We left paradise behind us as we rode the speedboat through the blue waters of Thailand. After about an hour, we arrived on the docks of Phuket where a taxi drove us to a beach close to the airport. We had a little bit of time before our flight but not too much so wanted to be within a few minutes of the airport. We found a restaurant which was right across the street from the beach and sat on the patio to eat some bar food and have a couple of drinks.
After dinner, we had a taxi drive us the 5 minutes down the road and got ourselves checked in for our very long flight. First we had to fly all the way to Guangzhou, China…then from China to India! The airport in China was absolutely freezing…a huge airport with no heat! Literally everyone was walking around completely bundled up as if we were all outside. Can the Chinese government just give its people a tiny bit of heat? Maybe just enough so our toes don’t get frost bite while we wait for our plane to take us out of here? Geez…bathrooms and airports in China are noted. The around the world tickets we purchased with our sky miles from Delta were a great deal but the downside…sometimes the flight connections have us go way out-of-the-way, and then of course we have dreaded layovers.
We finally arrived super late into the New Delhi airport, picked a taxi and anxiously got in it…we’ve heard the driving in India is unlike any other country. The population in New Delhi alone is over 12 million! As the taxi drove us the 25 minutes or so to our hotel…we were looking at our surroundings. Since it was dark, it was hard to get a good feel of the area…but the first thing we did notice was the huge amounts of garbage laying all over the streets. We felt a little un-easy as we got near our place…it seemed like the taxi was taking back roads and the area didn’t exactly feel safe. We finally arrived and were met by the hotel staff who took our luggage inside for us.
The hotel was quaint, the staff was friendly…they showed us to our room which seemed fine. Thankfully the hotel was nice and we felt totally safe inside…maybe we won’t be taking any walks around the block though! Before going to bed, we arranged a driver for tomorrow with the front desk. India is definitely not the place to rent a car…but you can hire a driver who may or may not speak English, but waits for you all day as he drives you from place to place for a pretty good price. We are moving pretty quickly through a few cities in India and will need to have our days action packed in order to get to the major sights in northern India.
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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