OK firstly, how am I already at week eight of 2018? As usual, it feels like the days, weeks and months are flying past while I am still trying to catch up. Slow dooooown, time!
This week’s gratitude challenge is about a trip I’ve organised. One of the biggest overseas trips I organised for my now husband and I was a two and a half week visit to India. Can you believe this happened all the way back in 2010?
Of course it had to be India. The spiritual history and architecture had been calling for some time, but I was never brave enough to go on my own. I always wanted to go with someone to share the experience. Thankfully, my new boyfriend was on board with the idea when I raised it and eager to come along.
So I spent some time trying to figure out what we should do and where we should go. This was very difficult as I wanted to see everything. But I didn’t want to drag the boy along everywhere in one hit, and I wanted our trip to be more safe than of the ‘off the beaten track’ kind of thing. So I did what most tourists do, which is book a package deal via a travel agency to see the ‘golden triangle‘ – a route that connects New Delhi, The Taj Mahal in Agra and Jaipur in Rajastan. I also booked flights from New Delhi to Chennai so we could spend a week with some friends at the Theosophical Society at Adyar.
I made sure everything was booked – all guides, all car journeys, all accommodation. I printed multiple copies of all the paperwork we needed. Upon reflection, I probably should have double checked with the agency that we were good to go instead of just going with the flow beforehand.
In the end we did experience numerous issues. Guides not turning up. Cars breaking down. Drivers getting lost. Demoted accommodation because we didn’t present ‘tickets’ at the hotel. Never ending attention on us, especially on the boy because he is a typical Dutchman – fair, very very tall, and always smiling.
Eh, relatively minor things at the end of the day. We had more great experiences than bad ones, and I learned so much about India and her people. I fell in love with New Delhi. I saw the Taj Mahal! I absolutely and utterly was besotted with Jaipur. For me, South India was a breath of fresh air and I wish we explored more of her temples and sacred sites.
To this day, eight years later, I still feel heartsick about my trip to India. We didn’t even scratch the surface. At the time, I remember telling myself that it was ok that we were doing the touristy thing because we would be back to see more. But we haven’t yet. Life and career just got in the way. And now we have babies.
It’s my biggest regret that I didn’t explore more of India when I was younger. Perhaps I can organise another trip back, even if it is some years in the future. Ah, the danger and joy of researching adventures!