It began by going to a travel agent and i started to enquire about how to begin to organise this trip ,
The travel agent looked at me and asked who i was travelling with , my answer was alone
so it took time ….looking through some brochures and trying to decide where to go
many brochures later it was decided ……On the go tours ……a group tour was the best way to go for the first time , as it was all organised and had a tour guide the whole trip , most meals were included and all hotels and excursions were part of the package .
and so it was …..The Taj and Raj tour was the one for me .
This tour would take me to see the most amazing places i have ever seen ……a lot of where my Nana had also been , including Shimla …a Hill station where many British Indians and people who were in the Military would visit in the Summer Months to relax . and also to Mumbai ( Bombay ) to where my fathers family had lived .
Airfares , travel insurance and somewhere for my animals to be looked after all had to be sorted out ,
( Many visits to travel Doctors and about 6 vaccinations later , + gastro kits , anti Nausea tablets, stemitels ,water purification tablets , first aid kits , hand sanitation in small bottles ……and lots of safety instructions from my parents ………..)
i also thought that if I was to travel that far i would use the time wisely and fly to India via Singapore …so that i would be able to go and visit the Changi prison camp memorial .
* My grandfather had been in that prison camp …and so i had always wanted to pay my respect there . ( even though he had survived this prison camp in world war 2, i was always told about this place and knew that if i ever was given the chance it was a place that i would go and visit out of the respect that he deserved ).
On October 25th 2009 , my parents drove me to the airport , all the way there my stomach was filled with butterflies …not even beginning to comprehend what was ahead of me,
it was time for me to board the plane …….i knew that my parents were nervous for me and knew how much this trip meant to me , i looked to my parents and handed my father a letter i had written about how i was keeping my promise to my Nana , and i also let him know that i was going to be taking something that represented his mother, …… back to her India .
* ( at my Nanas funeral , everyone was a given a candle with turquoise ribbon around it , that i had made …it was to represent the fact that everyone who had loved my Nana could light their own candle and know that she was ever only a thought away ).
i had decided that one of those candles would travel with me and when i found an appropriate place it where it would be left there in her memory .
As my plane was departing i knew that my life was to change forever …