Not only did she survive, she and we loved it...
It’s a big question, can I take my baby to India. It seems to me that a lot of people are scared of India. At least, they are scared to go there… I have to admit, there are lots of horror stories about travelling in India, even my brother had a few!
But for us, India has been a second (maybe third or fourth) home for several years now. We have an apartment there, (just a rental) we have kitchen appliances, clothes, bowls, pillows and more.
Home away from home
Our kids went to school there, a wonderful and very lively school called the Yellow School in Goa. During our first year there we had to drive them to school each morning on a Royal Enfield 500. The bus service that ran from our hometown village of Arambol to the school was fully booked and honestly, they loved rolling down the Indian roads on the back, and front, of that classic bike.
But then we had the baby, little Vita came along and people started telling us that we would have to curb our travels now she was here.
The fact that she was born at home in Ubud, literally on our couch in the living room, didn’t dissuade the naysayers. We were inspired, we also knew that a country like India doesn’t become so populated if it really is too dangerous for little ones, I mean seriously there are over a billion people living in an are that is one third the size of the USA. Interestingly, it is not as densely populated as Bali, where we lived for many years or it’s neighbouring island Java, but it is still very busy… Very very busy!
I don’t think the question ‘Should I take my baby to India’ ever crossed Vero’s or my mind.
she was just a tiny thing, but she loved our home there, she loved the food, she warmed to the people in such a wonderful way.
Heading back to Bali
That time in India was tough for us too. We were perpetually broke the whole time, we made and sold key rings on the beach to survive. Eddie did some modelling jobs. By then, my online teaching gig was not giving us anything. Frankly, it was a miracle that we managed to get back to Bali.
As the visas were coming to their end, we had less money than ever, we bought train tickets to Kerala, and a one-way flight as far as KL, it was all we could afford, and got on the train.
On the way down the coast, before our phones were out of range, we booked the cheapest hotel that we could find. That said it had a shuttle to the airport. I think the room for 5 cost us $15 altogether. We were happy to find a place so cheap near the airport. If all else failed, we could walk to the airport.
Down to pennies
We counted the last of the coins we had, it was just enough to buy the kids dinner. That’s how we spent our last $1.50. As you can imagine, it was a stressful moment and neither of us was exactly joyful. Vero was furious with me for our situation. She had every right to be. I wasn’t exactly performing well in the ‘provider for the family’ role. I took a punt and did something that I knew she would be even angrier with me about than our dire situation.
Just as things could really not get any worse, the next morning, we discovered was that the shuttle was not free. To make it worse, the airport was 12 miles away… And our flight was scheduled to leave at 6 am! It wasn’t till after waiting for an hour for the shuttle that we learnt all this. There was only one way we’re going to make that flight, by taxi and we were stone broke.
In a nick of time
Then at the last minute, Eddie piped up that he had $20 US dollars in his wallet. It was a present from his grandmother and it got us to the airport. When we arrived at the airport my phone rang, the thing I had done the evening before paid off. After reading my post in FB, a friend called and offered me a job. That was the thing that was worse for Vero. It was a really good job. In response to the post, he offered to send me an advance to get us home safe and sound, without any more drama.
By the time we arrived in KL, there was $5000 in my account a hotel and tickets on to Bali booked for the next day.
Disaster averted, the kids were none the wiser and I had a stable job suddenly (and was back in the good books with the the wife again!) Phew!
The whole thing taught me a huge lesson, both of us learnt it actually… the lesson was
Never be ashamed to ask for help
there was a second lesson, well maybe more of a reminder… When it is the darkest, that’s when everything will start to get better!
Are we irresponsible… Maybe, do we get through… Yes. Are we happy… Definitely. Do we trust each other… Implicitly.
We have our troubles, but we know we can count on each other through thick and thin, we have been there for each other through the toughest and darkest ofttimes and not just survived them but thrived as a result of them.
Don’t be scared to take risks, because it is the risks that define you as a person and as a couple.
So I guess I didn’t talk too much about the baby in India, so I will tell you this. If you have a little one and you aren’t sure whether it is ok or not to go to India, my advice is…