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India is all these things, and more. How can you possibly prepare yourself? Start with our tips for taking the ultimate travel plunge: going to India for the first time

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1. Pick the perfect route

India packs a lot into a massive space, and you'll never have time to see it all on one trip. Think about what interests you, what you like doing and how much time you have, and tailor your trip accordingly. Be realistic about how much you can fit in. Rather than trying to see the whole country, you may get more out of your trip if you concentrate on the south of the country, or on the north. However, internal flights are plentiful and inexpensive so you can hop from north to south if you want a taste of both worlds. The itineraries section at the front of Lonely Planet's guidebooks to India can be a great help, but here are some possible itineraries to get the ball rolling.

The classics: The most popular India tour is the all-time classic Golden Triangle. If time is short this is a fantastic introduction to three of India's top destinations,

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Nearly a decade has passed since I dedicated my life to traveling, and trekking through the Himalayas. There is no question that trekking offers the ultimate thrill I constantly yearn for, but there is much more to trekking than exercise and adrenaline rushes. Along with adventure, comes a means of happiness and inspiration. With every step, I learn something great about life.Your life is yours, and only you can decide where it leads.

Adventure trekking through the twisted trails of the Himalayas.

A trek through the twisted trails of the Himalayas, will take you up and down, up and down, right and left, left then right, and all over again. Even if I get tired of these twists and turns, I still trek forward. While trekking across the Himalayas, I faced constant challenges like crossing lakes, climbing huge boulders, and instant weather changes. My feet were swollen and some members of the trekking group advised me to turn back, but I didn’t give up. I had gone so far and not completing the journey would have been a huge disappointment.

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So you just finished college. You’re about to take the next step forward, moving from the life of a student into the life of a professional. Maybe you studied abroad, maybe you didn’t, but you know you want to travel. You think it might be best to establish a career first, and then travel later. You’ll be more stable, you’ll have more money, you’ll know who you are, and you’ll appreciate travel more because you’ve got things “figured out.” Good idea, right? Wrong!

There’s so much to see out there – why wait! Travelers smile from Bondi Beach, Australia. Photo Courtesy of Kayla Patterson

All those things that make life worth living like sunrises and sunsets, new friends made during late nights around campfires, and in neon lit city streets, worn backpacks, stamped passports, and journals bursting with notes from adventures. That’s what you find in travel, and you shouldn’t wait to seek it. Although counter-intuitive as a first step into a career, traveling as a recent grad is the perfect time to go for many reasons.

1. You’re Not Tied Down

You probably don’t have kids