My wife Trini and I have been getting ready to go back on the road. Our upcoming trip will be to visit India, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
We have been preparing for the upcoming journey for several weeks. Planning gets quite challenging when one is going to travel through multiple countries.
There is the issue of aligning multiple flight schedules amongst multiple airline companies.
Next, there is the need to selecting the right clothing to take with us while keeping in mind that one will be in very different climates. The weather of Nepal should be the coolest temperatures since we will be at the base of the Himalaya mountains. Dubai, in UEA, will certainly be the driest climate. It can be quite a test to take only the essential clothing in two medium size suitcases for a trip that will be longer that a month.
Next comes the matter of reserving the hotels we will be staying in. We don't have to be concerned about planning for India and Nepal since we will be part of an educational tour group. Once we complete the tour and go on our own from Kathmandu, Nepal then we have to make all our traveling arrangements. It's a challenge to select a hotel in a city one has never visited. We normally ask persons who have visited these locations. We ask for advice of does and don'ts. Nevertheless, we proceed with making our travel plans.
The Internet is a wonderful tool that has helped us many times with the research and planning phases. We each set aside many hours to go through our laptops and look up information through many search engines. We also watch many video clips on YouTube to get an idea of the sights. The super information highway was very helpful when we prepared our travels through South America and China. We access a great deal of sites on a continual basis to prepare for this exciting journey.
Another vital item for planning is making sure one has all the traveling visas in order. Some countries require a special visa and others don't. Getting a tourist visa for India has proven to be the most difficult. To obtain one for Australia is the easiest. You go to their website, register, pay on-line and voil?á. We were in Australia seven months ago and our travel visa expired after six months so we have to reregister, and once again pay the fee. On this trip we will visit, for the first time, the western side of the continent to visit the city of Perth.
Persons that know we travel worldwide often ask about how we handle the money exchange. We exchange some U.S. dollars into the currencies of the countries where we will visit. We make sure we exchange into the smallest denominations possible. The cash we take with us in U.S. dollars, we find that we can usually exchange them in the hotels we stay in. We use our credit cards primarily when we make major purchases. Trini like to buy Lladros from countries we visit and many of the shops will simply mail them directly to our home. We have bought several large art pieces and we simply pay a bit more to have them shipped home. I'm reminded of the story where we visited a silk factory in Shanghai, China. We had just started our travels and some persons bought large silk bed covers. Multiple persons decided to carry them through the three week journey throughout China instead of having them shipped home. They came to rethink that decision after several days of lugging their packages around.
There are many more items that one needs to work with in order to prepare and one of the most critical is the issue of health. Safety is the other one but I'll discuss that in the following articles of the series.
Personal health is very important. One can easily get very sick from contamination in food. We are not used to the food preparation of other countries and it can quickly effect us and cut our journey short. When I mention the term health, I am also talking about body strength. Traveling is strenuous. One does a great deal of walking as one is constantly moving and exploring. It is important for us to keep going to the gym multiple times, each week, for several months in order to be and stay in shape.
Our research on traveling through these countries highlights that we must be exceptionally alert and careful about the foods and liquids we intake in India and Nepal. We visit our doctor on a regular basis for checkups and once she found out that we were visiting India, she recommended that we visit a nutritionist and have them educate us about how to prevent illness from food. Based on information and recommendations from the nutritionist, we have started to order a series of herb supplements to get our digestive systems prepared. When one travels to certain counties (Africa in particular) one may be required to also get vaccinations. That is not the case on this trip but we have to be very observant on our food intake.
The frame of mind one must have when one travels in areas where food preparation is quite unique and could have a severe negative effect is simply to be prepared to end the trip and come home. My friend Dr. Refugio Rochin travels regularly to Africa and seems to take his travels quite well. I learned that drinking the water is India might also be a challenge so I may have to switch and go on mainly drinking beer instead of bottled water. Oh well, what I must do, I must do for my health.
We are analyzing and doing everything possible to have a wonderful trip. We are exited and planning to see the Taj Mahal, Mt. Everest, Dubai and many wonderful places in-between. I'm especially looking forward to a ride on an Indian elephant and take a camel ride into the sunset in Dubai.
I thank the readers who followed our journey through South America, China, No. and So. Europe, New Zealand and Australia travels. I thank LatinoLA.com for posting the articles of my travel series.
I am always hopeful that my articles will inspire and motivated others to take out and dust off their suitcases and set their sites on discovering what is "on the other side of the mountain".
I welcome the questions emailed in from the readers about locations we will visit. I'll do my best to get an answer once I'm there and post it on the upcoming articles for this series.
Armando F Sanchez:
Armando F Sanchez is a national leadership speaker, writer, worldwide traveler and CEO of Armando F Sanchez Production Network. His organization produces global web cast and podcast programming. Author's website Email the author