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Why I’m travelling to India - without my family

The Big Squeeze: Sometimes it’s best to go solo.

Graeme’s son London wait for a train at New Delhi Railway Station in 2012.

Graeme McRanor/Metro

Graeme’s son London wait for a train at New Delhi Railway Station in 2012.

I love to travel - and am determined to do much of it with family in tow - but sometimes it’s best to go solo.

Today I’m en route to Vrindavan, India for Holi Festival. 

If you haven’t heard of it, you’ve probably seen pictures. A Hindu celebration, the “festival of colours” signifies the triumph of good over evil, the end of winter, arrival of spring, gratitude for a bountiful harvest, forgiveness, and more. 

The Big Squeeze:

Basically, it’s a bunch of people throwing paint at each other. And I’ve been commissioned to write a travel feature about it.

Which is why I’m going alone.

Work assignment aside, traveling with children is tough. I should know, having already done quite a bit of it.

My eight-year-old son London, for example, has already been to India. Twice. The first time was when Suzy and I brought him on a month-long overland adventure when he was four; the second was another month-long trip last year. In between those trips, the three of us backpacked through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Each place was amazing. Tiring, too. They’re all, at times, challenging countries to navigate. And some parents would never consider it. For them, an all-inclusive in Mexico might be the ticket. Or Disneyland. But I’m keen for my kids to see as much as the world as possible and determined to do so when we can. My philosophy is simple: if you have an opportunity to go somewhere, take it. 

Occasionally, that means leaving the family - which now includes infant daughter Dylan.

Suzy’s okay with it. London and his mom, too. And I’m grateful to them (and my parents) for picking up the parenting-slack during the 10-day absence.

But when the prospect of the trip was posted on Facebook (as one does) in January, my friend Susan surely summed up what some were thinking: “And with a wee new baby at home?! God bless Suzy!! I would have killed you for even thinking it!”

And yet, I live.

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