Gap Year News: Britain has become the number one destination for Indian students hoping to ‘find themselves’ by travelling across a country steeped in history, drugs, and bewildering extremes of wealth and poverty.
“At first the begging really blew my mind,” admits engineering graduate Tajinder Negi. “The streets were full of people asking for money and/or your signature. Then you have to get used to people staring at you all the time, and how old and run-down everything is, but pretty soon I fell in love with the place.”
“This is just how people lived in days gone by. It’s so ‘real’ and atmospheric and cool – especially if you are interested in expanding your consciousness.”
With an abundance of cheap drugs and some towns where the entire population is drunk almost all the time, Britain is fast becoming a mecca for Indian students who want to escape the conservative attitudes of their own country and let their hair down after the long, hard years of study.
“Most of my friends did the usual Brighton-Stonehenge-East London-Manchester trail,” says Kamal Singh, 21, who has an array of English football team badges tattooed on her arms as a memento of her travels.
“All they did was just get out of their minds, but there’s so much more to Britain if you are prepared to step off the beaten track. There is a city called Glastonbury for example that only appears once every two years! Britain is such a magical place.”
Story: Jasper Gibson