In a world without COVID-19, this past week would have been very different. On Thursday afternoon, a picture-perfect summer day, I would have picked my parents up and delivered them to our house for their (almost) yearly sojourn to Austria.
There would have been lots of hugs and probably a few tears. We might have had a BBQ on the back terrace, listening about how their trip had gone so far – a cruise from Prague to Berlin – possibly they would have had to deal with colds or other difficulties, but they would be in good spirits because they had finally arrived in Austria.
Yesterday morning we got up early, grabbed our already packed suitcases and loaded them into the car for our flight to the UK.
Oh… except that we didn’t.
Yesterday was our 5thwedding anniversary and we had plans to spend a week driving around the gorgeous Welsh coastline, stay in cute BnBs, enjoy English big breakfasts and drink lots and lots of beer/cider/ale on tap.
But instead we found ourselves home, like much of the rest of the world.
Coming from Australia, there’s often no real need to carry cash when you head out of your house – credit and EFTPOS all the way, baby. At least it was when I was there (who knows what new ways there are to pay these days). Sure, you might use a few coins now and then for small things, you might come across the occasional cash only establishment, but otherwise, tap and go.
During our recent trip to Australia, hubby suggested we take some time out for ourselves to see a little bit of the country. When you use up a big holiday period to visit home, it’s often hard to see it as a holiday, as opposed to hopping between the same places and people each time.
The place that came to mind instantly (remembering that we have to be practical, we can’t venture too far from Melbourne), was Halls Gap, a place where I used to go camping with the family as a kid.
I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting from Bangkok when we arrived for a 4-night stopover on our way to Australia at the end of last year. And maybe it was because we’d been in India just a month earlier, but what struck me immediately was how clean it was, how sweet-smelling and how super organized.
Look… I know it’s a big city, and also a big tourist city, so that’s probably what most people would expect, but I hadn’t been. We arrived very early in the morning, and after breakfast in our hotel at the Lamphu Tree House, were delighted to have access to our room just after 9am for a quick nap after our overnight flight.
There’s plenty of info out there about things you definitely should not do in India. From wearing inappropriate clothing, to limiting PDA and not bad-mouthing cricket, the list is long. Now, I don’t feel like I put myself in any undue danger in India, but I didn’t necessarily follow all the rules to a tee. Here are the ones I broke.
At the end of our two week, action packed, exhausting tour of the Rajasthan region of India, hubby and I booked ourselves three nights in a 5 star hotel in Delhi. We were well aware we would want some time to kick back, chill, and process all we’d seen and done before rushing onto a plane back to real life.
The hotel we were staying at on the last night of the tour in Delhi was fine… but it wasn’t more than that. And when we were woken up early because apparently breakfast was served right outside our room, we decided, time to go.
My time on the overnight train from Delhi to Jodhpur is not my favourite memory of northern India. It’s possibly my worst memory. My time on the overnight train from Delhi to Jodhpur felt like a hideous place I would never escape from. I was sandwiched in the middle bunk between two plastic mats – parallel to me was a heavy Indian man who only stopped snoring to cough; rasping toxic coughs that sounded like one of his lungs was being dragged from his insides out through his mouth.