Asia India Travelogue

Travelogue India: It’s Almost that Time!

Sona’s list of places she’d like to see in three months, in addition to seeing her family and my family, is getting more erratic and more in lala land. And her reasons for wanting to go to places is getting more amusing. Last night, she decided she wanted to go to Dareeling because it had tea plantations and a toy train, but wanted to skip Calcutta. The spot directly before reaching this hill station is Amritsar, all the way in the North, a good 80 hour train journey. And then there’s the slight transportation issue of getting to Darjeeling directly from Amristar! Then from Darjeeling, we’re shooting off like a bullet to a houseboat in Kashmir. My hair is standing on end just thinking about it.

I’m looking forward to the trip. Three months is really not very much time to be on a trip like this, but it will be a nice way to get vagabonding into Sona’s bloodstream. There are loads of things to think about. The first and foremost is certainly where we go, and the second is how we end up traveling. I’m a true believer in the spirit of independent travel, where the mere act of being in a place does not constitute having been there. To truly experience a place involves chilling out and taking walks that can’t be included in any itinerary. But I also realize that we do have to make some form of an itinerary, or we’ll really frighten all of our family. “We’re off then. We don’t know where exactly, but we’re going to catch a train somewhere.” That would instill a lot of confidence in my qualifications as a husband!

I think we’ll end up carving out regions that we’d like  to see, rather than specific places so that the trip won’t be so controlled with no margin for fun. Unless that’s also scheduled!

The one thing I am actually worried about though is this website. Time is very quickly running out, and the website sounds like a fun idea, but being on the road and having to update things using dreamweaver, editing photos, and videos while in India, also doesn’t sound fun. So hopefully, something magical will fix all of these problems in one swoop.

Many people might not want to take a year off to go backpacking and stay in hostels of varying degrees of comfort, but people like the idea of traveling. I’m excited at the prospect of travelling again, but it is taking me some time to realize it will be a very different experience. I can’t haggle down a room to 40 rupees because the bathroom is outside in a field. Or randomly decide to hop on a train because the ticket was cheap, or I liked the sound of the name “Chittangong.” When I’d get bored with the conversation or the person I was traveling with, I’d hop onto a different train or bus. I’m pretty sure Sona would not be pleased if I did that this time around! We’ve gone on short travels together. Never anything close to three months, so it’ll be an adventure seeing how we travel together as a couple, handle being grumpy on the road, manage our money, and how the different places we see and the people we meet change us.

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