While I was on vacation, I received word that I had been invited to be a guest at TED India 2009. Tonight I completed the registration and made it official. My tickets are purchased and plans are being laid.
When I mentioned to my dad that I was almost certainly going to India, he told me that he had always wanted to go and got this far away look in his eye. I instantly extended an invitation to him, hoping that he would accept, but aware that it was a big lift for him. I was happily surprised when my Mom started to encourage him and he gradually agreed that this was the chance of a lifetime. Of course my parents have this habit of dreaming about things in a way that looks to outsiders like resolve, so I was optimistically skeptical until last week when we bought our plane tickets.
Planning this trip with my dad is doubly exciting because it feels like one of the trips he and I used to plan when I was young (though clearly on a whole different scale). These early adventures were bike trips (from 2 days to 2 weeks long) on Cape Cod, in Maine, Quebec, Montreal, Seattle, Victoria, and Vancouver . I remember them as a coming of age experience as well as a deep bonding experience for my dad and I. This trip has all of the same promise, and a strange new element. First, and most obvious, its going to be in India. We’ve both read a lot about the place. We’ve read enough to know that we could never read enough to prepare us. Also I’m the dad now, and he’s the grandfather. There’s no coming of age this time, but I don’t doubt that there will be a great deal of bonding. I don’t want to project too much so I’ll just finish by saying that I am literally shaking with anticipation.
So the rough schedule is as follows
Oct 31st – Leave SFO
Nov 1st – Arrive HKG around 5pm find a place to stay
Nov 2nd – Depart HKG around 2pm. Arrive BOM 6:30pm
From Mumbai catch an overnight train to Bangalore and then connect to Mysore
Nov 3rd – Arrive in Mysore
Nov 4th – Pre-conference Tours of Mysore and TED University
Nov 5th – 7th – TED Conference
Nov 7th – Catch a night train to Hampi (via Bangalore)
Nov 8th – 9th – Explore the ancient ruins of Hampi
Nov 10th – 11th – Explore the beaches, architecture, and cuisine of Goa
Nov 12th – Travel to Mumbai
Nov 13th – 14th – Negotiate the bazaars, discover the temples, and get lost in Mumbai
Nov 15th – Fly home
My head is already spinning and I haven’t even started packing. Even though I’ve traveled extensively in Europe, the US, and Caribbean, for some reason this seems like the grand kickoff to a life of travel. If you’re even an occasional forgeover follower, I strongly recommend that you tune in regularly from November 1 – 15 2009. Unless the promises of easy internet connectivity are greatly exaggerated, I’ll be updating the blog frequently (and possibly Twitter and Facebook too).