute and comfortable clothes for only a few dollars. Save the space in your suitcase and purchase your wardrobe for the week/month upon arrival. And if you can’t take it all back with you, remember to donate it!
The culture in India doesn’t allow for immodesty and as a foreigner (already carrying a bad assumption about reputations, as mentioned earlier) it’s better to represent yourself and your country in a respectful and appropriate way.
If wearing cotton, comfortable Indian clothes in the scorching heat doesn’t interest you, then make sure to leave your tank tops and mini skirts at home. The culture in India doesn’t allow for immodesty and as a foreigner (already carrying a bad assumption about reputations, as mentioned earlier) it’s better to represent yourself and your country in a respectful and appropriate way.
People in India are amazing. Complete strangers can become your lifetime friends and family members. Don’t let the language barriers or culture differences intimidate you! Deep down, no matter what race, religion or culture, humanity is humanity and you would be surprised how many times a total stranger saved my life!
Do research before traveling to India. Find out what are the safest neighborhoods and make sure to keep track of the time so as to never travel alone at night. Most importantly, use your gut instinct and trust in yourself. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to walk away!
India is a country that people say you either love or hate. I can tell you from personal experience that India changes you. It makes you grow as a human being and you learn things that you cannot learn anywhere else on earth.
If you open your mind and heart, you will find out many amazing things about yourself too. Which is why if you asked me the same question—love it or hate it—my answer without hesitation is most definitely… love it!
5 Tips for Women Solo Traveling in India
Have you traveled in India? What were your impressions? Email us at [email protected] for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.