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Travel notes from islanders’ journeys

India through the eyes of an eight-year-old

It has been a long, cold winter for many of us, with too much white for the preference of most rainforest dwellers. 

Some of us have been fortunate to enjoy beach time in sunny Hawaii or Mexico. Others have gone a bit farther out of their personal comfort zones, like the travellers featured in this section.

Here is snippet of Ty and Jill Kenney's trip to India:


Ty and his mom Jill, alongside his grandfather Keith, departed for India on Feb. 6. Jill says India had long been on her list of dream destinations, but her husband Michael was hesitant to join in the adventure. Ty, on the other hand, was game.

“Throughout the whole trip he took everything in stride,” says Jill. “I thought that there would be things he’d have a hard time with as we travelled, but that wasn’t the case. ”

From the moment their plane touched down after 28 hours of travel time, one of the shocking surprises for Ty about India was the lack of safety regulations. 

“The first thing I saw in India was a man brushing his teeth on the side of the highway,” says Ty. “But also, in the cab from the airport there were no seatbelts. There were people driving really fast on scooters without helmets. And we went on a boat and there were no life jackets!”

Ty also notes, there were a lot of cows in India. The journey, naturally, opened the door to a huge cultural and religious education. 

In the city of Varanasi, on the banks of the river Ganges, Ty saw human bodies being burned on the banks in the oldest of India’s cities. He also saw the bodies of animals simply thrown into the river, and he learned a few of the protocols
of cremation. 

“Children under the age of two don’t get cremated because they haven’t lived a full life,” says Ty. “Also, animals, pregnant women and people who get bitten by snakes, they get rocks tied around their ankles and are just put in the river.”

While Ty did try lots of new foods, he also found a breakfast staple that was not too unfamiliar and definitely welcome: banana Nutella pancakes. The three travellers were fortunate to not fall ill once during their trip.

“We both dealt with a stomach bug on our first day home,” says Jill. 

“I think maybe we got careless towards the end, a little cocky about the strength of our stomachs maybe. It was a really amazing trip especially when you are introducing someone to the world for the first time.”