Leaving for India, without fail, sinks me into a deeply reflective space, and it is here, where I begin to compose my first blog. There's so much I'm leaving behind: Happy and sad thoughts of the Solstice and Christmas season, my aging parents, a cat who finally begs me for non-food attention, my dear Roxanne, and the bitter cold which just descended on the Midwest.
i'm stepping into the deeply spiritual and diverse landscape of India, and later in my travels, Indonesia. India promises to be enlightening, but also frustrating. At her best, she offers glorious art and dizzying architecture, kind and generous people, and a breathtaking historical perspective. This year, however, the economy has taken a twist, with demonetization last month. Imagine waking up and discovering all your 10's and 20's were worthless, that ATM's were only marginally working, and that the government had give you access to only $50 or $75 cash per day. This is but the tip of a very uncertain iceberg.
And, this is especially troubling because I come to India, in effect, to spend money on tours and products for SUTRA global imports, my shop! I debated on cancelling my trip, but instead have rallied my resources. I have several strategies in place, the primary one being to use credit cards as much as possible, and to make wise choices for the cash I have. My friends here have promised to assist.
I'm looking forward to seeing monkeys and cows, freely roaming. I'm excited to take a vacation with friends in South India in January. I'm overjoyed to be met by my driver friend Avtar Singh, pictured below. I'm also appreciating the opportunity to travel solo, and allow an unfolding of random events to happen. two separate tours are on the docket as well, one in India and the other in Bali. Kindness of strangers, fears galore, wonder and delight...it's all here, in each moment.
My plan is to write this blog at least once or twice a week as I travel, over the next 3 months. (and beyond that, as well.) It might be more difficult to keep that schedule when I'm leading tours, but this will be my intention. You'll likely read about my antics and foibles, meet artisans and friends I'm seeing on the way, and enjoy the random musings of a textile wanderluster! For more juicy details, do consider signing up for my email list, too! You'll receive a set of 6 free downloadable postcards to print, share, or post.
As I hit the "Launch this Post" button, i have arrived in India and am finishing up a week of travel. I spent just 2 days in Delhi before venturing into the rural area of the Shekawati Region and the far western city of Bikanir. Watch for the next post where I describe the beauty of the Shekawati Region!