- Can I miss Halloween? Yes, the kids won’t even notice I’m gone and there is less candy to have to share if I’m not stealing their Butterfingers and Laffy Taffys.
- I don’t love to fly. Can I really do a 16-hour flight, which was only one of seven legs? Yes, I had a colleague who traveled with us, and I felt safer with her knowing she’s traveled the world and was an expert. Plus, where else can you have uninterrupted peace and quiet for 16 hours straight?
- Are Indian airlines safe? This one was crippling me. Turns out, the three local airlines were safe, friendly, and best of all — uneventful. The airports were another story.
- What if I get sick and have to be hospitalized in India and can’t come home as planned? This was a stretch but something I always worry about. I did see plenty of hospitals though so that was comforting.
- What if something happens to one of the kids while I’m gone? Then my husband can deal with it, and I can hop on the next flight back if needed.
- Will I be able to adjust to the 9.5-hour time difference? There was no way to know until I tried. The biggest time zone difference I’ve ever had to adapt to was five hours which I thought was difficult. I never adjusted completely, and when I did sleep, it wasn’t solid sleep. But, I slept when I could and managed to get 4–5 hours a night.
- What if I can’t eat anything because I don’t like the local food? My colleagues laughed at me because I brought a carry-on bag full of snacks. Ramen noodles, peanut butter crackers, cashews, popcorn, candy, etc. I ended up having to leave most of it behind because I never needed it and needed the luggage space once I bought gifts. The truth is, I gained weight because I found plenty of Indian food to eat and am now missing some of my new favorite Indian dishes.
- What if I panic mid-flight? My doctor prescribes me meds to fly and most of the time I take them just to make the flight more bearable. I had my meds handy just in case I felt extra anxious or wanted extra help dozing off, but to be honest, I never needed them.
- Is it too late to back out? Probably. My colleagues would understand but I would always regret not taking the risk and passing up on what I now know to be an amazing and memorable trip.
Two things that were always in the back of my mind were that if something drastic happened, I could always hop on a plane and head home. Plus, my family and friends were just a phone call away. Granted, it may have been the middle of the night for one of us, but I FaceTimed often and my little one got a kick out of it being morning where I was and still nighttime in Jacksonville.