This blog post is a particularly special one for me. Not only does it bring me to the end of my diary reflecting back on my first trip to Asia, and more specifically to India, it’s also time to celebrate, as this is my 100th blog post since the journey of The Mindful Musings of a Gingernut began back in August 2018.
It’s been an incredible journey so far (both in India and as a blogger), and I can’t wait to see what the next 100 posts have in store.
Day 14 – 🤢
As you may’ve guessed from my last post, my time in India didn’t quite end in the way I had hoped.
After starting to feel unwell at the dodgy beach shack the previous night, I had hoped to wake the next day feeling energetic and raring to go. Instead, I woke feeling groggy with awful stomach pains.
The grogginess was down to my roommate Asmaa in part. She didn’t come home for hours after heading off to meet Mr Romeo again, and I have to admit, I was beginning to worry about what she had gotten herself into! When she finally returned briefly, it was for a change of clothes before she disappeared with lover boy again. I have to admit, this was the only downside to sharing a room on the trip! Otherwise, it worked perfectly for us both.
But sadly, Asmaa’s antics weren’t the only reason for my grogginess.
I had hoped to spend my final full day in Goa, chilling by the pool or on the beach, laying in the beautiful sunshine, watching the world pass me by.
Instead, I spent the entire day lying in bed doubled over with stomach pain, and running backwards and forwards to the bathroom.
For ages afterwards, I blamed the dodgy beach shack for giving me food poisoning. It wasn’t until I returned home, I found a photo of the cocktail I had enjoyed on the beach the day before…with a gallon of ice cubes in it! I’d done so well throughout the trip to avoid drinking tap water, making sure I cleaned my teeth with bottled water, and keeping my mouth firmly shut in the shower, as well as refusing drinks with ice in local restaurants. Until I relaxed a bit too much on Calangute Beach, Goa.
Sadly this was our last official day of the trip. I was to miss out on the final group meal of the trip, and I would miss saying goodbye to Klaus, the Austrian, who had become a good friend throughout the trip, as he was to depart after dinner that evening.
Afsha, our tour guide, came to pay me a visit that evening to check on me, and Donna and Asmaa had done the same throughout the day. I was gutted to be missing out on our final day together, but it was nice to know these people who were just strangers to me 2 weeks before, now cared enough about me to make sure I was still alive.
Thankfully, that evening, whilst everyone else was at dinner, I found the strength to send my mum a message. My mum is trained in Reiki, so while I lay on my back with my hands resting on my stomach, my mum used her Reiki practice to send me healing. Within an hour the pain had subsided.
I then started to crave bananas, which ironically, the palm reader in Udaipur had recognised as my key fruit. Donna kindly brought me some back after dinner, and I managed to keep them down.
Whilst I didn’t get to spend my last day as I had hoped, I was grateful to be feeling a little bit brighter by the end of the day, and was hopeful that with a day resting by the pool the next day, I would be well enough to start my journey home the following evening.
Day 15 – Goa to Mumbai
Despite a restless nights sleep I was beginning to feel a lot more myself again. I had colour back in my cheeks and my appetite was attempting to return. I wasn’t feeling brave enough to leave the resort as I still needed to be in close proximity to the bathroom, but I was feeling well enough to head down to the pool with Donna.
Except for the odd rehydration mix (they should come with a health warning themselves 🤢), I hadn’t taken any medication to ease my bathroom trips. I was hoping to get as much out of my system as possible before my departure, but would take something nearer my leaving time to make sure I didn’t need to stop on the way to the airport!
I managed to eat a little bit of food throughout the day, and it was nice to get out again and to spend my last few hours in Goa with my closest friends, Asmaa and Donna.
Before long, it was time to say goodbye. I would be sharing a taxi with Crystal and Kristina on the way to the airport, so we would save our goodbyes until then, but I was sad to be leaving Donna and Asmaa who had become wonderful friends of mine throughout the trip. They were both staying on in Goa for another few days. I was sad to leave my new friends, but hopeful we will meet again someday.
As much as I was feeling better by the time I got in the taxi, I don’t know how we all didn’t throw up on the way to the airport! Clearly in a rush to get us to our drop off point as quickly as possible, our driver was all over the place as he darted in and out of traffic! It was enough to make even the hardiest of travellers exit the taxi looking green!
On arrival at Dabolim Airport, I said my goodbyes to Crystal and Kristina. We were flying on to different destinations, and with different airlines, but thought we would meet again for one last goodbye once we reached departures…but Dabolim Airport had other ideas! Once in the departure lounge, I was so confused! I’d managed to make my way across India in one piece, but now, at the airport I was confused as fuck! There were no signs or departure boards to indicate flight times or which bay we should be waiting in! And Crystal and Kristina were nowhere to be seen!
Thankfully, I needn’t have worried, at that time of night (around 11pm Indian time), there weren’t that many flights. I hovered around a group of people, and saw a young oriental guy ask a member of staff at the perfume counter where he should wait for his flight to Mumbai. As that was where I was heading to, I found myself sticking to him like glue!
I was slightly more nervous about the flight home. I’d never had to do a connecting flight before, and I’d heard a few negative stories about Air India, who I was not only flying to Mumbai with, but also from Mumbai to Heathrow.
Although running 30 minutes late, accessing my flight, and the flight itself was quite straight forward. Less than 2 hours later, I found myself back in Mumbai.
Day 16 – Mumbai to London Heathrow
With a 6 hour wait at Mumbai International Airport, I was grateful to arrive into something a little bit more westernised than Dabolim Airport.
Considering it was now the early hours of the morning, the airport was wide awake. I wish I’d taken more photographs inside the airport, because the design was stunning. But I was tired and hungry by this point, so I headed straight for the eating places, where there was everything from Pizza Hut, to Subway, to KFC to McDonalds.
After indulging in my first proper meal for the past couple of days (and feeling massively relieved that it stayed down), I went off to do some duty free shopping.
Again, my flight was delayed, and feeling overwhelmingly exhausted (it was now around 3am and I hadn’t had a proper nights sleep since the last time I was in Mumbai), it was time to find somewhere to sit and try to get some sleep before my flight.
Once my flight arrived, I found my seat, and spent the next 10 hours on one of the easiest, most comfortable flights I’ve ever been on. So much for Air India being on the dodgy side! I’d definitely fly with them again.
10 hours later, my flight touched down back in London.
What an adventure it had been! It would take me a while to readjust to ‘normal life’ back in London (see Lost and Found in India for more stories about my struggles on returning), but 4 months later, I’m happy to be back in London, despite being in the middle of a global pandemic, and starting to think ahead to my next adventure…
Thank you to all of you who take the time out of your day to read my musings. My trip to India was an adventure of a lifetime for me, and I love that you’ve all taken this journey with me, albeit through the words in my blog, rather than in person.
I continue to push myself out of my comfort zone, as I transition from the quiet, shy country girl I left behind in Northamptonshire, to the adventurous, mindful city girl, I’m slowly turning into. I couldn’t do any of this without your support, and I feel truly honoured that you read the words I take the time to publish across your screens 🙏🏻
Here’s to you, me, and my next 100 blog posts 🍾