It has been really quiet lately, hasn’t it? I just logged back into my page and it made me so sad to see that I have not written in over 2 years! I’ll confess that I did have a couple of adventures during that time, mostly in Canada and throughout the US, but they never made it to my blog. Law school has basically taken all of my attention, even during winter and summer breaks. Nonetheless, I’m finally back for a trip to India this year!
I’m a second generation Indian-American and have traveled to India various times during my childhood. (Please note that there is some serious disagreement about whether I qualify as a first generation or second generation Indian-American. I was born in the US and my parents had immigrated from India, so literally, I am the second generation of my family to live in the US. Others with a similar story identify with first generation Indian-American as they were the first generation born in the US. Either way, I just wanted to clarify my usage.) My parents had a lot of family back in India when I was young so we found ourselves going almost every two years. While my parents continue to go, I have not been back for about 11 years.
Perhaps more importantly, this time I will be traveling India with my very important best friend/partner, Kevin. He will be in future trips to follow and will be co-blogging so I figured an introduction was in order. Also, I am finally going to travel some parts of India that I have never seen and other parts that I frankly do not remember well. The itinerary is as follows:
12/20/16-12/21/16 – Mumbai
12/21/16-12/25/16 – Munnar
12/25/16-12/27/16 – Delhi
12/27/16-12/28/16 – Agra
12/28/16-12/31/16 – Jaipur
12/31/16-1/8/16 – Vadodara (and family time)
Kevin even made this excellent map that pinpoints all of the places:
This trip will likely be very different from my previous trips. As much as I love the backpacker life, I am largely shying away from it during this trip. There is of course the allure of exploring a country whose tourism industry is still developing, but it also makes figuring out transportation and accommodations so much more challenging. I sadly did not have almost any time to plan my trip before leaving, but quickly realized how time consuming and difficult transportation arrangements can be in India. Even resigning to flights between cities, brings laughable options such as one direct flight lasting 2.5hrs followed by a one-stop flight lasting 50hrs. I only have winter break to travel and will be spending half of it with family in Gujarat, so allowing myself quicker and reliable options seemed the prudent choice.
On top of that, I have this notion embedded into my mind that India is not that safe. The former Dean of International Law at Michigan, Roopal Shah, told me that she finds children whose parents grew up in India have this heightened and perhaps uncalled-for fear about traveling or living India. Roopal and her siblings began India Core so I know that I should trust her when she says that. Cities like Chicago have considerably worse crime metrics and I would not think twice about walking through Chicago. Still, it was weighing in the back of my mind.
So instead, I mapped out the cities we wanted to visit, and booked hotels/activities for each ahead of time. It is not worth going into all of the details here since they will be repeated in later posts, but I am still excited to make the most of it even if Kevin and I are not doing it at my preferred Lonely Planet/backpacker pace.
I’m writing this first post from India, because as I indicated above, I keep my law school schedule pretty packed. I’ll write more soon!