We are going to India today.
I’m nervous about it.
We’re planning to spend 7 weeks in India.
Why am I nervous?
Over the past year and a half in our travels, I have heard at least 20 people talk about India.
They say “you’ll love it”.
But then, without fail, they all go on to talk about:
- How difficult it is to travel in India
- How sick they got from eating bad food in India
- How out of place they felt and how different the culture was
- How much the smell of animals pervades everything, even your clothes when they come back from the laundry
- How much real poverty exists in the country
- How often they got ripped off by Indians
- How loud everything is in India
- How dirty India is
- How people can just die in the street and other people won’t do anything to help because they don’t want to get involved (I’ve heard three different stories about this kind of experience from different people in different parts of the world)
- How hot India is in May and how smelly India is in June (the only times it worked for us to go)
Both travelers to India, and Indians themselves, have echoed the same comments.
Without fail, every person who has been to India has had some really negative stories to share about their experience.
And in their recounting, they highlight those negative stories rather than the good points of their travel.
And so I am quite apprehensive.
Emotional estimation is our human desire to size up a situation before we enter it. But generally speaking, as a species we’re not very good at this because our emotional responses are 14-16 times quicker (and stronger) than our rational thinking responses.
Seeing only validation is what we do when we have estimated a situation to be a certain way. Because we go into the situation with a preconcieved estimation of what that situation means or represents, we tend to see only the things that prove (validate) what we’ve estimated (often falsely) to be the truth.
Based on other people’s stories from their experiences, I’m estimating India will be a certain way, and that estimation is causing a lot of apprehension.
I’m working on that emotional response (probably as you’re reading this… since I’m on an airplane from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi at the time I scheduled this to be posted).
While I am excited to meet people who we’ve worked with for many of our business projects, and while I am excited to meet the Indian families of friends of mine and see where they live(d) in India, I am wondering about whether or not I am ready for this next stage of our travel.
But away we go.