India. Yes. As the weather now is not the greatest and we impatiently wait for proper spring time to kick in to start the season we’ve begun planning our next great trip – this year, in September approximately, we will leave Europe and travel to India! Before that, of course, we need to prepare ourselves. Information, news, guides, language and so many other things need to be obtained!
Our dream was always to travel around the world. Unfortunately, we haven’t left Europe so far. We realized quite some time ago that Europe, even though diverse and colourful, is stable, peaceful and, well, boring. Don’t get me wrong, we love Germany, Portugal is simply adorable and all other countries sometimes make you stop breathing for a moment, but after a while you understand that’s not it. We want a culture shock. We want to be surprised. We want to not know how to behave. And we want to conquer the world. So, as a nice and comfy start, we chose India. Today, we started officially gathering information and together with us, hopefully you will also educate yourself more about Asia. :) Here are a few things we need to do before even setting our foot on Indian land:
I was never a big fan of those, not to mention conventional medicine, however we understand we will leave Europe comfort zone with its all nice, cosy and familiar germs. We will fly somewhere our bodies won’t know what hit them before it is too late. And so, especially Niki’s initiative is visible here, I started research about vaccines before Asia. As far as it is concerned, the diseases in India are the “dirty” diseases mostly – hepatitis A & B which you can catch through sex and dirty utensils at hairdressers or doctor’s office, tetanus – dirt and wounds, typhoid – unsanitary conditions, water and so on… Anyway nothing REALLY exotic, all moderately cheap and actually why not, as it’s good to be secure. Always. :)
- Visas & Passports
For us, Polish EU citizens visas were never a problem. I mean, in European Union. We just needed our ID cards with us and all European countries were opened to us – Spain, Norway, Italy, Greece, pick one! Unfortunately once you start travelling globally it becomes clear that most of the countries need special permit for you to go to – a visa. Being an E.U. citizen helps a lot, though, as visa procedures are greatly simplified and prices are much lower. Yup, we have to pay for them, everything to squeeze additional few bucks from stupid tourists. As for India, the process is almost purely electronic, you need to apply through the website https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/ and pay the proper fee. Of course, the visit in the embassy is a must but if everything goes smoothly you will only need to do it once – to collect the document.
- Travel insurance
Important thing, actually it should be at the top of the list – insurance. Screw health insurance, most of them are either scam or ridiculously expensive, forcing you to pay up to 10% of your monthly income just to visit a GP once a blue moon. Travel insurance, on the other hand, is a different story. It covers all (or almost all) emergencies like health crisis, being mugged, flight delay and so on. We haven’t had one so far but leaving safe zone like Europe makes it vital to be prepared. C’mon, we will be in India, totally new land with different culture. There is a high probability a cow will sit on our foot and so we will have to deal with angry mob chasing us down the street of Bombay. It’s good to have the hospital expenses covered. :)
Of course, we need to keep an eye on tickets to India, the prices change constantly and we need to find the cheapest option possible. Skyscanner is a great help here and we still try to find something even more flexible. Also, tickets are the cheapest to India and if we decide to go any further, we will have a nice start in Delhi or Mumbai.
- Check what actually we should see
I know, I know, India is so amazing and has so much to offer. But, really, what the Hell should we see there?! We know we must see Taj Mahal. But what else? Today we started going through the book about UNESCO monuments and this alone made our heads spin. Ganges, The Red Fort, elephants, jungles, DAMN, it’s so much! So maybe you know what we should see here? Any help will be really appreciated! :)
As for more down-to-Earth matters, I had my b-day on Easter Monday and Niki made me this wonderful birthday cake! Yay! And I got a climber on my dreadlocks! :) Double yay!