69 days until departure!

31 Dec

I promise, it is purely coincidence that this milestone also falls on the 69th day of my countdown to departure (she says, as the 14 year old within snickers away).

So! Today is another big one on my journey to India. I have officially made my last and final payment on the tour (I still have to book one night at a Delhi hotel, but let’s ignore that). I booked this trip back in February and have made it my mission to pay for this trip without going into debt. I can proudly say I have succeeded. Along with some help from a few incredibly generous friends who, for my birthday (and at Christmas), each made a little contribution towards my trip, I have successfully paid for this entire trip in cash. Even the flights!

I can admit there were some months when I was not quite so vigilant with my planned budget, but I made it work. Not to mention, luck played a considerable role. You would think one would not be too pleased to lose one’s job…but it actually worked out for the best in my case. Granted, I was not thrilled to be living with zero income for two months; there were more than a few panic attacks and stressful moments, let’s put it that way. BUT, when one loses one’s job, one is usually provided with a severance package…which I used to fully pay for my roundtrip airfare. *side smirk*

Some might claim this was not the responsible adult thing to do, considering I had next to no savings. I would respond to those people with an enthusiastic, “India or bust!”.
In actual fact, using a large chunk of my severance money to book flights kept me motivated to find a new job…quickly! I’ve been told with the not-so-good job market in Alberta, that I landed on my feet quite well. Two months later and I was back at work, with a better job to boot!

I feel relieved today. Relieved and elated. This trip is actually happening. It is paid for and I’m going to India. With the exception of the one-night hotel stay in Delhi, from this point on, my travel budget money can all be put towards spending money and a new pair of walking shoes.

Oliver Osprey

Oliver Osprey

PS: I was gifted a new backpack for Christmas and I think I’m in love…with an inanimate object. I named him Oliver (my sister’s suggestion), because he “carries ALL OF HER stuff”. Ha!

Yay! Malaria Pills & Stopovers!

3 Oct

India is becoming more of a reality for me the more I prepare for this adventure. Today and yesterday have been essential in this “realness” feeling. I’ve dropped quite a bit of cash the last two days, but it’s all worth it! All for this dream trip. No regrets!

I visited the travel clinic yesterday and got my vaccinations and prescriptions. Turns out I needed to update my regular vaccines as well, so along with the regular measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis…I was also vaccinated for typhoid, hepatitis A and rabies. Four needles in all and I still have to return for two more rabies injections. Not my idea of a fun time, but I wouldn’t be getting all these shots if I weren’t going to India. That makes it all worth while! Then there was the prescriptions for malaria and…travelers diarrhea. Let’s not get into that too much. We all know it’s going to happen and I accept that. Moving on!

Malaria pills! Whoo whoo!

The following day was the big day. Flights are booked! Flights make it real. Flights mean there is no turning back. Flights are the gateway to the whole darn thing. Flights are exciting!

Air travel has definitely lost its pizzazz and most of its excitement over the years, but I’m still one of those few remaining travellers who enjoys flying. I like checking in for my flights, going through security, finding my gate, boarding, taking off! I mean…seats may be smaller and customer service has dwindled, but, as Louis CK puts it, “you’re sitting in a chair in the sky!” That’s. Awesome.
You’re going somewhere! Bring on the stopovers! I’ll be going through 7 different airports for this trip; 2 in Canada, 4 in India and 1 in Germany. I find that exhilarating. Yes I know, I’m weird.

My flights are pretty convoluted, mostly because I’m checking out Varanasi before meeting up with the group in Delhi. So I have to go to Delhi, spend one night there, next day get on a flight to Varanasi, spend three days, go back to Delhi and start the tour. Whoo! I’ll be tired…and so so happy!

Adding Varanasi

10 Sep

Incase you are not one of the few people I have annoyed to the point of exhaustion with tellings of my travel plans…I am booked to go on my dream trip to India (one of many dream trips) this coming March 2016. Delhi to Kochi. North to South.

There is just one teensy weensy issue with my itinerary. It doesn’t include any time in Varansi. Check it out…

See? Otherwise it’s a pretty kick ass trip! But, Varansi is an important place to experience and I would be disappointed if I didn’t make that happen for myself. Thus, I made a detour on my commute home from work to see my most wonderful, helpful, patient, knowledgable travel agent, Amanda.

We found a four-day Varanasi extension package that is easily added on to the beginning of my trip. Best part is that everything in Varanasi is organized for me; airport transfers, accommodation, Ganges River tour, city tours, breakfast. Since I’ll be solo for these four days in Varanasi, it gives me much peace of mind knowing the finer details will already be sorted.

6 months from today I will be…most likely on a plane or in an airport, on my way to India. #Excitement