Sunday, February 16, 2014

Well hello Delhi! Or, more properly Namaskar

Indira Gandhi International Airport

I've arrived. More on this trip, much later.

But for now: my last trip to India was in 2006, when I'd barely travelled anywhere and my friend and I shocked everyone we knew by taking three connecting flights to travel through the north and Rajasthan for two weeks in the dead of summer. It was the hottest and most overwhelmed (and most consistently nauseous) I've ever been. I still remember the first morning we had to leave our hotel after arriving late at night - we both realised we had been stalling, nervous to enter the crazy street (with roaming cows!) below. Finally we went outside, and from that moment forward, everywhere I looked, for the rest of the trip, was like the most interesting movie right before my very eyes.

It was life-changing. I learned a lot about the world on that trip, experiencing a strange and unexpected reverse culture shock when I arrived back in Canada, too. I would sit at my desk in Ottawa looking out the window, marvelling at how this beautiful chaos can exist here, and those wide, calm expanses of my homeland can too, and all on the same earth.

I also believe it was that trip that sowed the seeds for what would become my big expat adventure in the UAE, and that has of course been life-transforming, so I am extremely grateful for all of it.

And since I've put about 20 countries between now and that visit, I'm already finding it a little less overwhelming and a whole lot more fun. Now if I can just leave that Delhi belly at bay...

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