A year ago I decided to travel to India with my friend Kay and our two middle school aged boys. In the past 12 months I’ve noticed how vacations in India are trending.
Perhaps India is always trending and I’m now only noticing. But I can count a handful of people I know who have gone since I’ve bought my tickets. There are two common themes to all the stories I’ve heard.
“The food is amazing,” one friend told me. “Every meal was so delicious and so different than what we normally eat.”
“We rode on elephants,” another one said. “They have pink tinged ears!”
I already know the food is amazing. I’m traveling with my dear friend Kay and we are taking out middle school aged boys along for a long stay with her parents, who live in Hyderabad.
Having met Kay’s mother on one of their previous visits to the U.S., I had the pleasure of watching Kay’s parents make masala dosa from scratch for me. Another time, Kay’s mother gave me an impromptu lesson on making an Indian flatbread with besam, or chickpea flour. Here’s a recipe if you’d like to try it yourself.
Am I excited to try new Indian foods, visit the markets, and perhaps pick up some new Indian cooking skills from an accomplished cook like Kay’s mom? Of course!
My son…not so much.
He who can taste a minute amount of pureed spinach in a pizza sauce has an aversion to anything that grows. It shall be interesting to see how his first experience abroad will challenge his palate.
As for the elephants, Kay assures me there will be pachyderms on our itinerary at some point!
Beyond Indian food and elephants, I have no firm, preconceived notions or expectations, really. Because we will be staying with an Indian family, I will benefit from their generous spirit as they offer suggestions for our adventures over the next couple of weeks.
On my first trip there, there will be no Taj Mahal and no packing and repacking to see multiple cities. We shall settle into the rhythms of daily life in Hyderabad and experience a side trip to the oceanside city of Goa.
Will there be elephants? Tasty Indian food? I’ll soon find out– I’ll let you know!