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Old Jan 25th, 2011, 08:16 PM
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We started traveling with our daughters when they were babies By the time they were 13 they'd been several times to Japan (too expensive), Europe (too cold in the spring) Korea (too third world), to Mexico (too dangerous), Australia (too far), and Thailand (too dirty). Not once did they see it the way the state Department does. We were having too much fun! They were in college by the time we went to India, but believe me, it was their choice to head there!
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Old Jan 25th, 2011, 08:43 PM
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Hey guys I have just stumbled onto a live stream of India's Republic Day parade like From New Delhi, been watching it and just for the parade I can see the amazing diversity of the country.

I did not know today was such a massive event in India's history, amazing and still watching it live on NDTV.com I think it is.

There is a massive crowd there and it looks amazing, I wish I was in India already.
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Old Jan 26th, 2011, 12:26 AM
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Hi Jillian.

I have been very naughty and not posted trip reports from either of two latest trips (the first was before there was an internet--or desktop computers!) to India. (I did post one from St John, USVI, yrs ago--so i'm not completely hopeless!) However, i would be glad to write here the places i've been to in India, and once you decide a route, will gladly answer questinos. And I have photos which Daughter says she'll help me figure out how to post, one of these days.

Marija, you are right --my daughter turned 22 on our first "together" trip to India.

My point to Jill was not about dtr's age, but that she had heard and worried over many negatives also , e.g. " Ewwww...how can you go THERE?" and was amazed at how different it actually was. Or things were similar, but the reality was different when you are right there. This holds true no matter what the age. And of course, along with the glorious stuff, there will be "ewwww" moments!! Lcuy's and Althom's advice in this respect is excellent--it will not all be "pretty" but there are ways you can prepare the girls.

I am sending a link to a discussion of travel in India with kids, from the amazing Indiamike forum. Since you love absorbing eveything about India, this is the place for you. Thousands of contributors , and a very warm, welcoming, nonjudgmental group. ANY thing you can think of will have been answered and discussed on Indiamike.

http://www.indiamike.com/india-artic...dia-with-kids/

Dhans the author of this and related articles (he has two detailed trip reports about travel with his young kids) first told me on IM about Faith Pandian, a travel planner whose help he used for a part of a trip.

I love Faith's website ( indianpanorama.in ) Check her photo gallery and "newsletter" and itineraries for photos.
She has a young son with whom she travels in India--i think there are some photos on that website.
There are a bunch of other travel planners who are highly recommended on this forum, and i suspect most have children, which might help with ideas for yours!

Good for you, recognizing that sometimes the best school is outside the classroom!! The kids would enjoy seeing schools in the countryside, meeting the kids there. And if they are animal lovers...elephants galore!

Mostly, Jillian, do NOT give up your dream for you and your daughters!!!
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Old Jan 26th, 2011, 12:46 AM
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Thanks Cali would have loved to read your trip reports as well, I am going to have a look at the link you posted.

Like I have mentioned I have 8 weeks in India and we are planning to take it nice and slow, there is so much to do and see in India.

I am sure even two months will not be enough, Cali I am trying to hard to stay positive and talk to the girls, but I feel like it's a battle I am not going to win.

The closer we get to going the more nasty the comments are getting, I have had arguments with my family only to be told I am a bad mother for taking my children to such a dangerous place.

Is this true what they are saying that India is so dangerous and people are out to hurt you? I am starting to believe it as well and it's scary, so unhappy right now.
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Old Jan 26th, 2011, 04:41 AM
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I certainly agree that India is neither scary nor dangerous. I do wonder whether there's more going on. You said you're taking your daughters out of school for two months. Being seperated from their friends may be a scary prospect for the girls and contribute to their concerns about going to India. Do you have a plan for making sure they keep up with their classwork so they won't be behind when they return?

Are your family and friends reacting negatively just because you're going to India or are they reacting negatively to you taking off with the girls for two months during the school year? Would they think this was a great trip if you were going to Europe?

You mention traveling with an Indian friend. Do they have kids similar in age? Is this traveling really going to happen or are you responding to a casual invitation to come to India and we'll show you around?

I wonder if there are other reasons people are discouraging you from taking this trip?
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Old Jan 26th, 2011, 09:39 AM
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Marija- very good points. I also don't see any mention of a husband or travel partner so I'm wondering if the motivations to get away for so long may be different that just wanting to explore India.

Jillian, From your comments it doesn't appear that you have done a lot of foreign travel with your daughters before this. Perhaps you need to rethink this trip. Two months is a long time in to be out of school, and a long time in India.

On any long trip, no matter where you go, "road fatigue", homesickness and even run-of-the-mill illness can set you back. It is usually temporary, but can be a real issue especially if you are the sole "guide/comforter/fixer " for your group. I would be much more worried about those than kidnappings.

Maybe if you scale it back to a "Vacation" (two or three weeks) instead of an extended voyage (eight weeks during the school year), you would not be getting such negative feedback.
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Old Jan 26th, 2011, 12:59 PM
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Marija and Lcuy, VERYwise questions/comments/perceptions.

Jillian, you have asked this many times now, and had many answers:

"Is this true what they are saying that India is so dangerous and people are out to hurt you? I am starting to believe it as well and it's scary, so unhappy right now."

What country are you in Jillian? There is absolutely no info on your Fodors profile.

I too am starting to read between the lines things that are unstated, to the point where i wonder about motivation not just for this trip, but for writing on Fodors.

Have you stated your concerns elsewhere, on other Forums?

Some of what you say your family is saying, are so wild (being sold into slavery"--perhaps we'd understand this paranoia more if you could say where you are, and where your family is.

We can help with India travel, but we cannot help with family therapy.
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Old Jan 26th, 2011, 02:23 PM
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Marija to answer your questions first and they are all good questions, let me try and answer them.

1: Yes I do have plans for them to still do homework etc, as we are going to go for 2 months, I am also getting a tutor in India for the girls. But they will also have the greatest teacher and that is to be immersed in a culture like India's.

2: They are reacting this way because it is India, if this was Europe they would have no problems with it at all. In fact they have been encouraging me to take the girls to Europe instead of India.

3: My friends in India also have kids, similar ages to my daughters, she is my closest friend and moved back to India a few years ago, like I have said a few times India was never high up on my list. The more I researched other destinations across the world, the more India seemed to creep up on me.

I have been doing nothing but research on India for at least the last 9 months and the more I discover the more I want to get there. Initially my girls were very excited, I even got them to help me plan this trip as then they would enjoy it more etc.

lcuy I understand what you are saying, but my girls are well versed in travel, although only to the UK, which was about a 5 week trip during their school holidays.

I know the UK is nothing like India far from it, they have also had road trips with me and my husband around Australia and they were long trips as well and yes my husband is coming as well. But like a man he is no help in dealing with the family, he seems to think we should not tell them our plans etc, because of these reasons.

Cali I am in Australia, the problem is most of the family has never traveled, most of the things they do know about India seem to be from the western press, which in my opinions is very negative towards India.

My family is from a small town with the typical small town thinking, like I said I have done a lot of research, I have read so many trip reports from different points of view and nothing I have come across has raised alarms.

I understand there is a lot of poverty, dirty, pollution, population etc, but I also know there is also a lot of positives that out weigh the bad.

I am speaking to the girls and so is their father, he is like me never wanted to go to India, but the more he talked to some of his Indian friends and the more research he did, the more and more excited we have gotten.

I think we just need to keep the kids away from the more serious negative stuff being said, the good thing is that the girls have loved the photos, videos about India.

We have been taking them to Indian restaurants just as a prep and they are loving the Indian food, my oldest loves Bollywood and well which kid does not like monkeys, elephants etc. And don't worry I have also told them about the poverty, we have shown them and spoken to them about what they might see and prepare them the best we can.

I talk to my friend on skype quite often and the girls also get on and have a chat with her kids, good thing about the internet is that with a web cam the girls can even see the views from my friends house.

I hope I have answered some questions, I appreciate you guys taking the time to read and ask these questions as well, if there is anything more please feel free to ask.

And so no this is not just a casual trip planned at the last minute. India has sneaked up on us, I am amazed just through your trip reports and photos with this country and culture.
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Old Jan 26th, 2011, 10:08 PM
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Hey!

Thoughts about India may be scary, it is never a one-sided thing People in India are hospitable and nice, too! And you have a lot to see and good places to stay in.

The biggest proof of India being a credible country is the fact that a lot of industry groups like the Tatas aare known for their ethical handling and business ways
Do give India a try!
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Old Jan 27th, 2011, 12:16 AM
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You could start with showing this BBC documentary & Michael Wood's journey & the sequel(its just a tip of the iceberg),to your kids & specially to the 'detractors'
Don't miss the opportunity.Don't regret.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK0hM...eature=related
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Old Jan 27th, 2011, 03:01 AM
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Show the following Movies related to India, which will give clear picture to your daughters.

Indian Movies:

HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM, TAAL, PARDES, LAMHE, FANAA, NAMASTE LONDON, DIL CHAHTA HAI

This will give and Idea also and the look and feel. They will be eager to see India.

Regards,



Amit Kesari
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Old Jan 27th, 2011, 05:19 AM
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Thanks for your reply, Jillian. Guess you're not a hothead pulling her kids out of school in pursuit of some Indian boyfriend or guru. If that were the case, it would be easy to understand why your family and friends are eager to discourage you, spouting whatever nonsense they think of to give you pause.

Let's face the truth. Most people, not just rural Australians, think of India as a yucky vacation destination--poverty, filth, strange customs. Our friends and family didn't envy our vacation in India--they thought it was another bit of evidence that we are crazy. When you say you're going to Paris everyone wants to come along. When you say you're going to India, after some awkward questions, the topic shifts, even when you're talking to seasoned, well educated travelers.

You've made up your mind that you want to go to India. Just do it. Take this as an opportunity to talk to your girls about prejudice, about drawing conclusions based on rumor and not fact. It's never too early to teach children to be informed consumers of information. Whether it's the ridiculous claims about magical products they see on TV, or claims about kidnappings in India, discuss the factual basis for these claims, or lack thereof. Have the girls discuss their concerns with your friend who is on the ground in India. They're old enough to know that someone who is living in India knows more about India than folks in rural Australia.

It's natural that the girls are scared about this unglamorous- to- their friends adventure. Are they hiding their real fears behind the false claims they report?

I'll be waiting to read about your trip. Hope India meets your high expectations.
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Old Jan 27th, 2011, 02:06 PM
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Thanks Marija, we had a nice long talk to the girls last night, discussing the exact same things you have touched on. I told them it is not fair to judge anyone or anything on things people say.

Especially when these people haven't even been there, what is helping is the beautiful photos that a lot of you have taken and also so many great photos on the internet about India.

Also the oldest loves Bollywood and I have shown here a couple of Bollywood movies, we have tried to explain the things they will see in India, from the awesome, to the good, to the bad.

My girls are smart cookies, yesterday went very well, the middle child has Indian friends at school and she asked them a few questions and she came home smiling and asking me questions about India.

I told here that so many people travel to India with the children and they all come back happy and better for the experience. I think we are going to keep talking to them and trying to be honest with them.

I am sure they will love it once they are away from the negative comments etc, my 13 year old knows how to research, and she has been reading up on India at the library, on the net and the more she finds out for herself the more exicted she is getting.
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Old Jan 27th, 2011, 02:13 PM
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With all due respect, I think you are now OVER planning this trip! One would think you're going to Mars.
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Old Jan 27th, 2011, 02:23 PM
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No not over planning just making sure.
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 03:59 AM
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My first trip out of the country was at the age of 19; I went to the (then) USSR. As a citizen of the US, I had a lot of folks try with the scary stories ("Oh, they're going to keep you there" {RIght. Who would want to?} and so forth.) It was wonderful and amazingly educational, and the experience vs. expectations stood me in good stead when I went to India some twenty years later. I will say that after three weeks I was a bit more ready for home than I generally am on a trip, as there's such a sensory overload, but I'd go back in a minute. Oh, and I was traveling alone and independently. Here's my trip report if you need yet one more (there are pictures linked, too) to show your girls how fascinating India is: http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...rip-report.cfm
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 10:17 AM
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Hi,
I just wanted to respond as I have had the same questions and comments about me taking my 21 year old daughter to India. When people ask "why would you go to India?" I just answer "because we want to!!" end of subject!!!!

We have always traveled (they have been to Europe, Asia, etc) with our children and although we stay at nicer hotels and see the highlights of each country we always venture to the areas where it is not so great. We stayed in San Diego and went across the border to Tiajuana (back when it was safe) and went to the part of the city that was not so great. There were women sitting on the sidewalks selling dolls, trinkets, etc. and they had newborn babies lying on the sidewalk behind them. My daughter's eyes were like saucers wondering what was going on - which we explained.

This is a good opportunity for your children to see that not all children live like them and that we all have to do our part to make life a little better for other children. I like the idea of making a donation before you go so they can see what they can do to help.

We are spending one night in Karauli at the Bhanwar Vilas Palace - this family runs a school which we will be visiting! This is what our trip is about - we will be seeing the highlights but also want to see the everyday life in India. You are fortunate to know people there as it will make your trip much easier.

I think you just need to tell your children that everywhere you go you have to be aware - it's just not India - it's any country you visit. Seriously, I feel much safer going to India than my last trip to London!!!
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 12:13 PM
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Amy, i said it when first reading, and say it again:thanks for your great TR, and for referring to it again, so others may see it.
I too have not been to Rajasthan, and am almost embarrassed by that. Rajasthan. Fourth trip is in planning stages and guess what? Still no Rajasthan! Want to go, but it never seems to fit in.
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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Thanks Amy, lipgirl, I have read your trip report and so have my oldest daughter and she loved it. It was a great report, we are leaving in just under two weeks.

The girls are starting to get excited again and have already started packing, I think the help from this site and reading and looking at all the many beautiful photos has convinced my 13 year old.

The other two are just excited to see monkey, cows, elephants, camels etc. Thanks for all the positive comments from everyone on here, it has made talking to the girls a lot easier.

My friend in India was also a big help along with her family and children, I have told my daughters that every country has problems and you should not judge people or place on rumors and innuendo.

We are looking forward to traveling around Mother India and to show my girls the how great this country is, it has to be easily one of the greatest multicultural countries on Earth.

I will try to blog on here, as I have read so many amazing trip reports from all of you, although I doubt highly I can hold a candle to your writings.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 09:05 PM
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I hope that this gets to you before you leave. Two years ago my dh 73 and I 62 spent a month in Northern India. We have traveled all over the world, and this was my all time favorite. I hope that the girls will always remember it. It is colorful, vastly differently culture. I did not read the whole blog, but I hope that you can spare the extra and go a bit upscale. The only crowded place that I would be aware and hold hands is Deli. Oh... monkeys are NOT your friends.
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