Well, the time has finally come for me to set off from the safety of my “flat” where the food is always fresh, the washing is always done and the floors are always clean, and head to the massive and mystic land of India.
Just to ensure I knew exactly what I was leaving behind we went for a jaunt up Mt Vernon this morning… Giving me the chance to really appreciate the wide open spaces that Christchurch has to offer…
It’s fair to say at this point the 1.4 billion population of India is looking significantly less appealing!!
I am not under any illusion that my decision to travel to India on my own will be easy. Quite the opposite in fact, I have chosen India because it will scare the shit out of me (quite possibly in a literal sense). It will force me out of my comfortable Christchurch bubble and make me appreciate the little things so much more.
As someone who has always had an affinity for quotes I have found some quite useful in actually giving me the courage to board the plane and set off on the next big adventure. They are as follows…
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener
“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman
“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins
So as I brace myself for more heat, people and curries than I am accustomed to I need to remind myself to approach the opportunity with an open mind, to step well beyond my comfort zone into a frame of mind where I embrace the uncertainty and unknown of the adventure and being prepared to say yes to every chance that comes my way!
Lucky I am well prepared and won’t stand out as a tourist at all in India…
For anyone still reading or remotely interested in what the next few months hold for me here is a rough guide to my travels…
- India – April 25 – June 2 – Delhi, Rajasthan, Varanasi, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai (suggestions of eating/drinking/visiting welcome)
- Japan – June 2 – 16 – Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka (suggestions again welcome)
- Italy – End of June – Walking the Amalfi Coast with Mum
- Unsure/England – July
- Turkey – Early August
- Brazil – Mid-Late August – Rio for the Olympics then, unknown!
As of yet there is no flight home but I estimate I will return in September sometime! Please advise me if our paths will cross at any point as I am constantly looking for mates!