Everything about my first trip to India was unexpected. In fact, it almost never happened.
The adventure began when my vacation was finally approved – whoop! With my new found freedom, I contacted an agency to process my visa and met my first hurdle. I was required to produce a utility bill in my name and dated 2 years ago. Problem. Like many people in London, I lived in a flat-share where utility bills are paid by the landlord. Undeterred, I persuaded the agency to enclose a letter from my landlord confirming my residence in the UK for the past 2 years in place of a utility bill. Fingers crossed, the application was submitted and 8 business days later, my shiny Indian visa arrived. So where did I go?
I always envisioned a trip to India where I would marvel the Taj Mahal, experience the big city hustle in Dehli and Mumbai and lounge along the sandy coast of Goa. It didn’t happen that way. The boy was participating in a volunteer vacation dedicated to underprivileged children in Southern India, so I joined the group of volunteers. The plan was to volunteer for the first half of the trip and travel for the second half, spending the entire 2 1/2 weeks in Southern India.
All of the cities and towns on our itinerary were completely foreign to me. The only place that I had heard of before was Bangalore (and that’s because Hotmail was created there). However, I was keen to navigate my way through a lesser known part of the world. In fact, most of our travels were unscripted. I had surrendered to India.