In 2008, I sold my home, my car, my belongings, gave away my dog, packed a backpack and bought a one-way ticket to India. All I knew was I couldn’t live my life the way I had been living it. I possessed some sort of intuitive or healing gifts, and India was calling me to help uncover them.

A couple of months into the trip, a dear friend, Patty, came over to visit and travel with me. After we got kicked out of a Yoga ashram and felt up by a skeevy doctor, we decided to head to a safe haven, a beautiful beach town I was familiar with. We rickshawed our way to Varkala. And guys, my intuition started to unfold in CRAZY, unpredictable ways….(which is what it does and also why I’m trying to offer some options to help YOU if this is happening in your life – OPTIONS FOR HELP)

Patty and I go to The Juice Shack for dinner. Another woman we met briefly at the Ashram sits beside us. (She didn’t get kicked out.) She tells us of losing her father a year ago. Her loss trickles through me like tepid water dripping from an old bathroom faucet. My heart literally aches. Odd.

“It was a sudden loss,” she says. “Heart attack.”

Heart…wow. I gather myself. “Well, you couldn’t be in a better place to release and to grieve,” I tell her. Varkala is a Hindu pilgrimage site where people journey to release the ashes of loved ones.

I whisper to Patty, “I keep getting the name Babu.” Patty and I share all of our weird little thoughts with each other, our intuitions and premonitions because we need someone to either validate that it is intuition or either check us into the loony bin if we’re losing it. “Do you think it’s about her Dad?” she asks me. “I don’t know,” I say. “I don’t know why I am getting that name. Maybe it’s a nickname or something. I am definitely not going to say anything to this woman. That just feels odd.” We drop it.

Patty and I leave Varkala after a few days and head to Munnar to frolic in the greenness of the tea plantations and cool ourselves in the mountain air. After a rough, ten-hour bus ordeal, we arrive.

A local man approaches, “Rickshaw? Rickshaw?” he asks.

“Yes, but we are not sure where we are going,” I tell him.

“No problem. I take you to my friend’s place. You no like. take you somewhere else until you find a place.”

“Deal,” we say. We’re too tired to figure this out on our own. We could use the help. He stuffs our backpacks in, we climb in and off we go to his friend’s place. It’s perfect.

“Thank you,” we say to our magical helper. “What is your name?”

“Babu.” He says as he walks away.

Patty and I freeze. We are in the right place for sure!

The next day, Babu drives us to a lake and tells us, “Walk up the hill. To left. Beautiful view. You will like.” We begin walking, and walking – rounding our way up curve after curve, never really seeing a path or way to the left. As I’m walking up the hill with Patty ahead of me, I say, “Why am I suddenly thinking of The Little Mermaid?” “I don’t know,” she says, “Maybe our next tour guide will be named one of the character names from the movie, like Sebastian.” “Yeah, right,” I say laughing. “Not likely in India.”

We leave Munnar for Kumily. I get puked on. Seriously. We are on the bus, and I prop my arm on the windowsill. It is stifling hot. There is water or something splashing up, and the woman in front of me is leaning out of the window. I lean out of my window to see what is happening, what she’s looking at. Must be more interesting than this hot, smelly bus. My arm is splashed with the liquid that was NOT coming from the ground or the sky. I hurl myself back in the window and push to the aisle as fast as possible. The bus ticket taker comes running over and slams my window shut. The woman in front of me is horking. Of course. Of course she is. I can intuit a guide’s name, but can’t surmise a little wet splash is actually rotted, putrid throw-up until I am wearing it in chunks. Ugh. I doubt this intuition thing. A real intuitive wouldn’t get puked on.

I still want to hug that American behind me who gently tapped me on the shoulder and held out a Wet-Wipe with her small, apologetic, yet humored, smile. I love you wherever you are prepared warrior!

We get off the bus in Kumily and Patty has luck with the local guide who tells us about a nice place just a short walk from the bus station. We decide to go check it out. “Big, clean rooms,” he says over and over.

As we follow him down the road, Patty asks him his name.

“Sebastian,” he says.