It’s odd, the things you remember. One thing I remember is seven months ago, being picked up from the airport in New York and driven to Stony Point Conference Center for YAV Orientation. During that car ride, having just met my new best friends for the year (Maggie and Jim) for the first time a few minutes before, we talked about what we looked forward to in the upcoming year—our excitement, our hopes, and our fears—and something else that seemed like it was forever away: the ‘all-india’ trip.
My memory of that conversation is crystal clear, and here’s the crazy thing: that trip that was ‘forever away’ is actually here!
In about one hour, we’ll be heading to the Kochi airport, where we’ll catch our flight to Delhi. We’ll spend the next 3 and a half weeks traveling all over North India, including Dharamsala (where the Dalai Lama lives), Amritsar (home to the Golden Temple), Agra (Taj Mahal!!), Jaipur, and Bikaner (camel safari), and Mumbai. We’ll also be making a repeat stop in Goa.
This will be a LOT of train travel—the longest leg of the trip is Bikaner-Mumbai, which is about 25 hours.
We are so, so excited that this adventure that we never thought would come is finally here. Not at all a vacation, it is meant to be an educational experience that will expose us to other realities throughout India, and also give us a new appreciation for and lens through which to view life in Kerala.
In addition to excitement…we are nervous!! Well, I know that I am, at least. The last time I did any trip of this sort was when I went backpacking with Erik two summers ago through Central America (Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize, and Mexico). It was an all-around AMAZING trip but I also remember how exhausting it was. And the time that we got in a car accident and almost went to jail but instead were forced to bribe the police. But that’s another story…
As far as this trip is concerned, between late trains, foiled plans, unforeseen sickness, getting lost, getting swindled, getting lost (that deserves to be mentioned twice because if you know me you know I’m somewhat directionally challenged), and who knows what else, there’s a lot that could go wrong. But we’re prepared to face anything with a spirit of adventure—and that, along with each other, is all that we need :)
“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson