Dear Hyderabad, India…
Thank you. Thank you for welcoming me
with open arms that night, as I stepped
out of the plane at 2am in India,
for the first time eyes groggy from
24 hours of travel and limbs shaking
from nerves. I remember thinking
I shouldn’t be here. When I got to my hotel room
and reflected on the fact that the airline had lossed
one of my bags, a shampoo bottle had
spilt in my suitcase , my charger converter wasn’t
working, and I could not call my mom, I thought these are all signs. I made the
wrong decision. Now it’s been four and a half
months, and my adventure is over. I made it. Thank you for
supporting me the entire way. Thank you for giving me
friends who laughed and cried with me.
Who live hours away from me in the United States,
but who I know will always have my back.
Thank you for providing me with experiences and people
that I will never forget and sites that will color
my memories forever. Thank you for showing me
that I can be independent and I can be comfortable
being alone. Everyone has their own
reason for coming here and their own plans and desires.
Thank you for reminding me that my desires are just
as valid as anyone elses. and what I’m capable of fulfilling
them on my own. Thank you for allowing me to
try to understand you. I know we’ll never be able
to grasp India as a whole country. It’s far too vast
and multifaceted. But since being here
I’ve made a valiant effort. Traveling to Ajanta, Ellora,
Delhi, Jaipur Agra, Darjeeling,
Kochi and Goa. You brought up my sense
of adventure and pushed me to see oceans
and mountains and caves and everything in between.
Something about you sparked my curiosity and caused me
to have trust and faith in myself to adventure in ways and in places
I never could have imagined. But, most of all thank you
for encouraging me to grow. Traveling so far away
to a place so completely different than my own could have
been so scary. And at times, it was.
This has definitely been the most challenging thing
I’ve ever done. But through that challenge came
so much growth. I came here with my own baggage
both literal and figurative. I was terrified, lonely and
completely unsure of myself. And while I leave with the
same baggage, you taught me how to carry
it differently. I leave here a stronger woman…
a more independent woman who isn’t afraid to try new things
and go on new adventures even if it means she
has to travel alone. And while I may never have
warmed up to your spicy flavors I’m so thankful that I warmed up
to you and never gave up Your friend and future
world traveller, Jordanna.