Tuesday, August 23, 2011

India Bound - August 23, 2011

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
Indian dishes.

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.



  1. It sounds like the best vacation ever and you will be in good hands, with your friends. I'm so happy for you, Carmen, as this is what you like the most. I can't wait to read more about your voyage!

  2. I am happy for you! I look forward to reading about your trip.

  3. oh, 6 months, that would be a wonderful long vacation Carmen, how I wish I have such luxury of time too. I will be praying for your health Carmen, that all will be well, you stay healthy and strong, so that you will enjoy your exploring in India while you are there. So happy for you.

  4. This sounds like a wonderful and exciting adventure, Carmen! I'm so glad you have many friends there that will assist you along your journey. It will be fun to read your blogs posts from India!

  5. Oh my goodness, Carmen, what a wonderful adventure for you! I will be going along every step of the way, in my mind. We had to give up a planned trip a couple of years ago when my mother's health failed, and I'm still hoping - one day.

  6. What a fantastic plan it sounds! Since you're not willing to negotiate down to 3 months, I will then pray for your health and safe travel.

    I can't imagine you'll be away from home for half a year! Will miss you..

  7. WOW..thats a place on my bucket list, so exciting to have such a trip ahead of you. I look forward to reading about such an incredible journey ! Namaste !: )

  8. Josep -
    God willing, all will go well and this will, indeed, be a most wonderful six months for me. I hope I can get online and file frequent reports via my blog. I will touch down for 24 hours in Paris - wish it were Spain and I could rendevous for a few days in Catalonia!

    King of New York Hacks -
    What a lovely surprise to have a visit from you! I will surely post as much as I can about my Indian adventures. I will say, after my short ten day visit to Mumbai, Delhi and Agra in 1997, I have never seen traffic anywhere on the planet that can compare with that!

    Kat_RN -
    I do hope you'll follow my Indian adventures. Pray that I stay well! I'm ordering a steripen which I've read is about the best way to sterilize water which is a must. For a backup, though, I'll have pills, in case the steripen gets broken.

    Icy BC -
    I will be so appreciative of all the prayers for my well being. I have to admit, I am a bit nervous about being gone for six months, especially in light of my three hospitalizations this past year. I am hoping to stay well and safe!

    Sheila @ Postcard a Day -
    I hope I have only good adventures to relate and, perhaps, you will get to make that trip one day. I've put that postcard safely away with my belongings so you must email me your address again so I can send you a postcard from time to time.

    betchai -
    I wish I could have made it to San Diego BEFORE this long journey to India but we will rendevous after my return. I'm hoping, though I can't hike and do all the things you do, that I'll still see many wonders and have great adventures. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers, please.

  9. How wonderful to head off to fulfill a dream. I know you'll have many adventures and wonderful memories to share. Please take that computer with you and here's to a safe journey. I've always wanted to visit India but as my life has changed, my travel plans are no longer exist so I'll travel through your writings. Are you returning to SF?

  10. WOW! That is FANTASTIC! I am *so* envious but look forward to the vicarious experiences!

  11. Hi Carmen! Hope you have a fabulous trip!!

    Blogtrotter Two is waiting for you in Corsica with the views from Le Goeland Hotel room 15 and the Bocche di Bonifacio! Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

  12. looking forward to your visit!