In Reflection

Having read the posts of those who have already reflected on our travels, I mirror many of the sentiments expressed. After having been asked about my time in India innumerable times since our return, still find myself unsure of how to sum up the trip. My first instinct is to show the few pictures I have on my phone and make a note to myself to finally go through all the other pictures that are still on my camera, or comment on the amazing food or many many caves we saw, or about the way people drive in Mumbai or my difficulty of contextualizing the proximity of poverty to wealth and how much this truly differs to the US. At about this point my descriptions devolve into confused mumbles and I wrap up with recap of all the things I would categorize as “dope” (food, Deepa, Depak, auto rickshaws).  I often explain my motives in life as seeking out opportunities to scare myself. While whitewater kayaking and skiing are the easiest ways for me to this, I’ve found that anytime you can push yourself to the point of being uncomfortable, you can learn immensely about yourself and the people around you. Travel is another place I’ve been able to derive this experience. It comes when you least expect it but also at the point that you can let yourself live on terms other than your own. For health and safety reasons and not causing Padma too much stress, this was difficult but at the most basic, 10 days is too short a time to approach anything at much depth and 20 people too many to be anything but conspicuous. In the end, experiences for me are defined most importantly by people and I was able to get to know each of you better and spend time together outside the bubble of Colgate. Seeing the windows into different corners of India provided the impetus to hopefully return to continue my exploration and reflections from this trip.

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