To say that you’ve seen the world before seeing India is like saying you know yourself before taking a good long look at your naked body in the mirror.
Author's Note: As we begin to write about our last visit to India in greater depth, I’m reminded of my first trip there — also my first trip abroad that I took solo in 1997. Those were the days of traveler’s checks, thick stapled wads of Indian rupees, and exorbitantly priced, poor quality phone calls booked from telephone wallahs on the street. The ATM machines, internet cafes and easy-to-purchase mobile phone SIM cards of today’s India seemed only a pipe dream back then.
This chronicles the bizarre experiences and lessons – about India, travel and me – that first visit imparted. No other trip since has affected me in quite the same way.