Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fear and loathing in Mother India


Lately I have felt that I need to jot down the final legs of our journey. This blog ended rather abruptly with our conquest of the Himalayas in Nepal. Sadly for me, the trip lost its luster the moment I topped out on Gokyo Ri and pun definitely intended, everything was downhill from there for me.

I could not wait to get down from the mountain. Deep in my subconscious the whole trip was really about getting to that place and although I had deeply experienced the rest of the trip, I was finally ready to move forward and see what my new life had in store for me on the Big Island of Hawaii. I just had to get through the next few weeks and those were the weeks I was deftly afraid of.

In Nepal, we had attempted to forecast how long our money would last before we needed to finish our trip. We decided that it was almost time to go home so in Kathmandu we bought an onward ticket for the 18th of October with a destination of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The cost to fly to our new home from Kathmandu was insane and so we needed cheaper jumping off point. The new plan was that we would travel through northern India and leave from the chaotic city of New Delhi.

For years, Indian subcontinent was a place I swore I never wanted to visit. It also a place I knew my travel ego would eventually have lead me to, whether I felt I was ready to conquer it or not. Cindy and I had often talked about my unfounded fears of this country, and even now having survived the experience of travelling about in only a small part of it, the thought of returning causes me to constrict in unimaginable places. It’s weird I know. I'm a semi seasoned traveler. I have been to numerous places all over the world with no safety net. Most of my best travel memories are from developing countries and if you have been one of the few foolhardy enough to have read much of this blog over the years, you would know I have even attempted to live in eastern Africa. But the thought of traveling in this place, this country, this enormouse sub-continent, I was afraid of. Irrational I know, but still I was afraid. Worst of all, was the whopper of a lie I had told both Cindy and myself when we initially planned the trip. I had assured both of us that I was finally feeling ready to tackle my phobia of the place and would be willing to spend some time there. Now there was no going back. The only way home was to head south.