It’s 10:50ish AM where I am, somewhere over Virginia or Kentucky I’m guessing, 8:45 PM where I just came from less than 24 hours ago, and the woman sitting on the flight in front of me has just asked me to put my feet down from where I had been resting them in the back corner of her arm rest. Fair enough. She’s probably grossed out by feet and I don’t blame her—mine have a blatantly obvious Merrill sandal tan line, are lacking in the nail polish area, and the skin itself is a little dry, which I blame on the Himalayas. No hard feelings, toward the mountains or this strange woman, but I tear up a little anyway. Maybe due to the confusion over time and my body trying to decide when it will be time to sleep—something akin to the tears I shed two years ago on the sixth hour of flight from Newark to Italy over the movie Bride Wars. The movie wasn’t sad, but my body was confused over lack of sleep. But I know this time the sadness is really because I had to leave Rahul at the Delhi airport after 20 amazing days together and when I wanted to turn to make a comment to him about this stranger on the Newark to Memphis flight, I couldn’t—because for the first time in 20 days he wasn’t right beside me.
Returning home after a vacation is a funny thing, especially since I traveled the big parts of the journey alone—the plane rides. I certainly wasn’t ready to leave Rahul, in any fashion, but the plane ticket said it was time for me to return home. When people ask me if I miss them or if I’m enjoying the trip, the questions make me nervous, mostly because I feel like the answers are obvious—like when the airport security asked me if I’m totally sure I’m the one who packed my bags. I know the answer is yes, but something in the asking makes me doubt myself.
Whether or not you know, I just returned home from a 20 day journey to India. I failed to keep updated on the technology front while I was there because as Rahul so aptly put it, “I was too busy exploring and shit.” This was said about halfway through the trip, in Nubra Valley of the Himalayas either right before or after riding Bactrian camels through the desert. And this is very true—even though I returned with a broken camera, an extra bag, odd tan tines, and my Tiny Wings high score beaten by Rahul, the most amazing thing I returned with by far was 20 days in India with my most favorite person in the entire world. I have thousands of pictures to document the journey—luckily Rahul had borrowed a super fancy camera from a friend—that will take me days to sort through. But really I don’t even know where to begin to describe a country that almost doesn’t even make sense from the outside—but totally does from the inside. And I’m not even sure if what I just said makes total sense either. But over the next weeks I’ll attempt to describe my experience there, as much as I can.
At the same time, I’ll be going through training for my new job at the University of Maryland and preparing to start my MFA program in late August. It’s a busy month!
I just sorted through all of this today (it took a while), so some of my favorite pictures from India: