When I got the call that the plan was to go to Bhutan in June, I laughed. It was mid march and I was at a relative's place in Mangalore. The idea of my old college group going to Bhutan was hilarious. As with most groups, coordinating and going anywhere isn't easy, going to Bhutan sounded downright impossible. So when I was asked if June 10th was fine I continued to laugh. A 10-day trip? Absolutely, it's not like it'll ever happen. It was even the first ever trip with friends for one of the girls in the group, because who starts their travels on a normal drive or weekend getaway when you can directly go abroad, sounds realistic, especially for someone who isn't allowed for a weekend away from home. It was only when the flight tickets landed in my inbox after hectic negotiations in April that I had to stop laughing and come to terms with the fact that this is actually happening.
Planning started in earnest the following month. In earnest being, it was a whole lot of bargaining about dates, budget and the amount of leave to take. 3 days needed, sounds reasonable. But if we include another day we can include white water rafting which is awesome, so it's 4 days now. But if we're taking 4 days of leave why not make it 5 and take the whole week off. HR and our managers will appreciate the easier scheduling after all. And so the dates were set at as 10th to 18th.
I just got the job of booking the trains, which was a simple enough task. All hail IRCTC. The rest was taken care of by the group with little input from me, so I wasn't really sure what was going on. There was no real plan for the stopover in Kolkata, which sounded like a disaster waiting to happen to me, but it saved on budget and I, like the rest of the group, being cheap went along with it. It was finally done, the planning, the begging parents for permission in some cases and convincing parents that we are not joking and that yes, we are actually going abroad, for real this time, we swear, in other cases. Mainly mine. After haggling to settle most of the bills we owed each other all that was left was to actually go on the trip.