Content edited by : Priyanka Dodia
"When I was told I was going to Pakistan, I started to think about all the reasons to not go," writes Clara Arrighi, a Spanish woman who recently visited the country. However, what she experienced in Pakistan was truly beautiful and when she had to leave after having spent seven months there, changed her perception about Pakistan and she could not be thankful enough for the trip.
In a Facebook post that has gone viral since it was uploaded on August 23, Clara describes her seven-month long visit to the country whose image is quite different in our eyes. Not a lot of people would like to plan a trip to Pakistan given the public image that has been marred with terrorism, extremism and violence. And this is precisely why this Facebook post by Clara, who had her own share of pre-conceived notions about the country as well, deserves a special mention.
"When you go to Pakistan, you cry two times: when you are sent there and when you have to leave"
"I have climbed stunning mountains, swam in incredible clear lakes amidst the most beautiful hills, visited majestic mosques and drank uncountable types of chai. I tasted lots of different dishes. I did not get myself sick or food poisoned at all, but I definitely got myself a bellyache for not being able to stop eating such delicious food!"
She was so consumed in the beauty, culture and hospitality of the country that she could not stop crying when she had to leave. "When you go to Pakistan, you cry two times: when you are sent there and when you have to leave", Clara says in her post.
Her post describes how the country is much more than what meets our eyes and ears. She also advises others to take a trip to Pakistan at least once to understand and admire what it has to offer."I challenge you to come to Pakistan and don't like it. Because, so far, I haven't met anyone who didn't. I spent seven beautiful months in Pakistan and I encourage everyone to give this amazing country a chance," she said.
What makes clara, a foreigner's trip to pakistan so special is her experience which breaks many stereotypes that come with the name 'Pakistan'. Any traveller rates a place not merely based on it's natural beauty but on several other, small yet essential notions. Notions such as how you felt being in the place, surrounded by local people, the treatment you receive as a foreigner, the love and respect from the locals all counts equally in one's over all experience of the place. And here's how clara felt:
I have never seen so much hospitality anywhere in the world. Incredibly warm people, genuinely kind. I have never felt so welcomed.
View Clara's post on Facebook.