Go to India. You won’t regret it. Seriously. This is a place like no other, a place of bursting colour and startling contrasts, of incredible riches mixed with overwhelming poverty.
More than a billion people call India home, with the subcontinent’s population growing faster than any other nation on the planet.
You can’t walk to the corner shop from your hotel in Delhi without stumbling across some monument of immense historical or religious importance, and the natural riches of this one country would be enough to be comfortably split into five separate nations.
Given all this, how do you best enjoy India? You cannot hope to ‘take it all in’, because there is simply far too much.
Pick an area and indulge yourself. Become immersed in the food, habits and mood of a region, and make that your Indian experience.
To help you decide where to go, let’s run through a few of the top drawcards of this magnificent country.
The hugely popular beach location is spoken of with reverence by travelers, many of whom assume some sort of psychadelic experience will be granted to them upon arrival. There is no doubt that Goa is incredibly trendy to visit, but hash-fuelled days and endless summer nights are not the only things that happen here.
The beaches are what many come for; relaxed dunes with crystal waters lapping at the toes and a hint of that Caribbean feeling.
Check out the capital, Panaji, for great food and a real glimpse of the true Goa.
This hill station is planted in the middle of rolling tea plantations and beneath the towering mountain Khangchendzonga, which wisps in and out of the clouds and is a mesmeric sight.
The colonial influence here is palpable and on the days that you are not heading off on the myriad treks on offer you can wander through the churches and mansions left by the Europeans.
A tourist town that gets a bad rap for being a tourist town, Leh is actually so much more.
In truth, there is hardly a better entry point to the Himalayas for the uninitiated. From here you can quickly become awestruck by the magnificent Royal Palace, and get lost ambling through the rustic market areas of the Old Town.
All the while, you will be acclimatising in the foothills of the greatest mountain complex on the planet. Preparing for a death defying climb, perhaps?