The journey starts as soon as you leave the house I think. I know I’m very much still on English soil, but airports seem to have this mentality that the holiday has of course already began (surely this is why they never stop serving alcohol and its appropriate to drink an espresso martini at 7am?). The new adventure has to start somewhere and saying as once your on the way to the airport there’s no going back, I feel, this moment is when the house door behind you closes. So mentality I am all INDIA! Already trying to preempt the smells, sights and hustle and bustle. Somehow have a an idea in my mind that the streets never sleep and continue to remain sardined with people morning, noon and night! I’ve created a fear in my mind not wanting to step out and weighing up the option to just stay in the hostel until Luca arrives? This is of course not an option! I put the fear to sleep deprivation and still handing post Saturday nights beer fear! Thinking of cities I’ve been to before, Tokyo’s 32million, Shanghai’s 26million and Beijing’s 24million, I’m trying to, through comparison imagine the streets of Delhi. I think no film, experience and story can prepare you for the expectations of what Delhi, or any new city for that matter has to offer. You listen to the words others speak about it, with all things considered, we really dont know. My cute little Mummy, “Sasha, just please be very careful, India isn’t the same.” To which of course I reply, “of course I’ll be careful” knowing that I am 1, always carful. 2, this seems to be a common worldly advise regarding India so to listen to it. (although there was a man at the spittlefeild markets that told me not to eat street food, this is TERRIBLE advise, therefore if this is the kind of advise we receive from a worldly photographer? How much hope is there really for taking another’s advise? Surely it is best to take all knowledge, all perspectives and always allow yourself to simply…. make up your own mind!) and 3, Followed with the thoughts, when we’re you in India to know, and is your comment and advise merely just based on films, media, here say? So again how much validity does that stand. Bless her, of course I will be very very careful, love you mum.
None the less, all this hype, excitement, sleepiness has got my mind a little on edge. Can I brush my teeth with the water? Do I get a taxi alone or not? Does is smell EVERYWHERE? Are the streets riddled with people? Is it hot? Sticky? Are the streets littered and dirty? When I say dirty is it mud or road? It’s funny as most would have potentially done extensive research, I’m sure it’s possible to find breakdowns online of exactly what it looks like? What to expect? However I find so much more excitement this way. I never tend to do much research, as I feel, if I wanted to just read about a country I could save myself a HELL of a lot of travel time and money and simply read about it, surel Netflix or YouTube has any documentary you could imagine. This I feel with as little external contribution I can, freely and with an excited and open mind take on the world, see it through my own eyes with little intersection from potentially a less beautiful and optimistic mind as my own.
I’ve been traveling now for 20 months, I still feel no matter what you will always feel underprepared. Yet, they are only to your own expectations, so I choose to lower my own expectations of how much I “should” know, what clothes I “should” wear, how much research I “should” of done. I am excepting that I HAVE done exactly enough and this is all part of the experience! It’s enough to have spoken to Lucie, Rohit, Sarah, Maggie, Luke, Pete, and god knows who else. It’s enough to have what I have to wear, (if anything Im bloody comfortable and minially packed as I value my back more than I value carrying around excess UNESSESARY possesions) Its enough to have Sarah’s incredible top tips. Which are equally helpful and the quite comical, I think she should consider writing something about her trip. We’ve arrived at the airport, I can stop going off on tangents of whether I am ready or not, the reality is…. I’m here, it’s now and I’m going!
I’ve already made my first rookey error, I haven’t printed my e-ticket and don’t have my reference number written anywhere. Luckily every airport has free WiFi, otherwise it would be an awkward but equally beautiful opportunity to talk to a stranger to ask for their hotspot! None the less, WiFi is on and I have my number, all details already waiting, I select my seat, 27A, shame it’s not 28, but they were all taken. I have a little help from the lady in hopes for an exit seat, although I can’t help but think that is a little selfish as me, as I’m sure there are people who need it much more than me. Apparently up until 6.45, 2hours prior to the flight departure its £30, after this time it free of charge, in this case being early doesnt work in your favour. When checking me in, the gent then asks if I have a visa, I again I add that I really wont need the exit seat, certainly not if the comfort of a little more leg room is the equivillant of one days budget in India (I do not say this outloud of course). He looks at me, and adds, not a debit card, your entry visa. OHHHHHH, Rookey and “inexperienced” traveller number 2! When taking my bag to the drop off, Im not sure how concerned I was when the gent had to double check with me that I was definitely going on Air India. Do I really not look like the type? Or is he giving me one last chance to turn around? I feel I look quite worldly, traveled, sports hippie, travel writer and photographer. This is apparently the look I am going for, or just what I like to think I project? Maybe how I see myself if I believe I am enough to commit myself to taking photos and actually doing something with them, and actually sharing the things I write to the World Wide Web. As I smile and nod confirming that I am in fact absolutely in the correct place, double backpacked up, I cant help but smile to myself, I’m off on the road once again, into the unknown and to truly experience life. I’m working my way through the broundries, out of the expectations and social retrains, I’m building to be the woman I see one day, see today! I am her! I really am totally living the dream! As I observe the airport fill up around me I cant help but wonder about everyones purpose for the day and where this visit will take them. Again reconfirming, without a breifcase in my hand, stilotoe heal, suit or pinned back hair in sight, that I really am living the life I love, therefore LOVING the life I live, which truly is THE DREAM!