We watch movies like “Avatar”, and fantasize about living in a fantastical world, while overlooking the magic in our own.
Few places in the world are as misunderstood as India. It is a land that creates pretty strong negative reactions from people who have never stepped foot in the country, and even stronger positive ones from those who have. The following are the five biggest myths about India.
Myth #1: If I go to India, I will get sick.
Fact: We have led many trips to India, and not one of our travelers has ever gotten sick. Yes, one needs to be careful, as they do in many countries but Zoom Vacations selects only the safest hotels and restaurants for our travelers, and most of these venues have the own water filtration systems.
Myth # 2: There is just poverty everywhere.
Fact: One could easily travel to India and not see it. That being said, most of our travelers want a glimpse into all the realities of India, and we do pass by areas that one would consider impoverished. But, this is not the majority, and it is estimated that by 2016, 50% of the population will be middle class.
Myth #3: India is dirty.
Fact: India is also pristine and beautiful, depending on where you are, such as in Osian, where the air is beautifully fresh and not a piece of litter can be found.
Myth #4: India is not gay-friendly.
Fact: We just brought our gay group to India, and everyone from our guides to hotel staff knew we were gay. It was truly a non-issue. The straight men in India are very affectionate, by the way, and they can often be found walking around hand-in-hand or with their arms around one another.
Myth #5: Accommodations are just subpar.
Fact: This is the biggest myth, because the best hotels in the world are in India. These are hotels that are so elevated, that they can't just be called 5 star. They truly deserve their own rating category of 6 or 7 stars. Several of these hotels are former maharaja palaces, and it is the goal of the property and staff to make their guests feel like royalty.
But all of these things are what make India so fascinating and captivating. It is the constant juxtaposition of two opposing things: centuries-old buildings next to very modern architecture, and ancient recipes reimagined with ingredients from around the world. It is Bollywood with all of its glamour, wealth, and physical beauty next to people who have very little, and whose inner light and happiness shine brighter than any of the colorful dances of Bollywood.