Elvis has left the building
Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
34Trip End Apr 21, 2008
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This trip has certainly been an eye-opening experience and one that has truly changed who I am and the route I plan to travel in the future. I will never forget first stepping off the plane in Delhi, utterly alone and 10,000 miles away from anyone and anything I knew. I had no idea where I was going or how to get there and was going on blind faith. That is what much of this trip has been based on - blind faith but also finding faith within myself that I could not only handle this but thrive in the process. Seeing the Taj Mahal was not something I had ever planned on doing in my lifetime and spending a Saturday afternoon strolling the promenade on the Arabian Sea was something I had never really thought about but now I have done both. As for being so far away and all alone on my birthday, I can't imagine making the best of it any better than I did at the Coconut Lagoon in Kerala, India. Landing in Singapore and that first cab ride to the hotel was like being transported straight into all those novels I have read about this region and the British colonial influence (welcomed or not). Sitting at the Boat Quay having a beer and chicken wings on advice from a friend who had been there too, alleviated some of the loneliness that had settled in over the past 6 weeks. Flying home to see my family for Thanksgiving and being greeted at the airport by my Dad with a big hug and both of us realizing I had just flown around the world was a complete mixture of emotion I hope to feel again and again and again.
Heading back out after the Holiday, I was feeling like an old hat at this traveling thing because I was going straight back to the familiarity of Singapore. To be accosted by all that is Hong Kong a week later was exhilarating and strangely not terrifying at all, though I was in the same position I had been in in Delhi only a short time ago. Being alone and stepping on the beach of the South China Sea off Lantau Island was a defining moment in my life simply because it was unexpected. That feeling of having your world and life change by something you never had imagined is something so amazing that you can't help but cherish it. Taking a catamaran to mainland China the following weekend was more than I had dreamed six months earlier and the skyline of Hong Kong is something you can never get tired of looking at. Riding up to the top of Victoria's Peak, even on a cool overcast night is something hard to forget. Only than to be back in the States with my family for Christmas and in New York with someone special on New Year's was all I could have wanted at that moment.
Kicking it in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia and drinking a Dunkin Donuts iced mocha latte (ridiculous I know and I was trying to be all authentic but I guess that is authentic KL these days) while taking pictures of the Petronas Towers will always make me think of that crazy peacock chasing me down and the fabulous foot massage I had at the central market, not to mention the good laugh I had at the national museum. I really hope they get that together because the history of this place is really interesting and truly amazing. Speeding through Victoria Harbor in a jet-foil on my way to Macao for the weekend made me feel free and reckless, with such a sense of abandonment I wanted to just keep going. Not to mention getting lost on the streets (figuratively - mostly) and feeling the history of the island come alive to the point I could almost touch it.
Heading back to India because I had to, because something in me told me I wasn't done with the place yet. Spending a weekend in the land of Maharajahs and riding an elephant to the to top of the Amer Fort was a childhood fantasy fulfilled that had never even had been imagined to be a possibility. Heading to Aurangabad and spending time in a place so ancient and so beautiful you literally stop and thank God for letting you see this.
I have realized I am not a restless spirit and do not need to roam the planet looking for anything other than all the beauty it has to offer. I do not feel any need to tuck myself away in some far away corner of the globe to prove to myself or anyone else who I am. I want to explore and travel and taste and smell and experience, simply for that, the experience. I want to continue to meet amazing and interesting people but also be reminded of those already in my life and that I am so grateful for. Like anything else in life, travel has its ups and downs. But I must say, I would gladly take the downs to be able to have experienced the ups on this trip. I have so many pictures and so many memories wrapped up in them, I don't even know where to start with organizing them. Luckily, I don't have to as I can be just being and all of a sudden something randomly comes to me and I remember and mostly I smile.
Thanks and until my next adventure..........Brandy
New York, NY