Camel Safari

I decided to rope two single travelling girls (who both happened to be from America) into renting two mopeds to travel into the middle of the desert for a camel safari.

I dislike tours with a passion and I feel restricted from doing what I want to do. I don’t like having to follow a program like sheep as we do the most touristic things possible for a high price. After having told a slight fib about having driven plenty of bikes in the past, I finally got them both in agreement. It was an automatic and so how tricky could it have been? Well it turns out to have been a little in the small back streets of busy Indian roads but as soon as we were on our way to the Sam sand dunes, it was like riding a peddle bike.

And hour and a half or so later, we came across a camel safari business who were willing to take us out on camels for the night. 500 Rupees and a bit of drama later, we were all on our camels on the way to nowhere. My camel was called Michael Jackson, which I loved seeing as I have always been obsessed with the singer since I could remember. I always used him at school when being asked to write about ‘my hero’ and have still got his tape which was the first ever tape which I owned (along with The Beetles double cassette).

The heat during the day was immense and I was surprised that I didn’t end up looking as red as their sunset. Four hours and a very sore bottom later, we arrived at the destination in which we were to spend the rest of the night. A fire was created and dinner was cooked for us. It really did feel perfect to me just being able to share stories and giggle over an open fire with nothing but glasses of whisky and the stars which filled the night sky. I find it strange, yet pleasant how close and open you can get to people when you travel. It’s always a mutual thing, which is lovely. Since I was young, I never liked to openly and honestly discuss even the simple of things like my parents divorce, general family issues, love, loss, pain and suffering of any kind. And I don’t even mean any of this in the dramatic sense as at the end of the day I think I’ve had a great life and I wouldn’t have wished it to turn out any other way. It’s just that I never liked to express negative emotions to others. It was as if I was ashamed of doing such. As if being sad or feeling down meant that I was failing in one way or another. But that’s not the case. I have since learnt that it’s okay to feel upset. It’s okay to cry about things which aren’t as you would have liked them to be. It’s okay to get angry and scream to the open air to let all the pain out.

So we drink and share into the night until we decide it’s bed time in which we then sleep directly under the stars. It’s at this point I look directly up and take a deep breath in. I hold it for a while. And breathe out. I then whisper to myself ‘I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now’. And it was true. And it felt great.

Being as secondary school, people always ask you what you want to be and do when you’re older. Where do you see yourself when you’re 20? What about 25? 30? I never knew the answer and it’s always bothered me. I had no idea whether I was to still be studying at 20. Or if I were to be working in a small corner shop. But I NEVER imagined that I would be in India. I never thought the Taj Mahal was something I was going to see in a lifetime, let alone when I’m 20! To think about this gives me a great sense of achievement. It’s a fabulous feeling to be able to say to yourself ‘Yeah….I’m doing this!’ It’s also a great feeling to feel that I’m NOT a failure just because I decided against going to university. Honestly, ‘failure’ was the word that circled my head when I made the decision to turn to travelling instead. I felt as though I were letting my family down. But given the fact that my father got himself a PhD in chemistry, it’s not surprising that I would feel this way. In the last few years I have even discussed this with my father and it’s so reassuring to know that even though at the beginning he admits that university was something he wished for my brother and I to attend, he’s delighted with what we have accomplished from travelling instead.