2/7/2014 – The countdown has begun in earnest! My co-worker, Heather, and I leave Thursday for Chicago, connecting to Doha and onto Mumbai, somehow ending up on the other side of the world and 12.5 hours off of our time schedule. We’ll be traveling on a Small Group Trip arranged by Asia Transpacific Journeys, where we are both employed. This blog, however, is not connected to Asia Transpacific Journeys—my opinions are my own and may not reflect the company’s.

India has been a dream of mine for ages—I can’t quite believe it’s finially manifesting. I absolutely can’t wait for:

  • The food! The spicier the better—bring it on
  • Chai. As a Boulder native, I know just enough to know that our version of chai is probably an abomination. Enlighten me!
  • Warm weather. It’s 32 out right now and feels balmy compared to the last week—’nough said.
  • Colors! The vibrancy of everyone and everything in India fascinates me. Extra duffle-bag has been packed for the new wardrobe I plan to purchase.
  • Bollywood movies. Screw international CNN access, give me the most ridiculous Bollywood film in my hotel room and I’ll be happy.
  • Hinduism. I’m absolutely fascinated by this religion and all of its many, many colorful manifestations.

India is also one of those destinations that is impossible to approach without at least a bit of trepidation. I’m curious to see how I will respond to:

  • Chaos. Love it or hate it—everyone agrees India is chaos in action.
  • Poverty. I know I’ve never seen abject poverty to the scale I will witness in India. In a way, I am looking forward to confronting this—but I know it will also be painful.
  • Class/Caste disparity. Often discribed as the ball-and-chain keeping India from fully coming into its own modern nationhood, I’m not sure how this will manifest on my trip, but I’m curious to observe what I can.
  • Gender inequality. Again it’s hard to know how much of this I will really be privy too as Western travelers kind of get a free pass to these sort of restrictions. But obviously a pressing issue.

I welcome you all to travel alongside me by following my blog. My day-by-day itinerary can be found here and my routing is pictured on the map below.