At long last, it is beginning to seem like a reality. For so many years, I have
dreamed of returning to India but something has always interfered. I even
had a ticket purchased last year but ended up being hospitalized and that
wreaked havoc with my plans. I have, once again, arranged my flights,
via Air France, with frequent flyer miles, and my departure date will be
October 23, 2011, just 20 days after my 67th birthday. I will have to
overnight at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris but that's fine. It will give
me a little rest before I finally arrive in Mumbai. I had initially thought I
might snooze at the airport but, considering my advanced years, I think I'll
splure and stay at a hotel instead.
I've already had most of my shots but there are a few remaining medical
tasks to complete - malaria medications to start taking before my departure,
a visit to my doctor for a summary of my medical conditions and a copy of
my medications, and that sort of thing. I will visit an Indian doctor here for
recommendations for consults in India should that be necessary - but I hope
I'll be fine while I'm there. However, I'm staying for SIX MONTHS so it's
best to be prepared!
To say that I am excited is a vast understatement. I have been keeping
in touch with my many friends, mostly Royal Caribbean staff I've known
over the years, many of whom have offered me a place to stay while I
am there. I am hoping to meet some of the new friends I've made in the
blogging community, as well.
If anyone knows reasonable accomodations throughout India, please let me
know. Since my job loss, now almost three years ago, I don't have funds for
some of the palatatial hotels for which India is famous. I'd be happy for a
clean, safe place to sleep.
I will start off my Indian adventure in Mumbai, where I stayed in 1997 for ten
days. My friend, Santos, his wife, Lorna, and his two sons, Nick and Jake, are
there, living quite close to the international airport. Many of my other Royal
Caribbean friends also live close by.
During my stay in India, I am hoping to cover many parts of this vast, lovely
country with its amazing history, culture, and diversity. The food has always
been a favorite of mine, laced with exotic spices and tantalizing aromas and I
will certainly avail myself of it and, hopefully, return home able to cook many
I might even learn to speak a little Hindi - though I am most fortunate that
English is spoken almost everywhere!
My son, Jeremy, has said he might come to see me for a couple of weeks on
vacation which would be wonderful. He is an avid traveler and always
embraced other cultures wholeheartedly. I think some of my love of travel
certainly rubbed off on him.
In the next two months, I do have my work cut out for me. I have to finish
packing up my house, sell many things on Craig's list, decide what I will be
taking to India, and finish myriad tasks. If I'm a bit slow in attending to blog
duties, forgive me.
I will take my aging computer with me, of course, and, as often as I can, I'll
be posting. Please think of me often and remember me in your prayers this
six months I will be away. I return to the USA April 10, 2012 - but I won't
be leaving for another two months yet.