Sona put up her ad online out of curiosity. I put mine up to spite an ex-girlfriend who wanted to “see what her options were.” I never got very many responses though. It may have had something to do with the eye-catching subject line I used: Hairy Indian Male Seeks Financially Independent, Attractive Woman. Caste no bar. Neither of us had actually paid for an account so we hid our email address in the free messages and then started writing each other rambling, long winded letters. Because we weren’t looking for anything, we let our guards down a bit and just let things happen. It started with letters, late night phone calls and ended with three weddings, an engagement, a pre-engagement, two receptions (one in california, one in New Jersey!), and plenty of bhangra.
I’ve always been afflicted with the travel bug and I fully blame my parents for it. During my senior year of high school I joined the U.S. Navy so I could travel some more. With the comfort and financial security that my B.A. in English Literature provided me, I decided to sod off to China for a few months. After spending most of my money on beer and food, I was offered a job teaching English and stayed on for almost two years. Before returning to the U.S. to hide in academia by pursuing my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, I backpacked through to India from China via any country that came in my way.
I’m excited about traveling with Sona, showing her places I’ve already been to, as well as places that are new to both of us. Her travels have mostly been short trips with family members. One year, she and her sister, Meena, met a cousin from India in Switzerland because every second Bollywood film was shot there. Sona hated it (she doesn’t like skiing and gets enough of snow in New York). She went on a ten day tour of Italy with her brother and sister, which she thought was fun.
She’s visited India several times with her family, but mainly her trips have centered around shopping and seeing family. She is as anti-backpacker as they come: she literally flies into hysterics when she even thinks there’s the possibility of a bug in her vicinity. She is not familiar with the concept of “packing light,” and when she gets grumpy, or as she puts it, “hangry,” – a lethal combination of hungry and angry. She’s intrigued by the idea of leaving everything behind and traveling. Actually putting life on hold, however, is not as easy as it sounds. Unless you’re me and enjoy running away from reality.
Travel is a huge part of who I am, so it’ll be good to be on the road again. I know it will be a very different travel experience. I don’t think we’ll be hitch-hiking and getting lifts in the backs of lorries, or going off traveling with strangers we’ve just met. That’s the plot to every third horror film that comes out and Sona watches loads of those.
Can’t believe the adventure is about to begin!