By on 2 November 2015

I thought it would be sort of romantic to travel throughout the mystical India. News flash, it is not. Coming from a culture where “In which phase of the relationship it’s ok to fart next to each other?” is a long debate subject, seeing hundreds of men taking a dump all along the railroads of India surely makes the romance fly out the door. Hey it is, what it is… Not judging. After 8 days of traveling, I can say I feel quite adjusted here. Wandering around with the “I’ll kill you!” look at the rickshaw drivers, not answering the questions of strangers, looking right in the eyes of men who sit across you and just stare at you for minutes and slowly learning bargaining… Still I must say, can’t shake the feeling that I am being ripped off everywhere I go. As my day-driver Refiq says: “No money, no honey, no funny”

When I give it a thought, an average tourist in Istanbul must be struggling a lot as well. Having the regular residents of the city is far beyond reach and they probably find themselves haggling with the carpet vendors in Grand Bazaar and being ripped of beasty taxi drivers of Istanbul. Ending up in wrong restaurants to eat two bucks kebaps and having mild food poisonings. So my situation is quite like this… In a city where you are a complete stranger, how do you find people like yourself?

At this point, I got really lucky. I reached the most amazing people through the facebook: Girls who travel. Well, technically I met Japnit through the Nomads group but since now she is a member, that too counts. I met Japnit in New Delhi and she took me to the Sikh Temple in Delhi, helped me to get my bus ticket to Agra and train tickets to Jaipur & Jodhpur. Then we had an amazing thali dinner in a South Indian Restaurant. Although I couldn’t meet Chandni face to face she was such a good support via her messages. Sandhya came my rescue in Jaipur. She invited me to dinner in her house and introduced me the amazing Karwa Chauth festival. The next day she and her family took me for sightseeing. So with the helping hands and friendships of these wonderful ladies, I was finally able to gain a real perspective about India. Not just some bad stuff just travelers are exposed to but the amazing kindness and heartiness. So kudos to Girls Who Travel, for connecting amazing women all around the world and making the world better for solo female travelers.

Things are getting better on my account. At the end of the day, I am glad I came here. My friend Sebnem once told me “India grows on you” She was right. So many things to see and admire, so many things to comprehend. When traveling you don’t really feel how it transforms you, but it does. Slowly all the images, all the ideas ooze through your pores and when the process is completed it expands you, broads your mind and opens your horizon.

So my fellow travelers, basicly what I am saying is: It’s ok to struggle, it’s ok to have second thoughts. But it’s not ok to quit.

Stay blessed.