Later this month I am travelling. Travelling to India. Or should I say returning to India? I am heading back for a short two week holiday with my husband and Baby Z. It may not seem like such a big deal, given that I have an Indian heritage, but at the same time it is a HUGE deal because I will be returning to India after almost ten years! A Decade! It will also be Baby Z’s first time in India, and for this I am very much excited!
The last time I went to India was with my parents and younger brother, early on in my teens. This time I am returning as a wife and a mother. What took me so long to go back? Well, as with many things I suppose it was life that got in the way. As some of you may already know if you have been following me for a while, I was born in Saudi Arabia, grew up in England, and so visits to India have been few and far in between. I have fond memories of my childhood trips to India, filled with endless love from my grandparents, rural adventures and eating seasonal fruits and snacks. My parents are both Indian and culturally, I suppose I am too, if watching Bollywood movies, wearing Shalwar Kameez and being able to speak in my “mother tongue” qualifies as such…which I think it very much does in today’s world. (Mind you, I can not write it, and I can read Hindi as fast as a 5 year old.) I also know how to tie a Saari and can
create copy lovely Henna patterns, so that probably makes me even more Indian right?
So I return to India later this month with apprehension, excitement, nervousness and glee. Thankfully, I am travelling with my husband who has traveled to India more frequently than I, and I also have my parents and younger brother joining us in India from England for the duration of our stay which is very comforting. Surrounded by them, surely nothing can go wrong…right?
I am apprehensive because I am not sure how Baby Z will like it, being in a foreign country, with foreign customs and about a hundred relatives who have been eager to meet him. But at the same time I am excited to introduce him to his roots and watch him explore his new surroundings, bar the stray bull on the motorway.
As for me, I am nervous to be going back after so long, wondering whether everything will be the same as when I had last seen it, but knowing deep inside that everything will have changed. I am excited for the adventures to come, to eat the fresh delicacies and street snacks I so miss (No one does street food like India!), riding the local train as well as Rickshaws and not being “online” ALL the time. The withdrawal shakes will probably follow soon enough though and to be honest I want to capture as much of this trip as I can too! Also, being a blogger, the camera will be forever attached to my hand I am sure.
And so, the packing commences. Who am I kidding? I have been packing and repacking for the last month, making lists upon lists for all the potential items we will need depending on all the potential catastrophes we will face during our short trip as any sane mother would.
I will be flying out on the 18th of December, and be back on the 30th of December, ready to welcome 2017 in beloved Dubai. I am sure I will have many things to share from our trip to India when I return, until then pray we are not prey for the mosquitoes out there, what with our juicy NRI blood and all! (NRI= Non Resident Indian)
Do you have any tips or list of must-take items for a holiday to India, especially for a toddler? Feel free to share your thoughts and stories of returning to your own homeland with your children in the comments section below.