This trip came up earlier than planned. Kady and I have known since traveling to Southeast Asia in 2010 that our next big trip together would be to India. I've wanted to go to India for so long that I can't remember why I want to go there. It can probably be traced back to some Shirley Temple film that gave me a princess complex at such a young age.
I am beyond fortunate that my job is allowing me three months off. The catch is that in order to make this thing work, I needed to take a trip I was planning to take some time in late January some time in late October instead. My frequent-travel-partner-in-crime, Kady, began her six-ish month journey in London in mid-September and has been making her way east. Getting to India in late October would be a stretch for her. I was happy to spend several weeks touring around India alone but it would be a hassle avoiding doing or seeing the things that Kady would surely want to do and see as well. In addition, I couldn't help but notice that nearly all the flights from Minneapolis to India flew through Paris, and frankly I'd never been to Paris. So a round-trip ticket to Paris for $840 was purchased and the rest goes something like this:
"Well look at this--it's only $65 to fly to Berlin. And I must go through Turkey on my way to India for that has always been country #2 on my list. Well this ticket right here will give me 24 hours in Riga, Latvia on the way to Istanbul; I should probably go there as well. If I'm going to India I might as well go to Sri Lanka because when else will I make it there? And man that puts us right by the Maldives--better go there..."
So there you have it: eight countries (of course I'm counting the stop-over in Bahrain as a "country I've visited"), one carry-on suitcase, one day bag, $1713 in flights, one online visa, a couple visas on arrival and one full passport-page visa. I moved out of my month-to-month 800 square foot apartment into a month-to-month 50 square foot storage unit, pawned Edie of on the brother and sis-in-law and got on a plane in order to be a bit uncomfortable and a bit blown away for the next quarter of a year.
Kady and I had our reunion at Taksim square in Istanbul, Turkey.
Right now we are enjoying a $2.44 mojito and overlooking the Indian Ocean, mutually typing away on the mobile devices we have such mixed feelings about. In a minute, we'll hail a tuktuk (open-air taxi) to bring us to the place that will serve us the $2.48 of fried rice that will provide us with four meals.
We've had some really, really good days. And we've had some really, really weird days. But something tells me our best stories of this trip are yet to come. Stay tuned...
Meanwhile, here is some photographic evidence that we're not just sitting around drinking mojitos:
Hot Chip in Berlin. (Not shown: the after party where I got to discuss Prince with lead-singer, Alexis. Gushy nerd alert.)
Some monument or something in Berlin or somewhere.
TV Tower, Berlin.
Sheep in Cappadocia, Turkey.
Scary, face-punching camel in Cappadocia, Turkey.
Pinnawala, Sri Lanka.
Nawara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
Pedru Tea Estate in Nawara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
Pedru Tea Estate.
A photo of what appears to be an 8-foot rooster, but is actually a normal-sized rooster at Pedru Tea Estates.