I found blood and I saw stars

“You need another boarding pass.”

“Wait, but I have this one…look.”

“Haha, silly girl, no you need another for your next flight. And here, grab those bags and put them over here. ” … “Foreigners!”

I joined the meandering queue for a boarding pass. Damn it,  Mumbai airport, why couldn’t you just print em all for me ? Because, well, you’re Mumbai airport.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport, some ungodly hour on August 11th, 2008. I had almost arrived at my new life. The 16 hour plane ride from Mumbai to New York’s JFK had been my first ever flight..in life. It was also my first ever close, and seemingly never ending encounter with loud Indian children with semi-american accents and overflowing airplane toilets. (Note to all potential international travelers – try to not use the bathroom for the last few hours. Regulate your intake. It’s possible.)

Boarding pass in hand, I exclaimed and swore hard because I was a mere 15 minutes from take off in a major international airport I’d never seen before. I have a Dad that explains everything diagrammatically and Google maps everything before visiting. Unfortunately for me, he gave birth to a girl who listens selectively. So now, sink, or swim.

5 years later today, I know this airport like the back of my hand. I know you can take the plane train to cross concourses and not try and make a mad dash using your almost atrophied from 20 plus hours of travel and dehydration, muscles.

Sure, I missed my flight.

Was I going to sleep over at the airport ? – hell no.

“Excuse me, could you help me ? I missed my final leg. Is there another flight I could get on?”.

“No ma’am we are full, you can have a $6 food coupon”

<<And stuff it where ?>>

“Please, I’m a student. I’ve never been to a foreign country before. I’m scared and alone” <<And I also have crocodile tears to prove it.>>

Sink, or swim ?

“Ok, calm down, let me see what I can do.”

Sink, or swim ?

“Looks like we have an opening for the 9:00 pm one.”

SWIM.

At 10:30 that night, I arrived in Tallahassee. A city I had no idea I would fall in such pure, unadulterated love with. A city that would give me so much to be thankful for, and so many people to love and live for.

Today’s daily prompt asks this:

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

While I do not consider this being left to fend off for myself, It was overwhelming at first – to come  to a nation unknown, one which does everything exactly opposite, drinks their coffee differently, drives on the other side of the road and the car, expects different mannerisms yet embraces people as different as me; to build a life that I call my own, and mine alone. But the fear of the unknown, the learning process, and the experience of learning to accept people and things around you, and make them yours to love, has been wholesome. I could never have learned to swim like this,  if I hadn’t just picked up and moved, 10,000 miles away from a life that used to be mine.

 

Travel, Menagerie

Quote

This is the truth about travel: It is amazing! A new place, new people,

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Tartini Square, Piran, Slovenia

new food, oh gosh the food,

A tale of two thugs.

A tale of two thugs.

it is all just.. amazing. And going to all of these places with the people you love, more amazing.

Piran, Slovenia June 2014.

Piran, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia. An island with a Church, and a Bar. Pick your faith. We decided to get engaged :)

Lake Bled, Slovenia. An island with a Church, and a Bar. Pick your faith. We decided to get engaged 🙂

I came across an article about dating someone who owns a dog. There were many truths in it, and among those was this “She truly misses him when they’re apart.”

And this one simple truth is why I really, truly dislike planning a vacation. I don’t actually dislike the vacation part. When I am in the vacation, I love the vacation as you can see, and everything that goes with it. But in the months leading up to planning and executing it, it is my worst enemy and I do not want to have anything to do with it.

I am whiny when we try and pick dates. Because all dates are bad. Because I have to be away from this.

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How about a Staycation ma?

I am whiny when we book flights, hotels, cars and whatever else. While everyone else is truly, madly, and deeply, enjoying every minute of it! And I’m a little jealous because I want to be excited about it you know? I am also a little stupid because I know I am eventually going to enjoy the vacation, and so I can stop being silly and start being excited instead of fighting the vacation!

However, my one man “Menagerie.”, prevents this. I openly admit that it is me who suffers from extreme separation anxiety, not my pup. Kahlua does sense my impending departure, but he is pretty much drama free. I blame my propensity for drama, complete with tears and sometimes background music, on my being Indian and being raised to be Bollywoody at all times.

The Menagerie daily post asks:

“Do you have animals?” Hell yeah! But please don’t call him an animal.

“What do they mean to you?”  The world! He is my everything. My constant, my child.

If no, why have you opted not to?” This question is wrong. Please change it.

So now, for the love of dog, explain to me how to actually enjoy planning a vacation!

Roaring Laughter {Cave People}

This one easily goes to Saurabh. There were several moments during our Eurotrip that caused me to laugh uncontrollably and still two weeks later I catch myself laughing out loud alone,  when I am driving, or doing something unrelated and my mind wanders. But I document this particular one as part of today’s daily post because even though I laughed like an insane person when it happened, somehow I totally forgot about it in a few hours. I kept bugging him about it later because I knew something had tickled me but I just couldn’t remember what. And then, I got it out of him by pure emotional blackmail. And how, is a story for another time. But we had toured the Škocjan Caves in Slovenia, and here is a picture of us making it out of what is Europe’s largest canyon.

 

skocjanske-caves Later that night we checked into our apartment in Ljublijana. The owner of the apartment asked us what we’d been upto all this while and everyone began narrating our stops  – Milan, Piran, Rovinj.. and on.. but Saurabh took the cake away by saying:

We came from the caves.