Who doesn't love to travel? 

However, more often than not, we only pick the fanciest of places when we think of packing for our next trip, not realizing how beautiful the tiny little villages of our country are. 

Here are 20 photographs of rural India that will make you rethink your travel plans. 

Congrats on the feature. PC:- @lostwithpurpose ・・・ Hello Dzukou Valley! Yeah, we had trouble picking our jaws up off the floor, too. This rolling green slice of heaven sits on the border between two Indian states. Nagaland is to the north, and Manipur to the south. Despite the tropical climates of the two states, this valley actually gets quite cold! It sees snow and ice in winter, and still gets plenty cold during the summer. We were treated to gorgeous views each morning, but afternoons were another story entirely. Think rain, lots and lots of cold rain. In typical Lost With Purpose fashion, we had our asses handed to us by the frosty weather. No matter how much we travel, we somehow manage to always be woefully unprepared. Lessons learned in Dzukou: if you know it's gonna be cold, don't be lazy and leave your warm clothes behind to save weight. And never, ever underestimate the importance of good woolly socks. #noobs #ruralindianphotography #rural #rural_love #indianvillage

A post shared by ruralindianphotography (@ruralindianphotography) on

Fresh air, cycling adventures, and lots of greenery. There's no denying the seaside town of Puri in Odisha, India was a chill city escape for me last week. But as fun a jaunt as it was, there was one thing I didn't like about Puri: the incessant begging on the beach. As my friends and I strolled down the sand, dozens of children stopped their playing to come ask us for change or pens. Many an adult came with outstretched hands, too. It was very frustrating to need to constantly fend off people demanding money instead of being able to relax and talk or play with the locals. Some people get upset every time I say this, but I'll say it anyway: please think hard before giving money to people who beg. Puri is the perfect example of why you shouldn't. It's easy to say you'll just give a bit or that it helps in the short term or that it's nothing for you. It seems trivial, but if hundreds or thousands of other people do the same, what was intended as a small good deed can quickly escalate. Giving to someone sets future expectations. Once people learn they can get handouts from tourists, future interactions will be tainted by the perception of tourists as walking ATMs or charities, rather than people. I know it's hard to say no to sad eyes and wizened hands and defeated looks. But to be responsible tourists, sometimes we have to look at the bigger picture rather than what's standing right in front of us.

A post shared by Alex | Lost With Purpose (@lostwithpurpose) on

One last photo from Majuli island before I move on to snaps of the Indian mainland. I miss it already 😢 As I was packing up to leave Majuli, a friend asked me if I'd recommend the island to others. Naturally I said yes. He told me to use discretion when telling people about the island. To recommend it only to those who will take the time to appreciate it rather than come to tick it off a bucket list. More and more people come to Majuli each year, but many only stay for a night to snap some selfies and visit a satra or two. More of these tourists means more honking cars and more outside influences. Majuli island really is better suited to longer stays. Pace of life is slow, and it's hard to really get a feel for the island if you're rushing between sights. Seeing how tourism is changing the island, I understand what my friend meant. But his words also make me uncomfortable. Who am I to judge people based on the way they choose to travel? Who am I to decide who is or is not worthy of visiting the island? It's a confusing intersection I find myself at often 😧 I believe tourism can be a force for good, and can bring money and resources to communities who need them. But tourism can far more easily destroy a place and its culture if not managed responsibly. My job as a travel writer and photographer is to find beautiful places and share them with others. But sometimes I wonder if I should be more restrained with my recommendations. What do you think? Does everyone have a right to know about a destination, or is it okay to keep things secret sometimes? 🤔

A post shared by Alex | Lost With Purpose (@lostwithpurpose) on

Another shot of the incredible root bridges of Nongriat village, Meghalaya. We're still in awe! Beyond being works of art, these bridges make us think. Beautiful places and creations like these beg to be seen and explored, but is that what's best for them? We met a man from Nongriat in Meghalaya's capital, who told us the state is pushing to build a road to Nongriat. They want to increase tourism, but the villagers are opposed to it. The village of Nongriat is still somewhat remote, thanks to it only being accessible via a steep mountain path. But other more accessible villages with root bridges in Meghalaya, such as Mawlynnong, are starting to be overrun by tourism. Whereas this bridge might see several dozen people on a busy day, Mawlynnong might have visitors in the hundreds or thousands. It's not many compared to major tourist sights, but those numbers are large for small villages. They like things as they are, and don't want the crushing flow of mass tourism to destroy their village way of life. Understandably so. Finding a balance between tourism and preservation is tough, and something travelers should be aware of. Though part of the responsibility lays in the hands of governments, we can make efforts to maintain a balance, too. Be respectful of local customs when you visit, be kind (and not overly demanding) to your local hosts, and most importantly, keep things clean. The only traces you should leave behind are good memories.

A post shared by Alex | Lost With Purpose (@lostwithpurpose) on

PC:- sshishir ・・・ No One Thought But She Came Out Guns Blazing A Maharashtrian Spa Keep supporting us, Tag us to your stories in frames @ruralindianphotography to get featured. And be a part of the journey Thanks, Do not forget to follow us for new stories. #rahi👸🏻#rahiclan #rahireloads #mimarathi #maratha #jaimalhar #india_ig #insta_maharashtra #maharashtra_ig #maharashtra_desha #streetphotography #maharashtra_igers #official_photography_hub #photographersofindia #marathifc #maratha #filteredphotography📷 #igers_maharashtra #maharashtratourism #yourshot_india #indiaclicks #people_infinity #igers #indianphotography #streetphotography #igersofindia #india_gram #great_indian_photography #royalmarathi #rasteykamaalsasteymain

A post shared by ruralindianphotography (@ruralindianphotography) on

Train rides in India are so insanely scenic, it almost takes our minds off how much pain our bums are in! It's funny—people keep telling us that to experience the 'true India' we need to get out of the cities and into the rural areas. The rural areas are gorgeous, it's true. Just look at this view! But still, it seems strange to declare that cities don't offer insights into the country, especially when so many Indians live in cities. ... it's also strange for such a strong declaration to come from the mouths of foreign tourists. We like the rural areas for their nature, we like the cities for their energy and chaos (and plentiful cheap food options). Who's to say one is more authentic than the other? But, that's just us. Have you been to India? Or perhaps you live there? We'd love to hear your opinion on the matter, foreigner or not!

A post shared by Alex | Lost With Purpose (@lostwithpurpose) on

Amazing, isn't it?