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AD. In my childhood there wasn’t much spare money. There really wasn’t! This meant that we never got to enjoy family holidays, and I think I can remember just one time we went on a family holiday, that was a bit of a disaster to be honest, and it was just to a small holiday park in the UK. I’m sure that my Mum had to save for that holiday but I was so grateful as I became a teenager, and was responsible for my own money. As I became a teenager I had a desire to travel somewhere abroad, as I had never been. I wanted to fly somewhere exotic. I wanted to have my own passport, with a visa stamped in to it, and explore some of the World. So I set about making this a reality. I started with a holiday to India! Then I went to Egypt and some more ‘local’ countries too.
Before I met my wonderful husband Thomas I was with someone else, for several years. He was a tool. We went on a few travels together with my most favourite big holiday being a lovely trip to India. I can remember the months of excitement, planning the clothes I would pack and thinking about all of the places that we would visit and things that we would do. What I didn’t think about was how the travel was going to go!
It was a longgggg trip! The flight ran early, by around 45 minutes, which was great, but sadly this didn’t make a difference to how long we were travelling for because of the visa situation. After 10 long hours there was a HUGE queue to get an Indian visa followed by a 2-hour coach journey and by the time we arrived in Goa it was super late, pitch black and I was in a country I had never visited before. It’s fair to say that this wasn’t the best start to my holiday to India! I was a little bit upset, and at one point actually remarked that I wanted to go home!
Speeding up the visa process
When I travelled to India, back in 2005, I don’t think an e-visa India was a possibility. I think that you could apply by post but for the most part, people just arrived at the airport and then they queued for an absolute age to wait to receive their ‘stamp’ in their passport. It was long! Very long! The airport wasn’t particularly well ventilated and it was VERY hot, which did not help with the patience of all of the people that were waiting.
It is great that times have changed now and we can make so many preparations for our holiday in advance. Now you can arrange a visa basically as easily as you can arrange travel insurance which I think is fantastic! Anything that speeds up the process helps reduces anxiety and helps with spreading the cost of your holiday out a little is good with me!
Holidaying in India
India was stunning. So beautiful. I was only around 17 at the time of my holiday, and hadn’t had a huge amount of life experience, but I knew it was stunning and one of the true beauties of the World. Sitting on the beach most days, watching the very early sunsets, and enjoying the local wildlife was absolutely beautiful and I felt so blessed as I read books by the pool and soaked up the sun. The sun would set so early, around 5pm, and I couldn’t believe that this was the Summer for them! It was so beautiful and went dark so fast too. Also, when the sun went down often there would be power outages, which was a bit strange to get used to! One thing that I found truly amazing was that you would visit a restaurant, the lights would go out but the meal would still be served piping hot from the tandoori oven – so clever!
I would love to start holidaying abroad again now that I have a 3-year-old. Daisy has FPIES which makes it quite hard to think about holidaying abroad at the moment – but I know that our time will come!
I would absolutely love to visit India one day again, with my family in tow. I would do more exploring, perhaps a little less relaxing on the beach, and would definitely explore more of the foods as my tastebuds have changed since I was a teenager and I’m much more adventurous now. At least I know that the visa process is easier too now!