Day 90- Namaste, India!

This morning as I prepare to go to the airport I know I should be excited and deep down I really am, but layered over the excitement are many other less comfortable emotions. I want to laugh and cry at the same time. I feel like I’m running straight into the unknown. Maybe that’s because I am running into the unknown. I decide to just breathe through every moment because today is one I will probably never forget. Today is one of those whole day meditations. Without the calm breath, I might freak out.

Saying goodbye to Andrew is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but then again all the best things in life are. In love, I give my everything until I am drained and often lose sight of who I am. So this part of the journey, I need to continue alone so that I can find the greatest relationship I will ever know; the one with myself. Part of me thinks I am an idiot but that part is overridden by a deep-set sense that this is the right thing. I am on my life path and in order to find myself I have to do the search alone.

I have airport pick-ups all organised I have my next month of travel all mapped out in front of me but I still feel like a lost little child. Anything this terrifying must be worth it, right? If I think of the times in my life when I have truly felt afraid, like actually heart pounding, tongue dry fear, I know that this is nothing. Aside from my irrational fear of seeing clay cut with wire (yes I know, specific and weird), I can think of exactly three situations when I have felt real fear. Once, when a huge SUV ran a red light and missed me by about half a second; on 25th October 2010 when a tsunami hit the Mentawais islands and we didn’t know where some of our friends were; and when I felt an earthquake for the first time. Come to think of it, anytime I feel an earthquake is a terrifying moment.

But this, this isn’t fear. This is the unknown. This is the beautiful and crazy moment in life when I am facing a massive shift, when my life is literally getting turned upside down and I know I’ve done it to myself. It’s too late to turn back. I’m caught in this flash flood and the only way I’m coming out is on the other end. But I still catch myself thinking, holy f*** I can’t believe I’m going to India!

When I arrive at the airport I am shocked to find that nobody is yelling and trying to get my attention. I kind of imagined it would be like Indonesia, where the taxi drivers just tell and wave the minute you walk out but everyone just ignores me. I finally find my driver and he seems a little upset that he had to wait so long inside only to find me outside. As I get into the car, I ask him how far the hotel is and he says, “10 hours” with complete stoicism. I start to laugh nervously, you’re kidding right? He finally nods and then says, “thank you for smiling miss!” and I thank him for making me laugh. We make small talk and when I notice a small effigy to Kali he asks if I believe in the gods. This seems like too slippery a question so I answer with a simple yes. I was once asked at the Gandhi ashram in Bali which religion I prescribed to, to which I replied diplomatically, “all of them!”
I tell the driver Aji that I am Mexican and can speak Spanish he says, “Hola, Hola coca-cola” and “Mira, mira, Kashmira”, which is all the Spanish he knows. I find this absolutely hilarious.

We arrive at the Cottage Yes Please which seems to be amongst some kind of night market. It is almost midnight but the street noises never really die down. There are pigeons nesting right outside my window so I can hear feathers beating and the occasional coo.

Well, I made it. Here I am, still a little bit gobsmacked that I’m in INDIA!

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