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After thinking through different places for vacation most of us (Indians) finally decide to go to India. Around four years back when it was just me and my husband I used to be all excited about the idea.Now I see “going to India” as a relay race with so many hurdles. Let us see all the hurdles one by one
*Get the vacation dates approved and book the tickets (Later feel wow tickets for 4 people is expensive)
*Next hurdle to cross is getting the “visa documents” ready and book the visa appointment dates.
*Then do the required shopping.
*Packing : This is a big one. Have to carry most of the required ones for the 3-4 weeks we travel. Especially when you have kids it is a difficult task.
*Finally when the day to leave arrives put a Face Book status update that you are going to India. Then promise some friends to meet there. The “flight journey” which is 24 hours is really scary with kids. It is hard to keep the kids in a confined space.I have done it with just one kid. I am yet to know how it would be with a toddler and a 4 year old.
* Hopefully the flights are on time and land in India safely.
*The first week goes with jet lag and sleep deprived. Kids also are cranky.
* Attend the visa interview and pray that we get the passports before the date we have to leave.
*Travel between parents and in-laws place.
*Carry mineral water everywhere.
*Somehow get out of the jet lag during second week.
* Then go to pilgrimage tours. Pray that no one gets sick, welfare of family and also we should get back to US safe.
*Third week is when you start doing the shopping of list of all items that you want to get back.
*Pack them all and hopefully passport is back.
*End of the trip feel like want to go back home and sleep in our bed in US.
*On the day of leaving, feel really bad to leave the loved ones so many miles away.
*On the flight the thoughts that flash are “What am I doing??, Why dont I go back to India?? , Kids will enjoy their grand parents if we go back..Our parents are getting older can see them slowing down cant even go and look at them every year”.
*Finally reach US and be jet lagged again. Load yourself with coffee and get back to work.
*Answer all colleagues when they ask about your vacation as “I enjoyed my vacation and had a wonderful time”.
Come on what are we all trying to do here. I never treat going to India as a vacation. I cant deny I have some very nice moments and memories, but the whole process is too hectic to call it a vacation. When someone tells me that they did nothing on a vacation I would really envy that. We Indians try to be over achievers in everything right from education to work to vacation. Now I understand why most of my uncles and aunts who have kids never visit India frequently. Is there any way to make this simpler?? Please share your thoughts.