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Interview with Elle, the Solo Female Nomad

I have been following Elle on her travel blog and I have to say I have been really inspired by her enthusiasm. Ellie from Germany has traveled to many countries including India. One of her experiences was sleeping in a fort in Rajasthan which I think was amazing. She has been kind enough to share some of her experiences of her travels in India.

The interview with Elle

When did you visit India?

I first visited india in 2006. I loved it so much that I re-visited a different area a year later!

Elle the Solo Female Nomad

Elle the Solo Female Nomad

Which parts of India did you see?

On my first visit I toured Rajasthan. It was incredible, and to this day I find it hard to believe that there is an area in India more beautiful than this state. I started off in Delhi, then visited a few villages such as Bundi and Bharatpur, staying in forts and traditional houses. I also visited the larger towns and cities such as Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is where I had an incredible time taking a camel safari in the Thar desert!

On my second visit I toured the golden triangle, taking in the famous sights such as the Taj Mahal. Then traveled up to Himachel Pradesh. This was an amazing area where I visited Shimla, Dharamsala and Manali. During these visits the amazing mountains were constantly in view.

What was your first impression of India?

I clearly remember my first impression of India. I saw the chaos, the culture and the uniqueness – and I loved it!! I was in love. Within a half-an-hour ride from the airport to the hotel I saw cows in the road, whole families riding on mopeds and had a few near misses on the road. When visitors first arrive in India, they are shocked, nervous about the culture shock; I expected to feel the same. However, I didnt; I just loved it. I thrive on visiting countries very different to my own, and India certainly is.

 

What would you advice someone travelling to India?

Prepare, prepare, prepare! You need to be familiar with the culture and customs before arriving, so it will lessen the shock. So read as much as you can. Visit forums, read blogs like this one and get a good guide book.

 

What souvenirs did you buy?

My one regret was that I didn’t buy enough souvenirs! I travel very light so I find it hard to buy things along the road. I did manage to buy some traditional rajasthani clothing though. I just felt a little out of place wearing it in the middle of London City!

 

Which items would you never travel without to India?

I am going to be predictable here, and have to say a camera. I say this as India has to the best country in the world for taking photographs. There is always something going on in India where you just have catch it in a photograph!

 

Did you try Indian food and what did you think of it?

Truly amazing! Growing up in England I was very familiar with Indian cuisine to begin with, especially the hot and spicy food. What I loved the most was the street food in India.

 

Did you find India hot?

I traveled in November so it was not hot during that time. Certainly Rajasthan was a little hotter, but it was bearable.

 

What did you think of the Indian people; honest answer please?

I love the indian people! The only negative is that it can sometimes be uncomfortable for single females traveling in the country as you will constantly be stared at. There are unfortunate stories of females being groped in crowded areas such as trains. Just be sure to stand your ground. That is the only negative that i can think of the rest is positive as indians are incredibly warm people.

 

What was your worst experience of India?

I wouldn’t say that its a bad experience, more of a memorable experience. It was watching the guards parade at the gates of the pakistani/indian border. I followed the crowds to the gate and ended up almost getting crushed. A lovely indian man grabbed my hand and managed to pull me out. It was an interesting time, for sure!

 

What was your best experience of India?

Wandering through the villages of Rajasthan, seeing the traditional way of life and wonderful children. I loved seeing the children play and look so happy. They have so much less than we do, but are so much more happier.

 

Did you see beggars and how did you deal with them?

People respond to beggars differently. I gave very little, what I did give was useful items such as pens for the children.

 

What modes of transport did you use in India? What are thoughts on them?

I traveled by bus and train, both modes were excellent. The experience of traveling on indian trains are amazing. Its a very cultural experience.

 

Please give your best tips for travelling to India?

Allow enough time to travel through the country. Give yourself a few extra days for possible missed transportation connections, or even for sickness.

 

Finally, would you visit India again?

Most definitely! I would like to visit the East or Southern India next time.

 

Elle is the author of solofemalenomad.com which is a travel blog and resource for independent budget travel. You can follow her on Twitter or on Facebook.

Interview with Daniel McBane

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24 Responses to “Interview with Elle, the Solo Female Nomad”

  1. Nice one. you should keep interviewing tourists so even they will get excited to visit India again.
    and Elle, do visit India again :)
    Anchit Shethia recently posted..Beware of Scammers!!My Profile
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  2. Elle says:

    Hi Anchit, I cannot wait for the time that I do return to India!
    Elle recently posted..The Beauty Of FlyingMy Profile
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  3. Michael Belk says:

    Another great interview Shalu, great explanation of your experience Elle.

    I wish I could venture out. I love culture. thanks
    Michael Belk recently posted..Why you should consider end of life orders?My Profile
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  4. Shalu Sharma says:

    Elle, I have to say you are right about the being stared at. Women in general are often stared at in India. Its not only travellers but all women. I have grown used to this. I was smiling when I was reading that.
    Shalu Sharma recently posted..Meaning of NamasteMy Profile
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  5. Aasma says:

    Nice interview, In India there are many nice places to visit, I actually never visited many places in India and I’m seriously looking to tour many places in coming years.
    Aasma recently posted..PG in DelhiMy Profile
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  6. Hi Ellie….
    This is the first time I read that a foreigner loved the actual India on landing….
    Normally visitor don’t like the chaos and crowdy roads on landing here.
    You are beautiful…..I am not flirting …. believe.

    Thanks Shalu for another great interview.
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  7. Elle says:

    @ Shalu – I am glad that its normal for all women to be stared at in India. Other females will be reassured too.

    @ Sandeep – Thank you for your kind comments. You are right, alot of travelers arriving in India feel intimidated. The moment I land, and smell the unique smell of India, I am happy. India offers everything that I look for in a country.
    Elle recently posted..The Beauty Of FlyingMy Profile
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  8. Elle says:

    Thank You Michael! -

    I Hope you venture out soon!
    Elle recently posted..The Beauty Of FlyingMy Profile
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  9. Hey there! I really appreciate the info you provide here in this article. I like the part on What would you advice someone traveling to India?
    To go to any place you surely need to prepare yourself.
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  10. shasha says:

    Nice article,Nice interview.
    Elle,You should have explored more, but It was nice you like it.
    shasha recently posted..What is Paypal currency conversion fees in India ?My Profile
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  11. Ehsan Ullah says:

    That is another awesome interview Shalu. rarely follow travel blogs, but I must say that I love to travel to world.

    You’re doing awesome job by starting interview section here at your blog.
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  12. Vijeet Kumar Singh says:

    hey Elle… there are too many awesome and undiscovered places in eastern part of india. so when you plan to travel in eastern part of india make sure that you keep few spare days in your schedule. also timing matters here. like festival celebrations and cultural high time. you will find kolkata DASAHARA FESTIVAL most amazing. winter brawny festival of GANGTOK… or BODHGAYA annual peace camps. will let you know few other places in future. take care and you are warmly invited in our india.

  13. Aabha Kapoor says:

    Rajasthan has been established as a remarkable place in India.
    There are many and many places to visit.And i Hope they are the best movements of your life.this is Very Inspirational article and I appreciate this as a post.
    Aabha Kapoor recently posted..Public OpinionMy Profile

  14. Elle, I even have to mention you’re right regarding the being stared at. ladies generally square measure typically stared at in Asian nation. Its not solely travellers however all ladies. I even have full-grown wont to this. i used to be smiling once I was reading that.

  15. Jonathan says:

    Getting prepared and researching the visiting country’s customs are a must. Anything different can give you culture shock, but if you are prepared, you will get more from your trip. Great interview and I agree, keep interviewing tourist.

  16. Fatima says:

    Seeing a place through a tourist’s eyes is always an interesting experience in itself because what they share is a reality and nothing like those fancy reviews. India is a place I wish to visit. Great share.

  17. Truly amazing! Growing up in Britain I was very acquainted with Native indian delicacies to begin with, especially the hot and delicious meals. What I loved the most was the road meals in Native indian.

  18. Shitij says:

    Hi Elle
    You find India the bestest country to click photos
    Thats quite a compliment!!
    A wonderful interview indeed
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  19. gaurav linux says:

    really good… and also i am your favour Shalu ji because you are doing two things first bringing business in India and second thing you are tell about realy India.. Awesome..

    i ll also spend my holidays with you.,..
    gaurav linux recently posted..Best Business Virus Protections Review & Download LinksMy Profile

  20. Rig says:

    Elly love Indian food and especially spicy it is strange for me. Being a German I cant eat the hot spicy Indian food at all. Thanks for sharing this interview.
    Rig recently posted..What to do in DubaiMy Profile

  21. Abhishek says:

    Very interesting interview. So good she had such a great time visiting our country. I would really advice Elle to visit East India next time. Darjeeling, Shillong, Tawang, Gangtok are some really good places to visit and she will have an altogether different experience and will see hoe diversified India is. Good luck :)
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  22. peo services says:

    This is the awesome & excellent interview here…this is the really great experience for such a nice kind of interview.

  23. Navneet says:

    Nice Interview Shalu mam and nice blog. Well in city which i live Udaipur is great tourist attraction, i have seen many tourist in my city and even Udaipur was voted for its beauty as #1 rank in whole world for its lakes , mountains and many more great places. Thanks for writing these great articles so that India will remain the best tourist locations :)
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