Jet Lag Hits!

 

It was bound to happen.  Jet Lag, Drop Box isn’t loading, internet speed is slow.  Just too frustrated to go on.  I will catch you up when I can. 

But I did realize in all that, you hadn’t seen a single photo of my amazing grandfather.  Here Grandpa. 

Grandpa in New Dehli

Also, Grandpa did a great graphic of our trip and thought I would share that real quick so you will know where we are going.  Fantastic, right?

Map of 2016 India Trip with Atticus

India is a very large country and we will see a large portion in a months time and yet see such a small part…..

You are thinking what I am thinking!

Another trip.  Of Course.

Please honk! – New Delhi

Horn Please

Driving in New Delhi

Thoughts that don’t seem to go through Indian drivers heads

· Why is this guy honking at me?

· Did he just cut me off?

· Pick a lane bro!

· Man that guy almost hit me!

· Why are there people walking where I am driving?!!?!

· My car is unique and stands out in a parking lot

Traffic in Delhi

All kidding aside watching our driver yesterday was interesting to say the least. Watching him drive makes me appreciate the road ways in Texas.

 

police car Delhi

Lotus Temple

 

We left the hotel and went to the Lotus Temple, a Bahá’í House of Worship.  The outside is beautiful and amazing and is made of white marble.

Lotus Temple

After that, we went to a Hindu temple, The Akshardham Temple.  This Temple  does not allow technology inside the gates. It was interesting getting inside the walls as the security is a cross between prison security meets theme park security meets airport security. I was stupid and forgot I had a flash light in my pocket.  Thankfully the guard was nice and let me pick up my flashlight on the way out.

Akshardham Temple

 

If you want to go inside the main temples you have to remove your shoes.  Once you are inside, it is all hand craved walls and gold everywhere.  It was just beautiful.  This Temple and the Lotus Temple are both fairly new.

Akshardham temple is worth checking out if you are ever in New Delhi. Over 70% of tourist visit here.  I would recommend Googling it.  There are pictures online of the temple and it is really beautiful.

I stopped taking pictures after we left the Akshardham.  I had only slept 3-4 hours since since leaving on Wednesday (we saw the temple on Friday 02-05-16). I just couldn’t see straight anymore. When I got back to the hotel at 4pm I laid down and passed out until 4am on Saturday.

Next up is a guided tour of Delhi.  You can bet I will be taking a million photos just to try and give you a small taste of what we are seeing over here. This place is incredible.

Atticus James

India – (Not) The Final Frontier

Stardate: 212016. Bags are like 99% packed…. I think. Just remember everyone, if we forget something on this trip, we are blaming Kevin. Sorry Kev.

I now have a will. I’m now “that guy”. While talking with a family friend he made a comment saying that after a week of India I will want to be home. I think since we aren’t staying in one location for more than 1 or 2 nights, I won’t be sitting still long enough to even think of home.

Tech Free? Not!

I am bringing my phone and laptop so I can keep in contact with family and blog/vlog. Part of me wishes I could just let everything go and just be there. No camera to take pictures, no phone to call family, no laptop to upload pictures and content.

It isn’t because I don’t want to be in touch with people. It’s that I want time that belongs solely to me and my grandfather. I know that the essence of this trip really is that, but it would be nice to just be tech free for a day or a trip.

Just Ready to Be There!

My family Is being awesome about my leaving. I am trying to tone down the true level of excitement I have so I don’t burn them talking about it. As the hours tick closer to takeoff, I am just ready to be there.

I have some goals for this trip

· Come home with a pet Himalayan Blue Sheep

· Do not come home half eaten by the tigers

· Do not get bitten by any snakes

· Take amazing vlogs

· Spend time with family I have never met

· EAT ALL THE FOODS (insert meme here)

· Do not come home with a bride

· Figure out how to make yearly work trips like this

The Food

I made a bad decision last night and decided to look up different foods in the regions we will be staying. I did this on an empty stomach and I was ready by the third page to go to the market and pick up all the ingredients to try everything I saw. Not smart to do at 3am.

Mango-Chutney-Chicken-1-finalMango Chutney Chicken

AJ’s Trip to India – Bringing Home a Bride?

Bringing Home a Bride?

This week has been filled with anticipation for the adventure ahead. My grandfather has been joking with his friends that the whole point of this trip is for me to bring home a bride… Thanks -_- Grandpa!

Trip Needs a Richter Scale?

I have been out of the country before(obviously), but never on a trip of this magnitude. I am packing light, so we will just do our laundry as need be, in India.

A380

We are flying on the A380. This is just one more part of this trip that makes it epic! My best friend and his father are plane nuts and sometimes I am just plain nuts myself… wait a minute… I digress. I told them that I was flying on the big bad boy and my best friend is a bit jealous. He has been a world traveler his whole life and still wants to take a trip in one.

Modes of Transportation

I have been looking over the itinerary and it reads something like this: plane, rickshaw, car, bus, plane, train, boat, plane car and bus ride. Needless to say, we will be busy traveling to many awesome locations. Hey, any production studios want to pay for me to scout awesome locations? I only charge $1.5 million per location per movie. Cheap, cheap, cheap!

What Did I forget?

I am sitting here just waiting for it to be time to leave thinking, sh*t did I pack everything?

119401137

AJ’s Trip of a Lifetime –

India: Introduction

My Paternal Grandfather is an Asian Indian born American; He traveled to the United States of America when he was 18. My grandmother is a typical American and so growing up my dad and aunts were raised, for the most part, as a regular American family. They had very little influence from the Indian culture. Needless to say, I am a born and raised Texan, and not all that much Indian.

A Long Distance Relationship

I lost my maternal Grandfather when I was 13. This opened my eyes to the fact that grandparent’s (at least in my case) are worth spending time with and getting to know. Since about the age of 17, I have been using video chat to keep in contact with my Grandfather who lives in California. Since we don’t get to visit often, this has let me get to know him and have him as a big part of my life. Most of our calls are about things like Apple products and talking about what is new here. What it really did, was show him that I was interested in getting to know him.

One Last Journey Home

I tell you my history so I can tell you about my upcoming trip. This past summer my Grandfather decided that he would like to take one last trip to India before he dies. He isn’t on his death bed or seemingly anywhere near it. He has decided that this is the best time to go, while he is still of sound body and mind.

A Priceless Trip

After he decided he wanted to go, he invited me on the trip. Forgetting the financial standpoint, this is truly a priceless trip. While it is true I would never be able to afford this trip on my own, it is even more priceless because I am going with him. I am going with someone who knows India and will introduce me to family I have never met. I will be able to see a country that is just incredible.

February 3rd – February 26th

My Grandfather is funny; when he invited me to go, he told me that it would be a surprise as to where in India we are going and what we are going to be doing. As we have gotten closer to our departure he still wants to keep it a surprise, but like someone who is bad at keeping a secret he keeps sharing pieces about the trip. He wants me to look up the places we are going and I have to say WOW!

Vlogging and Updating

I want to vlog while I am in India but I do not know what my upload ability will be. I am also planning on keeping up with a daily journal of what is happening on our amazing adventure! When I get home I will upload whatever footage I have that I wasn’t able to upload over there.

The Compass Points Southwest

The Southwest Airlines Review

As someone who travels enough to have a go to Airline but doesn’t fly enough to rack up the 25,000 miles needed per year for the “elite status” American Airlines offers I can tell you this, if you fly less than 25,000 flying miles per year Southwest is the place to start!

Southwest AirlinesSouthwest Logo

I live 20 minutes either way from DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field so I have all the options of airlines open to me without having to drive forever to get to the airport. Nothing to me is more stressful before a flight than having to drive two hours to get to the airport and still have to deal with TSA. 

Southwest is awesome for a lot of reasons

  • · No assigned seating
    · No first class
    · Two Free checked bags
    · $72 Flights
    · Peanuts!?!

I have flown first class a number of times and honestly it has always been on short flights. So the biggest upgrade was the bigger seats and warm cookies. If you fly a lot, yes this is a nice perk to have but if you aren’t willing to cough up the upgrade fee why be reminded of the warm cookies?

Southwest doesn’t fly everywhere as you can see from the map below. However they do fly to a lot of airports.

Southwest Airports

The bulk of my travels are to LA, Las Vegas and on the rare occasions Phoenix. When I make my way out west I have two options with LAX or John Wayne (Orange County). This is really helpful for me as I have business near both and family within 30 minutes of either. Southwest fly’s out of both always making my trips less stressful.

I avoid Sky Harbor Phoenix at all cost, just due to how many bad experiences I have had with layovers, TSA and the general overall lay out of the airport. I have family located there and so sometimes I have to man up and just go. It is comforting knowing once I deal with all of that, it is Southwest I am flying with in case I have I have to stay longer than expected or you have flat on the way to the airport or TSA holds you up etc…. Southwest allows you to call and cancel your flight. You can then rebook your flight and reuse the fare that you paid on your flight. You just have to do it before your flight leaves. This is a huge bonus and one that I keep in my back pocket in case of emergencies. I just don’t know of any other airline that offers this.

Rewards Programs and Casey Neistat

As I said I don’t fly enough to reach the base level rewards program with someone like American Airlines or any of the others who offer big perks to frequent flyers but I do want to talk about them for a minute. (Southwest does have a rewards programs where you can earn free flights)

I have been a follower of Casey Neistat for years and I have always enjoyed his work. He filmed this a few years back in regards to AAdvantage and how he has his Executive Platinum status. As of late in his daily vlogs he has been sharing a few more perks such as golf carts to take him from one terminal to the next, the airport lounges and some of the other benefits.

Emirates

I am excited to share that I will be visiting for the first time, my grandfathers’ homeland of India. The trip is coming up in February 2016 with a six day layover in Dubai. I will be going with my grandfather for three weeks. I will be joining up with him in LA for our flight to Dubai with Emirates on their A380. I am very excited about experiencing a plane this size and an airline that offers the amenities that they do.

My flight to LA will of course be with Southwest as they offer two free checked bags and I intend on flying out with some camera gear and my luggage.

Final Thoughts

If you know you are going to be flying enough to rack up the miles, loyalty to someone like American Airlines does put you into the elite status and give you awesome benefits. It seems to me that most airlines have just never returned to being about the passenger. They want to charge you an arm and a leg for a checked bag and they can’t even muster up the cost to give free peanuts with your drink. 

Southwest is one that truly stands above. They aren’t someone who is catering to just the elite and frequent flyers. They have a funny business model that people like Frontier Airlines just doesn’t get. Southwest makes money by making sure people want to fly with them again! WHAT?!?

Are they crazy?! They want you to come back by offering free checked bags every time, cutting out the ELITE and offering no bullsh*t $72 flights?! So they don’t fly everywhere and they don’t offer flights to overseas but they aren’t that type of airline. They want you to fly with them again by making your flight as easy as possible from what they can control.