We leave again in 2 weeks. It has come round so quickly it has been difficult to keep up. There is some kind of solid plan in place, but this trip is flexible. Extremely so.

I always try and add some kind of flexibility because sometimes things happen. Things you can’t control but this is different. We literally have a flight out and a flight back. Between those flights is some kind of plan of where we would like to be and where we would like to go.

I am posting this now because the final hurdle of the trip has been finalised. Our India visa is ready for collection and so, again, the dream is genuinely back on.

The plan is that we will fly to Dalaman in Turkey, there we have a couple of days to relax – I have purposely included this after last year. Last year we arrived into Delhi, it was 47 degrees and hectic. It was the baptism of fire and something of a nightmare for us. So I decided this year we would ease ourselves gently into it, so we hit chav central for a couple of days of Union Jack shorts, warm British lager and fried breakfasts. We then will head up to Istanbul on a night bus I am told exists but have yet to clarify.
Once in Istanbul we will bridge the Bosphorus and dance both in Europe and Asia before hitting up some stunning Islamic architecture and then blowing town to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. We won’t have long – In fact just one night partying before we fly out to the capitol of Nepal; Kathmandu. We have about a fortnight in the host of some of the worlds highest peaks (including Everest) before we bail down to India.

India by this point will pretty much be in full monsoon season and so our plans have been slightly tailored. I have tried hard – Very hard actually, to keep us dry. Rajasthan is the key – It’s desert like landscape is ‘real India’ apparently. Think sand dunes, old forts and mystique palaces and you won’t be far off.
From there we mooch South through Mumbai before hitting up India’s own Benidorm (Goa) Expecting to get quickly pissed off by the chavs that spill this far East we won’t be there too long and will then head inland to the ancient Hindu ruins at Hampi.

We then will take the hefty train down to Chennai (Madras) on the South East coast. A day or two there taking in our final few days of India before we head toward the equator and the Emerald Isle. The dream honeymoon of many and a jewel in the India Ocean – Sri Lanka.

In Sri Lanka we go native and it really becomes a children’s playground. This amazing Island is geared toward high end tourists and those looking for a bit of Africa – Not in Africa. Go back just a couple of years and it was a war zone, but now it is an island that is littered with history and wild animals. So, with the kids in mind Sri Lanka will be their input into the trip. Lonely Planet gives Sri Lanka about fifty words, Rough Guide not much more. I’ve given the kids ten days.
From Sri Lanka we begin the journey home. No one likes a hefty plane journey and we are no different. I have flown probably 500 times and it is beyond boring – Which of course is how I like it – However, to add a bit of diversity we will be stopping off in the Emirates for a week. Time to top up the tan, go shopping, and essentially come down from the mammoth summer holiday. I suppose really it’s the holiday you take after the holiday you’ve just had.
The work that has thus far gone into this trip is exhausting. The kids are excited and things are coming together now.
People keep asking if I’ve packed yet and the answer is no. I pack the night before we go. then spend some final moments with Jack the day we actually leave.
I still have a mountain to climb in terms of preparation for this trip but one thing is for sure – The flight to Dalaman from Manchester on the day we leave won’t wait for us.

Two weeks and counting – Fourteen days of worry, concern, meticulous planning and hard work; Then I’ll get excited.


Just a dad trying to live the dream with my kids.

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