Follow by Email

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

After months of planning, preparing and worrying about details of details, our journey of much more than a thousand miles began on a frosty Monday morning in Madeira.  We are relying on the kindness of friends and a few strangers to take this trip, and the first step was borrowing one of our neighbors to drive us to the Dayton airport in a Ford Flex borrowed from another neighbor since we sold our Flex last week to help make the trip happen.  We successfully navigated the never-ending construction on I 75 in Dayton and made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. 

We took this first step in our journey without our passports and without our visas for India and China.  That process got complicated when we put "media" under my occupation on the China visa application, and the Chinese aren't real fond of western reporters.  The company we are working with to process our visas, Travisa, told us last week that after getting held up with the Chinese consulate in New York, 
we would have the passports and visas by Thursday.  That became Friday, and then, on Friday we called and were told that things were actually in the hands of the Indian consulate and they weren't releasing ANY passports on Friday.  

That became what football coaches like to call a "teachable moment" in our lesson of just having patience and letting things play out, instead of having everything planned out in great detail far in advance.  That simply won't happen much on this trip.  Our agent at Travisa told us confidently on Friday that the package would go out Monday, and fortunately, we had some days still in the U.S. after we left Cincinnati that would allow the passports and visas to get to us before our scheduled departure from the States Wednesday night.  So, we left Dayton for the quick flight to Detroit and then a long flight to Los Angeles.  Marley and Ben continue to show what great travelers they are and hunkered down together as we headed to the West Coast.

Before we left Detroit, I realized that we wouldn't be landing at LAX until after the Travisa offices in New York closed, so I called our agent and she still didn't have any news, so I explained the time concerns and asked her to call me and leave a message so that when we landed we would know what the status of the package was.  Upon landing in Los Angeles, and powering up my phone, I had a message from Travisa saying our names were on the list of items to be processed, but it still wasn't a final confirmation.  

We grabbed our bags and tossed them in the rental car and headed south toward Cota De Caza to stay at the house of some friends of ours who had four kids, including triplets about a year ahead of when we had Ben and Marley.  They moved from Cincinnati about ten years ago and offered to house us for a couple of days before we headed overseas.  Our drive on I 405 was through some intermittent rain showers, which produced a full rainbow to the east.

We took that as a good omen and shortly after we saw that, we got the call from the visa agency that our passports and visas were, indeed, leaving New York and scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, giving us a solid 36 hours in our possession before leaving Wednesday night for Fiji.  Lesson in faith and patience learned.


  1. Love the rainbow!!! and Damn those Indians!!!! Pesky lil buggers... hee hee hee - Vinay

  2. Bon Voyage!!! We'll be watching and following!

    P.S. Were you required to all dress in black?

  3. That's not the most fun way to start your adventure... How's the Cota de Caza house? Isn't that the area that one of the Real Housewives of Orange County in? (Not that I watch that type of thing!!) :)

  4. Your adventure has begun...if Vinay hadn't notified the Indian authorities about you.....

  5. I'm already SO addicted to this adventure blog, photos, writing, stories, and lessons....can't wait for the next day! ;-)