Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Solo Travel Survival Secrets in India

It has to be said that India has some of the most beautiful women on planet earth. Think of Aishwarya Rai the most bewitching beauty to never make it on the silver screen. While her films may have bombed, her beauty is legendary and exquisitely rewarded. Indian women take beauty quite seriously, beauty parlors are dotted all over the landscape like so many temples to the fabulousness of women and readily accessible to even the budget traveler. They are for me a small sanctuary away from the intensity of life outside the doors or a small slice of life that visitors to India rarely see. Suburban and most especially village salons are casual affairs where the beauticians lounge and gossip and watch the soap operas on TV. There is usually very little space in these places so you can be having a pedicure and balancing a bowl of hot water in your lap while a young woman sits to one side having her eyebrows threaded and her mother gathers courage to ask about her own eyebrows. In the background a tribal woman will be bargaining down the price of a bridal facial while the television hums along merrily in the corner. I once had a one handed facial massage while the beautician dealt with some family drama by SMS simultaneously. Her right hand encouraged my sagging facial muscles into shape while her left hand smoothed the family drama into something that could be dealt with while my face pack dried.The secret to an Indian Facial is the massage, which is included in every step of the facial. The massage will focus on the various marma points in the face, which will stimulate the organs of the body as well as gently encourage the elimination of toxins. So what you get is a long-term glow, something that is more than skin deep as well as all the gorgeous smelling products slapped on your skin!As a long-term random beauty parlor creeper in India, I offer the following advice to women travelers in India.When life on the road in India gets too much and you think you might blow a fuse or have a total meltdown, remember this motto:  "Don't get mad, get a Facial!" Don't be put off by the language barrier, beauty is an international language and a beauty parlor is the only place you might get to interact with local women.   Threading is an instant facelift and an amazing hair removal art. Get your eyebrows shaped for less than a dollar.Most salons give you a choice of facial and most products are Ayurvedic, totally natural. Go on, you deserve it!

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