Friday, June 12, 2015

This Is Not A Travel Blog

Remember that one time I said I was going to travel-blog my trip to India? Well...this is not that time. I haven't unpacked my suitcase yet, or done my laundry, or even downloaded pictures from my camera to my computer. BUT. I have a few quick thoughts about the trip that I want to get out (now that I've been home approx a week...)

if you ever have the opportunity to visit India, GO. You will not regret it. I've been a lot of places and met a lot of different people, but I've never been anywhere as culturally unique as India. We stayed in Delhi and just driving between the hotel and our destinations was like driving through 4 countries. There was the suburbs, the less-nice parts, the ritzy parts, the slums...all in an hour's drive. I know all cities have these things, but the disparity between the four parts in Delhi was quite shocking. Going from some of the world's nicest places to some of the most poverty-stricken parts was hard on the heart, to say the very least.

I have never met people who were as welcoming, open, friendly and caring as the Indians we met. Were there huge language barriers with a lot of them? Definitely. But they were so happy and excited to share their traditions, culture and knowledge with us in whatever ways possible. They redefined the word hospitality for me.

I think the hardest thing for me to deal with in Delhi was the amount of suffering that was apparent. I am an extremely tender hearted person, so seeing homeless people and dogs and extreme poverty while we were running around in our air-conditioned cars going to fancy dinners or to the mall or to a lavish party was hard for me to reconcile. I felt like I needed to do *something* but was never sure what would have been okay culturally or feasible financially. It's something I struggle with here at home too and I haven't worked out a solution.

Delhi (and all of India probably) is really dusty. If you go, wear shoes you don't mind destroying. RIP white tennies. Also it will be hot and you will sweat so bring things that are flowy or will hide sweat stains. Bring some Xanax for the traffic (I wish I was kidding, I think I lost ten years from my life just sitting in rush hour panic). You will absolutely not need a water bottle but will absolutely need a bigger suitcase to pack all the cool stuff you can buy. Don't look like a tourist and you'll get discounts at monuments (this did not apply to me, unfortunately).

I can't wait to actually recap my trip with pics because it was such an experience...!

Friday, May 29, 2015

So Blessed

Hello! It's been quite a while....I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to India (!!!) and wanted to resurrect this little bloggie for a sort of travel diary for myself so I can look back on these experiences.

I was just thinking how absolutely surreal it is that I'm going on this trip. I'm so fortunate to be going to a completely new country, experiencing a completely different culture, celebrating a marriage of two people, being truly welcomed into someone's home and family...I don't even think I can explain or comprehend how blessed I feel.

A bit of background info about my trip: my boss is Indian and has a niece who is getting married next week. She's having a true traditional Indian wedding, complete with multiple days of celebration and parties. Ever since he first mentioned that she had become engaged (through an arranged marriage, no less), I have been fascinated with the whole concept and culture of Indian weddings. We think American weddings are lavish and extravagant, but they're nothing compared to an Indian wedding. The budget for this wedding is $3 million....! I couldn't spend a sixth of that on a wedding if I tried!

Anyway, my boss is legitimately one of the nicest, most generous people in the world and he graciously invited me and one of my coworkers to attend the wedding with his family, at no expense to us. Obviously I couldn't turn this opportunity down and have been frantically preparing since Wednesday to leave tomorrow.

I am so insanely fortunate to work with such great people. We went on a company trip last weekend to the beach and it was really like going on a family trip. I am so thankful to Gaurav and his family for literally treating us as part of their family and allowing us to celebrate such a happy, wonderful time with them. It blows my mind how much things have changed since I first moved to Atlanta--the Lord really does have a much better plan for us than we could ever imagine or plan for ourselves. Everything I have right now just feels like such a gigantic blessing that I don't even think I deserve. I am so excited for all of these new experiences that I know I'll remember forever.

I can't wait to share more!!!!