Stay Safe and Enjoy Amazing India
As a female traveller, who went to India all by herself (praying that she would return alive), I feel fit to tell all you girls that it's fine! And it's safe! And it's lovely! And if you want to go, the only thing holding you back is worry - forget about it and go, believe me!
Why Travel to India?
1) Being a former colony, almost everyone you meet there will be able to speak English and will be not only be able to help, but also glad to help you with anything you need to know.
2) Almost all Indians are reliant on tourism and are also a mix of Christian, Buddhist and Hindu. This means that, far from being scary, they will be so nice to you, that you'll never want to go back home, where everyone is cold and in their own little grumpy world.
3) The chances are, that you'll meet so many other travellers on your first day, that you won't be alone for too long anyway. Also most people usually seem to be heading for the same well known places, so there's almost always someone you can hook up with for the journey.
4) With one billion people there, you will never, ever have to feel scared because you find yourself all alone with some strange bloke. You are simply never alone! I was so worried once, about having to wait for a connecting train at a train station in the middle of the night, and when I arrived, I had to laugh so hard. It was 3 am, and the station was just packed! There were families, small children, grandparents; everyone and his wife was there!
5) There are lots of stories about women getting groped. But then, there's just as many, in fact probably more stories about women not getting groped! I, for one, was not groped once in three months! Staring, on the other hand, will happen to you all the time and everywhere, and it's just something you have to accept and get used to. It's not surprising either really, as a lot of people there have never even seen a live white person before. Add to that the fact that you're a female and not wearing a sari, what else can they do but to stare?
6) This of course does not mean that you should throw all caution to the wind and be completely reckless. Obviously, it's not wise to go walking about all alone at night, especially in areas where there aren't many people. And if you get invited back to somewhere by someone, you sadly do have to consider very carefully if it's worth taking a risk or not.
7) (One your Mum will like): If you're going to be in India for a while, you can buy an Indian SIM card for your mobile almost anywhere, and you'll have reception in all the cities and towns. That way your family can always check up on you and see how you're doing and what you're up to, and you can feel that little bit more secure knowing you have a phone on you just in case something does go wrong.
So, go and enjoy! You're going to love it!