That is what I expect to feel when I return from India, and that is what I feel right now.
I feel grateful my visa came through – this Tuesday, less than a week before we are set to leave – after a mountain of paperwork and bureaucracy.
I am grateful for friends who helped and encouraged my mom, daughter and me when we were skeptical that would happen.
I am grateful for people who remind me India isn’t a retreat to relax the body, but rather an experience to enrich the spirit.
I am grateful I have the kind of parents with whom I want to travel the world, and the kind of kid who wants to join us.
We leave Monday afternoon.
I plan to write and take pictures. In the meantime, we’re rushing to pack and prepare.
We are grateful for advice and kindness. (We have a growing list of questions on the next page.)
Questions Lily and I have about visiting India (in no particular order):
- I’m a runner. Will there be anywhere for me to run? Dad says the streets are a “no”.
- We know it’s respectful for women and girls to wear sleeves. Are shawls appropriate over sleeveless dresses?
- What about knee-length dresses?
- We’ve been told to pack light and buy clothing in India. Really?
- I’ve been told “Eat the street food!” and “Whatever you do, don’t eat the street food!” Which is it?
- I’ve been told pretty universally not to give money to beggars. Ok. What do I tell my daughter when she asks me why we’re not giving money to people living in shacks and asking for money?
- Speaking of money: Come equipped with all the rupees I’ll need, bring travelers cheques, or do they have an ATM on every corner?
- We have a layover in London. We have only 90 minutes to get off the plane, go through customs and board the next plane. How close are we cutting it?
- Should I leave my iPhone at home?
- I’d love to visit some Hindu temples. What’s the most appropriate way to do that?