March 23, 2012

One Way Ticket to India!

We've finally finished the unpacking and cleaning of our new place. Steph says we're not finished yet, but it's livable, so I'm calling it dunzo. And now we've started up again with research for The Trip. We've been making a lot of impulsive decisions about The Trip lately. A few weeks ago, we decided to leave San Francisco in early September (instead of October). This will give us better weather on our route for driving, camping, and cornhole and, honestly, we figured an extra month of saving and preparing wouldn't make that big of a difference anyway, and we're anxious to get going. (I think this decision was made while Steph was scrubbing our new apartment's filthy mini blinds in the bathtub and I was taking down 40 year-old drapes loaded with hornets. We decided we need to leave a month earlier.) Our lease is up at the end of August, so we're planning on leaving SF on September 1st or 2nd. We figured we need about 5 weeks to make the trek, allowing time to see most of our friends and family. (Details on our Great American Road Trip plans here, here, and here). We think this is plenty of time. (I once did a Washington DC to Breckenridge haul in 26 hours with my friend, Mat. We even made a pitstop to bowl a few frames in St. Louis.) If Steph and I were an aging rock band from the 70s, we'd call this our 2012 Farewell Tour. We're ending the road trip in North Carolina and had planned to  head to NYC or DC for our departing flight to India after some time with my mom in Wilmington, NC.   But we hadn't talked seriously about booking the flights yet and planned to get that taken care of in the "next few months." That all changed last night when we were looking at flights on Kayak and saw that prices had gone up considerably from 6 weeks ago. So, on impulse and with giddy excitement, we booked our flights. 


We're starting our trip in Kerala, a Southwest state in India, because we heard it's the "easiest" part of India and we thought it would be best for our breaking-in period. We were considering flying into Kochi (in Kerala) but, after a bit more research and conferring with some friends who've visited the region, we found a one way flight from Raleigh, NC, to Thiruvananathapuram (also in Kerala) for $714. (We have no idea how to say the name of that city, and when we say it to each other it sounds something like "Triva-vana-vana-pram" or "Theory-vanpram." It wasn't until after we booked that we realized you can also call the city its colonial name, Trivandrum, which we think is much easier to say, but we're probably still wrong.) We fly on American Eagle from Raleigh to NYC on October 10. (I'm hoping we run into someone that is headed to T-Town on the Raleigh-JFK flight.) Then we're on  Etihad Airways (the National Airline of the United Arab Emirates), with a layover in Abu Dhabi before landing in Thirvana Trivanan Thiruv Trivandrum at 3:30am on October 12.  

This is what we know about the trip so far.

Booking the flight was one of those weird, surreal moments. I was on the phone with my credit card company, because, for some reason, they didn't understand why I was booking two one way flights from North Carolina to India. Once the representative said on the phone, "It went through," I expected to feel different. I didn't. The Trip still feels very distant and surreal. Ok, last night we booked one-way tickets to India, but we still aren't leaving the country for about 6.5 months. Strangely enough, right now I am more focused on our cross-country trip, probably because it's more familiar to me and I'm excited to visit family and friends. India just seems so distant and foreign right now. It's hard to relate to and I feel intimidated by it. People always have such a visceral reaction to India. I've never heard anyone say travelling in India was "OK" or given a shrug of the shoulders to describe it. People who have traveled to India always have a lot to say about it. And everyone's heard people say that India is a "love it or hate it" kind of place. I just hope we end up on the positive side.

Update: I'm feeling a little closer to the trip tonight. We spent the evening researching Kerala and plotting an approximate path for 2-3 months in India. I can't believe we have our tickets. It's crazy. It's even crazier to think that India is just the beginning of our trip - there's so much more of The Trip after India!

No comments:

Post a Comment