Prelude to a foreign tour

‘Your shopping has exceeded the to-and-fro airfare to Singapore’

Representative image. (Photo/Pixabay)

My debut foreign trip was a much-anticipated one, not just by yours truly but also by my immediate family members. The idea of taking a break with a friend germinated in my daughter’s head over a year ago when my college friend Suman visited me. An intense discussion ensued between my friend and my daughter on choosing the right destination. Ideally, it would be a popular destination on the tourist map, and the travel time would not exceed five hours.

This rigidity in terms of location is due to my inherent fear of experiencing jet lag.  I had heard from reliable sources that jet lag manifested in different ways with varying intensity. The horrid stories that my NRI brethren told me about them walking like zombies during most of their vacation in India proved to intimidate me. After much deliberation, we choose Singapore.

Suman, my fellow traveller, was a veteran globe trotter and that eased my hodophobia. I kept telling myself that I would be in safe hands. Suman had gained mastery of travelling light, she had also learnt how to be a smart shopper and how to be a budget traveller. In fact, I can proudly  say that she is well qualified to pen a book on foreign travel for dummies. 

Coming back to my travelogue, preparations were in full swing. I filled my medical kit with all kinds of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, and I tried to transform my wardrobe from dull and drab to prêt a porter! Planning of the colossal kind was underway which caused a deep dent in my pocket. “Your shopping in India has already exceeded the to-and-fro airfare to Singapore”, remarked my husband on seeing me graduate from an avid window shopper to a fulltime spendthrift! This was my clarion call, from then on; I had a firm grip on my purse strings!

As the travel date approached, the enthusiasm at home had reached unprecedented levels while I tried hard to conceal my misplaced fears! 

Being the most perceptive one, my daughter remarked, “Amma, you are taking a break from your mundane routine to have a good time with your friend, don’t look as if you are about to fight a war or write a competitive exam!”  Hearing this from a girl who would soon be writing one of the toughest exams in the world bought a smile back to my face. Surrounded by positivity, I managed to defeat most of my ‘irrational’ travel-related fears! I will soon embark on my first foreign journey. I am confident now that this trip will not only enhance my tolerance for uncertainty but create memories for a lifetime! 

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