There are no words to express the kind of anticipatory excitement I am feeling, knowing I will soon be on my way to returning to my passion of travel/photography. What better place to be the inaugural destination than India. As my readers know, my first trip to the perhaps more well known areas of this massive country – Mumbai, Rajasthan, Agra, Varanasi, Delhi, etc was life-changing mentally and spiritually. I hope to continue this personal growth as I now will explore the more southern coastal areas – Madurai, Chennai,, Kochi, Kumarakom as well as Hyderabad and starting with a revisit to Mumbai.
Yes, some of these names are a mouthful, but that’s just the beginning as every aspect of this journey will be stunning. Take for example, the Meenakshi temple gateway towers in Madurai shown above. There are 12 of these structures, replete with thousands of multicolored statues of gods, demons and animals. I want to photograph each and every one – but realistically will hope for some total view shots.
I have gotten my vaccinations and malaria pills, and have been compiling lists for weeks now. Topline, photography needs – camera, filters, sunshield, memory card readers, lens cleaners and brushes. Electrical – batteries for camera, ipad, iphone, charging stations, plug adapters, voltage converters, portable power banks.
Then there is general travel paraphernalia – collapsible water bottle, apple luggage tags, locks, walking stick, toiletries, sunblock, bug spray, hats, neck fan, portable small fan, cooling spray and bands and the like. Of course passport and an e-visa, a requirement for India. Trusted Traveler Program/TSA will make air travel smoother as well as flying business class for comfort. Flat bed seat conversion and even privacy doors! More on these particulars in a later post.
If you noticed a theme in cooling items, there is a reason. Although I will be traveling in mid-winter, Southern India will already be very warm and sultry. I can expect most areas to have highs between 85-95 degrees F. (if I am lucky – with climate change nothing is certain – it can be higher as recent record highs in the area have shown . For example, Mumbai, which is located centrally on the West Coast and will be the most northern part of my visit, has already been hitting 90 degrees. Clothes must be selected with particular attributes – lightweight but still with moderate coverage to be in sync with cultural mores, scarves and wraps for temples and other religious edifices, and definitely for super air conditioned hotels. Lightweight, supportive walking sneakers for the day and a few ballet flats for evening dinners. This will be an in depth selection process, for sure, with much culling.
There’s lots more, but you get the picture. But do not worry – although the mass of items I am planning to pack could wind up looking like this:
Those who know me well understand that due to my obsessive compulsive nature , my love of packing cubes will leave no item loose:
Chasing Dreams will be on hiatus until I get back, I will of course try to send some teasers on social media to whet your appetites – so check in:
Facebook: Cindy Gurmann