There are few things in life that give me such happiness as planning a trip.
There is just nothing like looking at a map and thinking, "hmmm, where do I want to go this time?" And then making it happen.
Today was spent with Team India doing what I love: making lists, checking prices, working calculators, checking advisories, and ultimately - making a dream trip to India happen.
We spent 4.5 hours finalizing our itinerary and booking all of our train tickets for while we are in India. This required checking seat availability, adding up the legs of the journey, deciding on extra days in certain cities, contemplating "safer" vs. "economic", and making sure we were ending up in the train stations closest to where we wanted to end up.
I love this stuff.
All in all we each are now the proud holder of 7 one-way train tickets - including 3 overnights (2 legs over 20 hours). We have one first class, 2 second class, and 4 lowest class tickets spanning across Northern India. We each paid a whopping $93.53 total. Total.
The next step is booking hostels. I'm in charge of this. Yippeeee I love it!
We are trying to get all of this done well in advance and before the holiday/finals season hits. We don't want to leave anything to last minute; we want it all to be booked before we get on the plane. Booking tickets and hostels as you go has worked well for me and my travel companions on many other occasions, but I don't want to leave anything to chance in India.
I'm really excited to travel with these guys. We are a "motley crew" as Adam put it today. My female friends say I am, "brave" because these two have some personality and attitude on them...but we all know who is in charge here. :) jk.
It all started with a simple phone call from Zach about 2 weeks ago. People had been starting to discuss Spring Festival plans and I hadn't given it much thought because since my travel besties left Chi.na 2 years ago, my big Asia trips have subsided. Z called and said, "You want to go to India. I want to go to India. Let's go to India."
But I couldn't make that big of a commitment and was knee deep in school drama of changing majors. I told them to let me see how my life panned out. I thought about it for 5 days - then booked my tickets. The rest is history. School worked out (I think), I got a promotion at work, and someone already volunteered to watch my baby cat.
The way I view it - I owe it to my kids and grandkids to have these stories. My grandparents have stories of a honeymoon in Cuba and African safaris. My mom has camp stories of tipping canoes and only getting socks for Christmas to pay for camp. My dad has stories of being force-fed Chi.nese food in Hong Kong and being held hostage at gun point in Latin America. I will have stories of Korean earthquakes, frozen Chin.ese ice castles, Malaysian markets, and Indian trains.
I've kind of been hell-bent on India since my Gramps, who has traveled the entire globe, said to me once maybe 2 years ago that, "India is one place I didn't get to." Well Gramps, we're going to India. Because everywhere I go my family goes with me.
I can't believe we are really doing this. I've been talking for over a year about how I can't leave Chi.na without going to the Taj Majal and volunteering in Mother Teresa's Calcutta home...and now both are happening. I don't believe in "bucket lists" but if I were to ever draft one, the Taj and Sisters of Mercy would be high on the list.
Team India, (adam, zach, moi):
I love planning trips. I want to go to India so I am going to India.
This is a wonderful season of life.
walk slow. xoxo.