We eventually decided to travel to India because my late husband had memory.

As my father dangerously approached falling out of the doorless 4×4 as it swerved to avoid an oncoming truck, we all yelled in unison.” Keep on!” We knew this would be our next family vacation along, and we were on our way to a lion safari in Rajasthan in 2017. My father, Atherton, had been diagnosed with early beginnings Alzheimer’s disease two years earlier, aged 64. Our relationship was based on an adventurous vacation that was both risky and enthralling. I felt compelled to continue traveling with him as much as it was possible because it defined us as a few and as individuals. We’d visited Myanmar, Mexico and Belize, but I was aware this trip to India may be our last one up. Before the diagnosis, we promised to take our adult children Katherine ( 36 ) and Alasdair ( 33 ) to India, both of whom had traveled extensively ( Photo: Deborah Gray ). We wanted to communicate our love for this nation, see them behave as the country immediately piques their attention with its hustle and bustle, its culture and history, and its peace and industriousness. However, my son, my daughter, and her husband, Michael ( 36), both decided that if we were ever going to do this, we had to leave right away. We planned properly. A plain but stunning hotel with a stable entrance to the city called Bristows Haveli in Jaipur was where some friends had stayed. Prior to this moment, Atherton had vanished while visiting Sri Lanka, so I was concerned about not having to use a policeman to search for him. But after investigations with George, the landlord, we booked for a year. Before launching a unique tour of the Golden Triangle that we had organized through Trailfinders, we thought this would help Atherton become more accustomed to Rajasthan. We’d have regional instructions in each of the towns we visited and, after the train trip to Jodhpur, our own car and drivers.’ Atherton had no sense of danger because his earth was so limited by his inner life and that we had to go somewhere if we were ever going to do this. For someone in this situation, India’s occupied cities were, on the face of it, poorly- considered destinations. We threaded him through masses, took our probabilities crossing six- street highways, dodged scooters, cows and bedraggled dogs. We had to stay with him all day, but we eventually discovered the locked-up, ancient Atherton. We had fun watching him stomach laugh at the dodgem-style scooters, become mesmerized by church rites, and take in the stunning architecture of the Taj Mahal as a result of his hyper-stimulation throughout our journey. These lucid moments, however, only added to the loss of a interesting, intelligent, and remarkable curiosity for life. We occasionally had the impression that we were being spooked. My partner, like some people with Alzheimer’s, was a violinist and a night traveler. I ran into my apartment as a result of this. In my jammies, I had only a few ways to get to the bathroom, so I had to walk onto a chair and slam myself in a window full of wild plants. I was unable to enter the room when I attempted to return and ended up attempting to sneak around the guesthouse’s idiosyncratic design. The workers were great, ever watchful of my father without being overbearing. I thought their psyches were naturally gentle, enabling them to immediately comprehend how to cure him with compassion without being patronizing. It was a holiday full of poignant moments and laughter and we created so many memories’ ( Photo: Deborah Gray ) Nikhil, the manager, arranged for us to go on a number of day trips. The link offered to watch over my father for us while we were on a twilight camel ride in the Rajasthan plains. What could go bad? With the guidebook, we left him in a castle. He was found wandering away down a trail, but of course he managed to escape through a side entrance. The tour’s intimate nature gave us a better understanding of India. Early in the morning, we were taken to one site’s home plantation, where we were greeted with flowers, drum and a bottle of whisky. Eventually, we arrived at the family’s kitchen to prepare a sweet goat curry with a gold dhal and a bowl of seasoned greens and rotis. Unvisited by another tours, we sat outside a marvelous, lesser-known fort on the fringes of Jaipur. We were overwhelmed by the compassion we encountered. I’ll never forget the jewelry merchant who recognized the problem from Atherton’s gaze as he inspected the state. He told us his personal mother had memory. Immediately, a guide had carefully take hold of Atherton’s arm or a waiter may remain patiently waiting for a response. We made a lot of memories and poignant moments during the trip. After three decades of treatment, Atterton passed away at the age of 72. Looking back at the photos, I notice how far I am smiling. We are certain that Atherton enjoyed being with those who cherished him the most and that India had given him a boost. For advice and information on travelling with someone who is experiencing dementia, attend The Alzheimer’s Society websitebristowsindia.comtrailfinders.com