It's been awhile since I have visited this little corner of the universe.
Ballroom has been out of my life for over a year. Life has basically consisted of working way to much. However, my international travel has picked back up this year and my passport has been getting exercised.
Sunday I returned from a holiday in northern India. I booked the two week trip at the beginning of November, about a month before departure.
I have never experienced such an intense spiritual time. My world truly changed during my time overseas. There were fourteen travelers and as usual I am the youngest by a mile. The tour director is around my age; a very attractive Indian Muslim with a fabulous funny personality. For the first week, we were all business. In Jaipur, we had an afternoon free and I tried to get him to do something with me but he didn't bite. So I assumed he wasn't in to me.
The days continued. We had a lunch at a women's textile co-op and so myself and a pair of divorced sisters in their 60s sat with this Indian woman who was 43 and looked oh so older and married for 30 years. We were trying to talk but us white girls don't speak Hindi and this lady didn't speak English. We got a few things across but I yelled for the tour director to join us so he could act as translator. The woman was mortified that the three of us women were unmarried and without children. She posed the question, "what's the point of your life if you don't have children?" I relayed to her that I had wasted many years on a Punjabi man (a.k.a. the Southern Gentleman) in a relationship that went nowhere. Well that opened the proverbial can of worms. Since I was then open to Indian men, then Rajasthan men were hands down better. We bantered on about the fact that all her husband's brothers were married and if only there were one left for me. We laughed and the women's co-op was out to find me a suitable husband.
That night at the luxury camping site, we then played cricket and I discovered I was really good at cricket despite the fact I was always dreadful at baseball in school. The day had been full of me being the star as the tour director pulled me out to carry water on my head, make tea, and of course the cricket game star player. Before dinner, there was happy hour and the tour director sat next to me and we talked. Honestly, he went from not really paying attention to me to being earnestly interested in me - I chalk it up to my Punbaji confession earlier in the day. We continued on at dinner together. Tour Director and I just clicked.
That night we had a local musical group come out to sing traditional songs around the fire. A few of the men danced and of course made me come up and dance. My Bollywood dance lessons paid off and I had a great time. Never before have I been so confident and so all in, especially in the dancing space. I had such an amazing time.
Tour Director continued to pursue me. At our next stop, I was asked to his room after hours to have a drink; he doesn't drink but he'd make me rum and cokes. We talked and talked and continued to discover how very much we have in common.
At the next stop, Tour Director and I spent time after the dinner and night activities talking in his room; at the end of our evening, he hugged me. Lord, I swooned in that man's arms. Never before have I been held with such intensity, such strength, and such care. My heart leapt in my chest and I never wanted to leave his arms. The following evening we went out for the evening to a small film festival. Again we had a great time. Afterwards we went back to his room and talked. Time would simply fly and it would be later before either of us realized it. That night when I left we hugged and after ending our embrace he looked at me. The air was still, the silence palpable. Tour Director asked if he could kiss me and I said yes. OH MY! was that a kiss. A kiss that took my breath away. and it would be the first of many that would change my world.
The night before I was scheduled to return home, we decided to see how much it would cost if I extended my ticket one week. It wasn't expensive, so we did it. I would extend my trip a week and spend it with him. Never have I done anything that impulsive, without a care for consequence. All I knew was that he and I were having a marvelous time and I needed to see where this was heading.
We spent the week together and it only confirmed what I felt from the beginning - this is the man I am supposed to be with. I know it and he knows it too. I have never felt so open and fearless in telling a man how I feel; answering his questions. He and I have led the same life only on opposite sides of the world.
Leaving was so incredibly difficult. Our last night together, he held me so tightly the entire night, refusing to let me go. The past few days have been tough. Tour Director and I have been open about the gaping hole we both feel.
I'll be exploring my holiday more in the following days.