I can finally contemplate my return to India at the end of 2022 – it will be three years that I have been away, the longest in 20 years. I have missed the instant transition of being in India mode, alive and alert as soon as I hit Delhi airport. I always feel as though I have to hit the ground running with my senses in full throttle, as I leave Delhi and begin negotiating and navigating my way to the next destination – usually Dharamsala. The plane trip is very scenic and once I hit the tarmac it feels as though I am home again. I still regard it as my second home, even now that I have returned to Australia to live.
The first thing I am looking forward to is the sight of the mountains, a constant presence from the moment the aircraft lands on the short tarmac. I look forward to being reunited with my two dogs Billy and Maddie, who are being cared for by Kalpana and her two children. It goes without saying that I am looking forward to seeing my friends and their families, including Vikas and Shiv. Whilst we see each other often on Zoom, it will be an added bonus to see them in person with a class of chai in our hands.
Who could forget the shopkeepers of Dharamsala, who always comment on my return, ‘Long time away, Madam’. I’m always astonished that they remember how long I’ve been away for. I wonder what they will say after this long stint away. – Sharon (founder of Ekno Travels)