I’m going to India and Nepal!
That means I’ve also ticked off list item number 8: Book a trip to India and Nepal!
My Aunty Wendy and I have officially locked ourselves in to a 15 day tour of India and Nepal in March/April next year. The tour includes a trip to see the Taj Mahal, which I am VERY excited about, and an optional Everest scenic flight, which I am VERY, VERY excited about.
I’ve wanted to get to India for some time now. A couple of years ago I made a failed attempt to get there for a friend’s wedding (the Indian outfit I’m wearing in the photo was a gift from his wife). I was very disappointed I couldn’t make it and, since then, I’ve had no real excuse to go. Boo.
The book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ made me want to go there even more (possibly because I read the book at the time when I should have been in India). I don’t know why I am so drawn to the place, although I’m sure it has more than a little to do with our shared love of everything colourful…
I know very little about India that I haven’t learned through cultural stereotypes and travel brochures. My reference points are basically elephants, the Taj Mahal… and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. I’m looking forward to finding out a whole lot more about the place.
As for Nepal, my reference points are Mount Everest, orange monks… and those little coloured flags. I clearly have a lot to learn!
Probably more important than any of that, is the fact that this trip will catapult me ahead in the family “Been There” competition with 4 new countries (if you include transit through Dubai and Kuala Lumpur).
The “Been There” competition is this obnoxious thing my family does where we compete to see who has been to the most countries. There are really only 2 contenders, and some of us take it more seriously than others, but I enjoy it (in spite of its ability to instantly turn a pleasant conversation into a heated debate). I’m sure I’ve mentioned my family’s competitive streak before, and if you’ve met them, or are one of them, you’ll know that this competition gets the most heated of all. What “counts” as going to a country? Many refuse to count airport transit, although my uncle’s strategy has always been to ask the question “If you weren’t there, then where were you?” Either way, I’m somewhere around the middle of the pack with 23 countries, but that will become 27 next year (and possibly 28 if we head somewhere exotic for our honeymoon!) That’s almost as many countries as years I’ve been on the planet! I think that’s pretty cool 🙂
I don’t know why I care about ticking off countries as if they were items on a shopping list. I suppose, to me at least, it’s just a fun way of racking up new experiences. When it comes to travel I’m always on the lookout for the next new thing, so returning each year to the same holiday destination is not really my style. That first step in a new country is so exciting to me and, obnoxious or not, I love tallying them up and taking stock of all the amazing experiences I’ve had.
12 months ago, if a psychic had said to me “In a year you will be booking a trip to India and Nepal” I would have laughed it off. It was certainly not on my agenda and, had it not been for this challenge, I’m not sure I ever would have made it there. After all, give me a couple of years and I’m sure I’ll be barefoot and pregnant and too busy praying for an uneventful trip to the shops to be thinking about a trip to Asia. If I’m going to do these things, the time is definitely now.
I’m very grateful to my aunty for hitting me with this challenge and I’m very excited to help her tick off a lifelong bucket list item of her own.
Bring it on!
Friday is the perfect day to dream of exotic destinations… Where have you always wanted to travel to and why?