I saw my future… it was approximately 10 or 20 years from now. From the surface I liked what I saw. After to getting to know the 40 or 50 something year old me, I realized I wasn’t as happy as I could be.
I learned I need to listen more and ask questions. Not just listen because I have to, but to really try to understand what people are talking about. I have to ask more questions instead of making assumptions. If I don’t like the answer I am hearing, let the person finish what they are saying first before seeing if anything is flexible. I had my palm read and the gentlemen read me spot on. I have limited flexibility which I am well aware of; but struggling to change. I can change my ways, I have to be patient, donate yellow clothing and fast on Wednesdays for myself and Thursdays for my mate. I said, wait I don’t own any yellow clothing. He stopped me and said to be flexible. Does this mean the color orange or should I literally just buy yellow clothes and donate them – lol.
I have to stop over story telling. If someone tells a great story, I shouldn’t stomp it with one of my own. Let the story be. Let that person telling it be thrilled that they had an experience to share. No need to sound worldlier or make yourself the center of attention. It is annoying and I catch myself wanting to share similar experiences all the time, but sometimes I need to let it be.
Keep your un-satisfaction to yourself. Venting will happen, but sometimes if you see a smile on someone’s face, don’t bombard that person with negatively right then and there. Take some deep breaths and wait until there is a good time to vent if you realize it’s still necessary after time has passed. If you are still angry in the morning, then it’s probably worth a discussion, if not… let it go!
Don’t ever throw a temper tantrum. They are extremely unattractive. Quietly excuse yourself as if you have to use the restroom and gather yourself together before re-entering a group. Out of embarrassment I raised my voice at someone who semi spoke English. He didn’t realize what he was doing was completely inappropriate, my friends were cringing, but I couldn’t help but get carried away and bust out… Miscommunication is unfortunate at times but can be handled with care.
Be patient. Your turn will come. If you run to the front of the line every time it becomes well noticed and it does isolate you over time. No need to push your way, you will have everything everyone else gets as well. I watched other people start to do this and I am guilty of it myself… never again!
Something like meditation would be good for me, but we all know that won’t happen. I need to remember things that are similar attributes of people that I tend to enjoy surrounding myself with (like minded travelers), but then I realize I possess some of the same qualities that tend to make me realize, I have to make day to day changes…
18 days away is far too long from Harvey Keitel (my dog). I realize I absolutely love my dog unconditionally and due to unforeseen circumstances, one of his sitters was no longer able to watch him in the original capacity. I panicked and stressed in India and my wonderful friends worked together to make sure my baby was well taken care of. Besides many words of gratitude, I spent many hours searching for unique gifts to thank them as not many people are as gracious and as wonderful as my friends. Thank you my angels!
As for India itself, I think once is enough will be my motto. It was an absolutely amazing trip. There are a few folks I hope to keep in touch with. Besides that, the begging, the way of life, the hopelessness, the trash; I will soon forget. I will remember the smiling children and women who wanted their photos taken just because they wanted to see their smiles. I will remember the quiet and peaceful India and places that are unforgettable such as the forts and castles we stayed in. I will remember the village walks and some of the natural beauty and landscape that was endured along the way. I will not miss the food in the slightest, nor will I miss the motorbike and car honks or the cows that seem to get in the way at times. I will cherish all the monkeys (even the scary ones), the big and little pigs and hogs (I named them all bacon). Camels freak me out a bit, but I will smile thinking about their mugs. The birds in India are beautiful. I won’t miss the stray dogs – my heart is broken to think how many stray dogs (1,000s of them) we saw that looked like they were starving. There were so many puppies and moms that just gave birth and still there were puppy shops everywhere. It was devastating.
I did love the fact that no one smokes in India so there was hardly ever the smell of cigarette smoke; however some sewage systems are above ground so the smells aren’t always so lovely.
This was yet another adventure. I promised myself I will take one great adventure a year. I think my limit in the future will be a tour no more than 12 days. The 15 days + 3 days of travel is a bit too much for me at this point in time. Even though this was a standard (2-3 star) tour, I was OK with it as we stayed in places (like the campsite or the fort) that would never pop up on a comfort trip. Also, by staying in guesthouses/home-stays, you get home cooked meals and it is a much more local experience/vibe. The worst thing is comfort trips where you end up never having the opportunity to visit small villages and staying in the most unique places and eating local cuisine. That is why I love to travel the way I do. I know some people love their comforts, but my golly I live in NYC which has all the comforts of the world at home.
So I leave India a little dusty not having many hot showers – it’s all about the experience. I will cherish my home, my family and my friends. I always appreciate the simple things after leaving a country like India. Hot shower, bacon cheeseburger, taxis with doors, clean clothes, warm bed, I am ready to enjoy you all over again and try hard to remember how lucky I am.
Happy New Year everyone. Let 2013 be a special year.
RIP NW. My mom told me about your passing after I arrived home. I am happy to know my father has his best friend with him and you are now at peace. I pray that you have found one another. I will only assume you are out at sea searching for the big one.