We had a bit of a wait at London immigration and at arrival in Delhi and I’m thinking:
If you’re the right frame of mind, you can make travelling easier and more enjoyable. What I’ve gleaned from over 40 years of travel and am reminded of as we travel in India is this: Relax.
Yup, relax. If something can go wrong, it will. If getting from here to there can be longer rather than shorter, it will be. But, if you’ve made some simple preparations, you can mitigate many of the less desired outcomes. There are plenty of formal travel guides out there with lots more information, but here are a couple of things that work for me:
1. Always put a copy of your passport elsewhere in your belongings, and send yourself a digital copy.
2. Send yourself a copy of all travel arrangements, or even better, a complete itinerary. I started a simple itinerary for our India trip when we first started talking about it, and expanded it as details started being filled in. By the time we left the U.S., we had a multipage personal travel guide, filled with travel logistics and reservations, but also notes on the places we were going including the special things we wanted to remember to see, history we might not get in depth from a guide, and suggestions from friends for things off the beaten track.
3. Put something to read in whatever bag you carry around with you – I’ve usually got a few pages of a magazine article or a small paperback book with me. I’m digital, but prefer reading on paper, especially if I don’t want to advertise my phone or tablet, or am in a moving vehicle.
4. Buy postcards right away and keep them and a pen handy. When you’re stuck in traffic, waiting in line, or just whiling away time in a coffee or tea shop, write a postcard and surprise someone! Buying stamps is a good adventure in a new country too, right up there with grocery shopping…it’s fun, lets you mingle with the residents, and gives you a very personal look at daily life. I know, I know – postcards. But truly, what a quick and memorable way to communicate and let someone know you were thinking about them in the midst of your adventure!
So far the U.S. to London to India trip has been remarkably stress-free though, partly because of what I’m sharing here! When the immigration line at London Heathrow was slow, the Artemis Cooper biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor kept me company…when we thought we might have a lost luggage situation at Delhi International, William Dalrymple’s “City of Djinns” was a fascinating companion. (Our bags were among the last ones off the plane, but they did arrive!)
Now in Delhi, soon to depart by car for Agra. Next time, perhaps a little about what we’ve actually experienced! In the meantime, photos from the spectacular Qutub Minar – a beautiful Islamic minaret in a complex of buildings dating from the 12th century.
Gallery Columns with beautiful detail…