When I started out on this journey, I wanted to prove to myself that I could travel alone, and that I could do it in a hard place like India. Because I had such a hard time when I studied abroad, I guess I felt like I needed to show myself that I could do it, and that that experience was not the be all end all. But now that I've done it for a couple of weeks, I'm definitely over it. I think it's great and all, and you really get to know yourself, but I'm ready for friends!! It's like okay, yeah, I did it, and now I'm probably not ever going to do it again.
I also have noticed that being here has really made me appreciate Uganda and Rwanda; it's confirmed that Africa, particularly the east and central regions, is the area of the world that I want to study. As colorful and culturally rich as India is, I can honestly say that I prefer the parts of Africa I've seen. To me, India is like all the bad parts of Africa on steroids--dirty, overpopulated, sketchy men, and beggars everywhere. But to be fair, I've only been here for two weeks in two places while in Africa, I had a homestay family and I was there for four months. So obviously my Uganda and Rwanda experience was designed to be a lot more fulfilling. And for those of you who I studied abroad with, I'm sure that me saying that I miss Kampala and Kigali and even Gulu is HILARIOUS. But I do think being here has really put into perspective how great abroad was for me. Right now I would kill to be sitting in Cafe Larem eating a brownie with ice cream, avoiding working on my ISP, and already planning out dinner with my room mates.
Another big NERDY realization that I've had here is, again, just how much I love research. The other day after walking around Varanasi, I came back to my hotel, sat down with my computer, and thought to myself, ahhhh I wish I had a paper to write and interviews to hold. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Seriously, though. I do. How ridiculous is that? That I absolutely love reading through stacks of papers like this:
What makes me nervous, though, is that I've already heard back from three graduate schools, UCLA, UCSD, and Wisconsin. All rejections. I'm trying to not to think about them, but I am honestly freaking out. I know from the get go, I said that there is a very big chance that I won't get in anywhere and, although I said it a lot, in my heart of hearts I was like noooooooooo, I have to get in somewhere.
Anyways, today I am getting on an overnight train at 4:45 and heading to Agra to meet the Kels tomorrow!! My fingers are crossed that her driver that we arranged is actually there and that everything goes as planned.