The anticipation and excitement of a jaunt abroad is tempered by the planning stage. I write this as I am mid preparation prior to a trip to India. To many, trips like this are par for the course, be they business, holiday or trustafarian gap year jaunts. As an average working Joe, now with kids, trips abroad are less frequent than in my days as a singleton and nowhere near as exotic: For Mumbai, see Matlock, Merthyr or Market Rasen. The purpose of the trip is honourable: despite looking like Right Said Fred’s illegitimate lovechild, I am in fact a quarter Indian. My mother ­— who will read this, hence I will be diplomatic ­— is only just past spring chicken stage, so we thought it a good idea to take her to my grandmother's birthplace.

Planning for any trip outside Blighty leaves you wondering why you don’t just bother with the staycation. As a believer of the adage that preparation prevents poor performance, I have again given the Amazon account a beating and furnished myself with numerous items that will not see the outside of my rucksack for the duration of the foreign sojourn.

I have bought Deet spray to treat the mossies, ear plugs (I must share a room with one of the brothers), as well as hand fans and coal tablets (apparently, they stop you defecating yourself if, and when, food poisoning comes-a-calling).

Needless purchase doesn’t stop there: Imodium, metal bottle holders to strap to the rucksack, a rucksack, plasters, insurance and even a LifeStraw. The latter item is designed to allow the user to drink from anywhere, and that includes septic puddles, whilst reducing 99.9 per cent of bacteria. Numerous travel blogs claim that Indian shopkeepers often undo the plastic ‘security’ seal on the top of bottles and fill it up with sewer water and the other such flavour enhancers.

I have purchased medical insurance including a medivac, spent hours on a frustrating website arranging a visa and had to book a cab to take me to Heathrow as it is cheaper than parking at the airport. The joy of going away will no doubt be further diminished by over officious security who actively seek out the bald guy for a thorough check at departures. Reaching the gate, the bullying continues as the florescent jacketed guy with the tags targets me, forcing me to place my hand luggage in the hold, thus missing out on reading the updated Geraint Thomas autobiography.

I have been guilty of being jealous of business people who undertake such trips in between numerous ‘working’ from home days. It’s a tenuous gig: enjoying their own company as they watch back to back episodes of Minder and The Chase whilst sending an email every four hours as they mop their brow and remonstrate with their partner when they get home about how they’ve been snowed under during the day from hell.

It is the stay at home worker who generally travels abroad on ‘business’ frequently. Now to us mere mortals, spending their working hours in one location, their lot seems glamorous. In reality, they can’t know what’s hit them. Gone are long drawn out days getting paid for sitting with their trotters up in the front room, and hello airport hell, travelling to a beautiful city but seeing none of it, before attending a meeting and then spending more copious hours sitting around airports for the return flight.

Yes, it’s easy to glamorise travel: to see those grinning Facebook photos of unbridled joy. What they don’t show is the hidden truth: when you trod in Barbary ape poo, your luggage ending up in Mogadishu and the hotel manager letching unashamedly over your wife whilst you pop to the local café and struggle to converse in foreign tongue. After India I will be consoled with a trip to Cornwall to remind myself that what we have here is as good as anywhere, plus I might finally find a use for the coal tablets.