Embarking for India

Seattle Travel Blog

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I'm leaving for India in less than 12 hours!  I still can't believe it.  Months and months of thinking about it, surfing the web for information and stories, making contacts in Delhi, reading and planning, and it's finally happening.

As I write this I'm looking out our picture window at the Puget Sound, admiring the pink-blue skies over the visible bits of islands, and enjoying the cool breeze coming in from the open window.  Late Sunday night I'll be entering the 95+ degree heat and 75% humidity of Delhi.

I want to say that this particular website -- travel buddy -- is a great space for reading the travel blogs of solo female travelers, reminding me that I *CAN* (and should) take every opportunity to travel on my own.  (Though I am still wishing that either of my two favorite travel companions, Han and Jen, could join me.)

Anyway, some pre-departure details:

I did visit a travel clinic and got a bunch of vaccinations all at once -- whatever they told me to get.  My arms were sore and I felt ill for a couple of days, but there you go.  I do have pills against malaria (some sort of antibiotic) as well as insect repellents containing no more than 30% DEET.  I'm carrying a first aid kit with all the stuff recommended by Lonely Planet, though I'm sure any of it could be easily bought at a Delhi pharmacy, so it's really more for convenience that I stuffed it into my bag at all.

For two weeks in India, I'm carrying only a backpack, plus a handbag filled with all sorts of electronic devices for recording sound, notes, images etc. for the fieldwork portion of my stay.  I have ONLY two pairs of light trousers and two shirts, as I plan to buy salwar kameez(es?) while there.  (FabIndia in Khan Market, here I come.)  I've heard from many solo female travelers to India that it's simply more practical to wear Indian clothes, as you blend in better and are able to avoid some of the so-called Eve-Teasing.  Plus they're simply lovely, aren't they?  I'll take any excuse to wear pretty, brilliantly colored tunics and billowy pants any day.

I have organized a pick-up from the airport, so I'll hopefully avoid the taxi scams/hotel-switcheroos/madness said to greet travelers on their exodus from the airport.  I'm staying in a reputable, mid-range place with good reviews.  (Dirt cheap lodgings, spontaneously arrived at -- not this time around.)  I've got phone numbers of people living in Delhi to call.  (More use of travel-related social networking sites, not to mention the generous assistance of friends and acquaintances who helpfully put me in touch with people, like friends-of-friends-of-friends and aunts/uncles/cousins of friends, etc.)

I've got a loose idea of what I'd like to do in my second week, like visit Jaipur and Udaipur, but that might be too ambitious.  We'll see.

At any rate, I'm off!
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photo by: diisha392