A while back I wrote a blog about attitude and the impact that attitude can have on your outlook. This is so essential to whether a trip or vacation is a success that I decided to write another one. After all, just about the only guarantee you have when it comes to travel is that something is bound to go wrong. You can either get all negative about it or you can suck it up and look upon it as a positive. The ole’ glass is half empty or half full choice.
Anyone who has ever traveled to India can tell you that that country is full of ordeals and adventures. My first day in that country began with my waking up to the sound of pigeons in my hotel room. Not surprising as the window had no pane or screen, only bars. “Good thing my room is secure” was my attitude.
Having no plan, I accepted the hotel owner’s offer of a five-day excursion with my own private car and driver. (Very little price my friend!) The driver spoke only his native Indian tongue and was absolutely not a candidate for “Safest Driver of the Year” award. “Communication is going to be challenging but fun, and what a great deal” was my attitude. He cursed at nearly everybody we passed, often drove on the wrong side of the road and gleefully pointed out to me activities that are illegal in nearly every country. “This guy might actually get me killed, but he really knows his stuff” was my attitude.
It was a five-day road trip going from New Delhi to Agra to Jaipur. I would be visiting the Taj Mahal, some ancient forts and some shops. No one informed me about the wildlife part of the trip. On my first day, as we were driving I saw camels, sheep, goats, water buffalo, rats, bats, feral cats, monkeys, a dancing bear and a three-legged dog. I saw all of this from the backseat of that car. Did I mention that we were not taking a drive through a zoo or wildlife park? This was unabashedly India. “They will never believe this back home” was my attitude.
We arrived in Agra and got to the Taj Mahal just as the sun was starting to dip towards the horizon. Being at the Taj at sunset was a moment I will never forget. While I was there, my driver was in some back alley with his friends drinking beer. Lots of beer. If you remember his driving habits from before, you’ll understand why I didn’t realize he was in no condition to drive as we drove to a restaurant. Same driving habits, different level of sobriety. We got there in one piece and ordered dinner. It was only when he passed out and his head dropped face first into his coconut chutney that I realized he was gassed. “Poor guy, he drove six hours today through some of the most chaotic traffic I have ever seen and he’s away from his wife and kids” was my attitude.
Five days of nearly the same behavior from him, being accosted by beggars, dealers and “tour guides,” being laughed at for asking for soap and general mayhem, disorientation and confusion left me exhausted. All of this could have been an ordeal. What a mind-blowing experience! “I can’t wait to come back to India” was my attitude.
If we anticipate that life will throw us a few curve balls now and then, we can be in a better frame of mind to deal with the inevitable. The success of the outcome depends on the attitude of the individual.
You can utilize these helpful hints about behavior management from New York to New Dehli.