Lessons from 3 months in India.

chuck_manley-taj_mahal-3_months-India

Taj accha hai!

I’ve been in India for over 3 months now. 3 months can be a lot or a little depending on how you live it. If you’re sitting in prison waiting 10-20 to be paroled, 3 months might not mean a whole lot. Here in India though 3 months feels like a lifetime in the craziest place I’ve ever been. 3 months has provided me with treasured memories, incredible insight, and as much inspiration as there is pollution in the air. 3 months has seemed to stretch on for a long time as I’ve seen so many places, met so many people, and done so many things.

Paharganj - New Delhi, India

Paharganj – New Delhi, India

When I first got off the plane 3 months ago in New Delhi I was over stimulated by the sights, the sounds, the people, and the sheer volume of everything. It was madness and I thought I was going to cry. In less than 24 hours India made me feel chewed up, discarded, and left to wonder what the hell I had gotten myself into. Slowly though, I’ve learned enough lessons to make the most out of my time in India.

..and here they are!

Open your heart.

valentines_day-bundi-india
Open your heart!

I was lied to a led into yet another travel agency when I met Patrick, from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Not far from where I grew up. We talked for awhile and overtime I came to trust him and the people there. The owner said to me, “if you’re going to enjoy India, you need to open your heart to it.” If I didn’t learn to love it, it wasn’t going to love me. Then I handed him a stack of money and headed off to Srinagar, Kashmir.

Anything is possible.

anything_is_possible_in_india

Anything is possible!

I’ve opened my heart and learned another fact about India. Anything is possible. Just when you think you’ve seen it all a goat with a sweater is standing on a car, or a cow is being fed a piece of bread while standing at someone’s front door, or there’s a person bathing in the waters where the bodies of dead people are cremated and discarded. Anything is possible.

There is no problem.

random_indian_man

“No problem.” – every Indian ever

Which brings me to the next piece of advice I learned from 3 months in India; the only problem is that there is no problem. Ask anyone if anything is possible and with 100% conviction from anyone it will be “no problem” with a signature head bobble. The solutions sometimes only present themselves in convoluted Indian ways, but most things are in fact possible in India with no problem.

lessons from 3 months in india

This is universal.

The most important thing I’ve learned after being in India for 3 months is that everything I’ve learned can be applied anywhere. If you want to enjoy life, open your heart to live. Remember that anything is possible no matter where you are.  And the only problem is that when there is no problem, your ego will create one.

While India may in fact be composed of pure madness, there is a certain rhythm to the chaos. It’s hard to hear the harmony under the noise, but it’s there if you try hard enough.

…and when you find the beat you can move with it as if life were a dance.

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  • Brie’

    I am so, SO happy to see this post. From when you were in Seattle, explaining what you were going to do, where you wanted to go, and what you were going to line yourself up with , to now. Switch ahead months later, MONTHS (not years nor decades) and I get to actually see the kind of posts I had envisioned reading from your foreseen thoughts. You are DOING IT. That makes my heart beat with a little more pep.

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      I’m so happy you’re so happy! Who would have thought all that talk would turn into this!?

  • Doc

    Post by post I could feel the changes! Feel your deeper understanding of the situation you. I can’t say fearlessly, but the situation you bravely put yourself into. And it may not seem like bravery to you but to myself and many others. It would take much more bravery than I have to do the solitary journey you are on at present!

    You have been exciting to follow and I look forward to your continued adventures no matter where they lead!!

    Grow, Feel, Love and Be

    Peace

    Doc

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      The adventure from here goes Uttar Pradesh for “Holi.” Google that and tell me what you think!

  • alexa_rl

    I’m so happy, te quiero :)

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      ¡Muchismas gracias!

  • Andria Violet Cezarek

    My favorite quote from India was, “In India, anything is possible…. It’s just not always available”… so yeah there is no problem but you might be waiting a while til the possibilities match the availabilities :) Glad you are learning a lot and enjoying yourself! Thanks for sharing !

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      Yes. Availability can be an issue. I have actually heard the dreaded words “not possible” once or twice. It throws off my gravity when I do!

      Thanks for dropping by and having a read. You’re invited back anytime.

  • Iris

    great post! I have some friends from India! I can’t wait to visit!

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      Thanks! India is a definitely worth a visit! I can’t wait to come back and I haven’t even left yet.

      Where are your friends from in India?

  • Akbar

    Hey buddy, nice blog. I am an Indian and to know India from a foreigners perspective is really fun !!! Wish you luck.

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      Being a foreigner in India is really fun. It’s such a wild country for me, but I love it. I’m still here and I already can’t wait to return.

  • dexbg

    > Ask anyone if anything is possible and with 100% conviction from anyone it will be “no problem” with a signature head bobble. The solutions sometimes only present themselves in convoluted Indian ways, but most things are in fact possible in India with no problem

    Quite true, Indian folk consider saying “No” disrespectful .. we have evolved other social cues to turn down people but an outright no is embarrassing for most to say.

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      I would think an auto wala driving around lost would be more embarrassing than just saying he didn’t know where the place was. Or asking for money because he had to drive so much further should also be embarrassing.

      Good thing I’m not embarrassed to say no!

  • Kunal

    Last lines brought tears in my eyes…I just love it when amazing travelers like you love India!

  • stdps1080

    Great Blog ! Its great to know about us from a different perspective !

  • Priya

    Hello Chuck,

    Greetings…

    Glad that you liked India …! We have most diversified cultures which makes us unique and united too! Greater insight of India provided by you, and this view, I haven’t read in any other traveler’s blog post. Thanks so much!!!

    Peace