Arriving in India
I had no idea what to expect as my first impressions of India. After hearing reviews that varied from the cynical “INDIA, an acronym for ‘I’d never do it again’” to the positive “Incredible India” I had no common benchmark to expect to experience personally.
They say India is a country of extreme contrasts and that definitely applies to foreigners impressions of the country, and like many foreigners I would be starting my Indian Exploration in the hub of extremes. The city of New Delhi.
By the time I was boarding my flight from Kathmandu I was beyond excited – and not just because I would finally be able to form my own impressions of India. No, the real excitement for me was that I would be reunited with my favourite human on planet earth in only a number of hours after almost a year of Skyping, Facetiming and long-distant love. My wonderful mother would be joining me for this adventure as a belated celebration of her recent milestone birthday.
After exploring South America with my Mum the year before I already knew that as far as travel buddies go my mother was a perfect catch.
I arrived into New Delhi on a sweltering afternoon and was immediately impressed by the city’s immaculate airport. It was certainly an upgrade from Kathmandu’s tiny entry and exit point where trash cans overflow besides locals spitting directly on the waiting room floor.
Customs and immigration was an absolute breeze and before I knew it I was greeted by the owner of the travel company we would be using for the next few weeks and in the back of an air-conditioned car admiring the more-functional and less-wild than expected roadways of New Delhi.
I had time to wash weeks of Nepalese dust and god-knows-what-else out of my trekking/yoga clothes that were becoming beyond warn out before heading back to the fancy airport to be reunited with the wonderful woman herself.
I must have stood in the same position outside the arrivals gate for a good hour with a goofy smile of anticipation on my face until I saw a familiar looking figure approaching the secure barrier between New Delhi and the rest of the world.
And in a split second I was having my first mummy-hug in almost a year and wiping some unanticipated emotional moistness from my eyes.
Our Indian adventure had officially begun.