Today I leave for New Delhi, India. I'm actually terrified. I always get really anxious the day before I fly. My head is a constant procession of thoughts of all the things that could go wrong in transit, I mentally prepare individual contingency plans for all these possibilities all day long. Yesterday was no different, full of anxiety, today as is normal I feel an overwhelming calm and clarity and excitement.
Yesterday I said goodbye to my Mum; goodbyes with her are always up there with the hardest ones. Spending time with her, whether at home or abroad, I fall back into her nurturing arms a bit, which is wonderful and so relaxing after travelling and living abroad solo for such long stints. But every time I say goodbye to her again, I'm back as a little girl going off terrified to her first day of school, convinced she can't do it alone. It's weird.
So tonight I'll arrive in India. It's my first time in this country, a place I've started to refer to as 'the final frontier' for me. Though there are still many, many countries I haven't visited, this one represents the wildest land I feel pulled to explore. I arrive in the middle of the night (3am), in the dark, to wake up to a city that will feel so foreign.
I'll be travelling for the next six weeks there with one of my best friends from home. She's a writer, we met at our first jobs, at the tourism board for Brisbane and have been close ever since. We've lived together in London and in Paris and we always joke when we say goodbye 'I'll see you soon' though we never know where it will be, because the world has this weird way of bringing us together every few months all over the globe. So India was the latest thing that just worked out for us.
Our trip will take us through New Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur and Bundi, then down to Goa to settle in for a few weeks and get our work done and be normal, then further South to Kerala for a few weeks to explore.
Beyond that, I don't know where I'll be. I've never not had an idea of a return date back to Australia during these last few years travelling. It's exciting and terrifying, I feel untethered and anonymous floating out here in the world. The unknown path is full of possibilities but I can't say whether it will go one way or another really.
But for now, it's India I can see before me on this path. I'll be Instagram and Facebook, and trying to be more regular and open on Instagram Stories too. And I really want to film a proper video I can piece together in India. I'll be trying to write one of these diary entries here every week or fortnight, for me and for you - I want to keep a record for myself but I also want to pour more of what it really feels like to be living like this into this space. So I'll talk to you soon