RU Abroad

4 Useful Things I Learned While Road Tripping Across India

Travelling teaches you new things no matter how often you leave home behind. But road trips are a whole other ball game.

You will have poo issues

It happens to even the strongest of digestive systems. Because your sleep schedule, quality of water, and temperatures drastically change, your system will too. You will either find yourself in need of a washroom every hour or almost never. And even if you are regular – on the road, toilets aren’t frequent or in the best of conditions. I cried when I had to pee, in several washrooms, because they were so dirty. It really sucks because you want to eat everything but your tummy insists otherwise. I suggest LOADS of wet wipes and extra water. And girls, birth control may be a good option because being on your period when you have to sit in the car for 5-8 hours straight is not worth it, trust me.

Your definition of the three Cs will change

Close: I took this road trip with my family and one would think because we’re a family, we’d already be close. Turns out things get a lot more up close and personal when seven people are stuffed in a jeep with 10 suitcases and 45 degrees of sweltering heat. My little sister and I shared one seat and my patience has never been tested thinner. But being physically close also builds emotional bonds. Your 2am conversations get you admitting things you never thought you’d voice.
Clean: I wore the same clothes three days straight and once I dropped my candy between the car seats and still ate it a day later. My digestion was already off, how much worse could it get? On a serious note, you only get to pack a limited amount with a limited budget, so slap on some deodorant, dry out the sweat, and make the most of the day. No one will notice because you’ll be in a different city the next day.
Comfort: First of all you’re already jet lagged and on top of that it’s way too uncomfortable to sleep. Even if your lucky stars let you rest, it would be at odd times of the day in small chunks. Roadtripping really teaches you to look past the physical difficulties and embrace tolerance as a virtue.
Protip: a lap is a better pillow than any sweaty neck cushion so offer yours and be confident enough to rest on others.

You will fall in love – a lot

People are all generally really nice and when someone is nice to you in the time you’re most alone, connections are more intense. Most relationships are short lived and you promise to come back to visit. You wonder if you’d be the same if you met them back home instead. And then there are the bonds to locations and cities you think you can spend your entire life in. You can get an Instagram handle for people but the lust for a city never really goes away.

Small towns are better than big cities

I have to tell myself this a lot. Somehow, in smaller towns, the food tastes more homey and when you find a small garden you appreciate it a lot more. It’s interesting how different just one village is from its neighbor, especially in such a diverse place like India. You will find the people who have less offer you the bigger share. You’ve probably heard the expression that it’s about the journey more than it is about the destination; well, these small towns account a lot for the journey part. Cherish it.

I’m extremely grateful and privileged to be able to travel to such a beautiful place like India. Check out my 24 Cities in 19 Days vlog for the jist of my trip!

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Zahra Khozema

A 3rd year RTA student and a life loving Torontonian who loves to globe-hop from time to time. Writer of fun and useful articles, maker of cool things, terrible singer of lovely songs. A must have galpal.