I have gone from waiting since I was 14 years old, to planning the trip a year ago, to buying my ticket a few months ago, to buying suitcases last week, to packing tonight for my trip to India.

Holy shit, I’m going to India!!

Let’s see, I have packed my suitcase with all the appropriate clothes, I have taken inventory of everything 3 times over, out loud, making Hema stare at me with, “How many more times will you have to do this?” look.

I’m not sure what to think and what to feel, I am definitely happy.  I am also relieved.

I think because I am about to experience something that I have never experienced, I am not sure what to think about it.  I made a promise to myself that I would observe and let the emotions just come to me.  There are 3 distinct firsts happening to me going to India.

  1. Taking a flight longer then 8 hours.

The fact of the matter is that I have only gone to 2 countries.  U.S and Portugal.  Well when I was 6 months old my parents moved to Angola but I certainly don’t remember that.  Portugal is an obvious one because I was born there and I feel at peace when I go back.  The first time I went to the U.S was when Hurricane Andrew laid waste to Florida.  Yes, that is where I was.  I went to Florida the week Hurricane Andrew hit.  Then I have returned many times to go to New York City, Staten Island and New Jersey.  A flight to Lisbon Portugal from Toronto Canada can take up from 7 to 8 hours.  I have done it so many times that I know how to plan every hour.  Going to the U.S, Florida anyway, was a 3-hour flight.  I have always driven to New York and the other places.  I am about to fly a distance of 12,884 kilometers or 8006 miles or 6957 nautical miles.  I am departing on December 24th at 6:30 pm e.s.t and I will reach Hyderabad India on December 26th 4:00 am local time.  It will seem for me like 1 day and 21 and a half hours that I have travelled.  I have a lay-over in London England Heathrow Airport for 6 hours.  That flight alone will be almost 7 hours.  Then as if it couldn’t get any better, I have to board a second plane and head straight to India.

Can I just stop for a second and just say, Holy shit I’m going to India!

Ok that’s out of my system, for now.

  1. Visiting a continent, I have only read about.

This one blows my mind.  I used to as a boy read over and over the National Geographic Magazine that my parents subscribed to.  I would always read the ones about Asia over and over.  I really loved it when they did pieces on the Tigers in India, or exam the lifestyles of the people who lived close to the Ganges River or the pictures of the monkeys that roam the streets.  The temple of the rats.  I never looked at India as a dirty backwards country.  I admired the people for being so close to the earth and living side by side with the animals.  It was and is truly exotic.  I learned from my mother that my grandfather once visited Goa.  That is one of the places I’m visiting, so I can’t help thinking about what my grandfather must have felt or thought when he was there.  Will I have the same feelings or thoughts?

Holy shit, I’m going to India!

  1. Going to a country where I don’t know the language or anyone.

Ok, so this one is really not a bad thing.  I am travelling with Hema (obviously), and I will be meeting her parents and I will be safe and surrounded by good decent people.  What I meant by the statement is that I have realized that I have kept myself in a bubble all my life.  I have been hesitant to try things out of my comfort zone.  This is actually the exciting part of the trip.  There are people waiting for me in India. They don’t know me, don’t know what I have done in life and will be eager to get to know me. They won’t know my mistakes I have made and they will be genuinely interested in me.  I will also experience India through their insights and opinions.  When I go to Portugal, am constantly reminded of my childhood from my memories and family members that recount their own memories.  I won’t have anything like that going to India.

I don’t have a clue how to feel about this trip. I know I am going to have the time of my life.  I will love meeting Hema’s family and finding out more things about her from the point of view of the culture.  I will be able to observe how she interacts with her parents and siblings.  But there is this other big thing in the background.

I AM GOING TO INDIA!!

Are the people nice?  What kind of food is there?  I can’t wait to have the memory of how the first bite of food tasted like.  Every waking second my mind will be storing memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

I just had a thought, what if I like it so much I don’t want to come back? Would I actually leave my life behind?  I mean sure my kids live here and I have a job here and a home and I have friends that I love and care about.  But all my possessions I can ship over and then I would be ok.  I mean I would just find a simple job. Oh, I could get a job as a teacher, teaching English writing or maybe I could just work in a call center?  I mean Judi Dench did it in Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, how hard could it be?

I know I will return back to Canada.

I guess I will just have to accept that.  But what if I fall in love with India?  I mean it’s India after all.  This is the country I have always wanted to visit.  I’m not scared to go, I want to go and feel India, breathe India, taste India (I started taking my Malaria pills so I’ll be ok).

All my bags are packed and I’m ready to go…

I want to be on my way to the airport.  I want it to be more real.  I still have to sleep one more night and then get up and get ready.  I have no hesitant thoughts or paranoias.  It will all be great and I will enjoy every second of this journey.

HOLY SHIT I’M GOING TO INDIA!!