I cannot believe that my trip has finally come to an end. It started to feel real once we had to say goodbye to our Indian friends at Scholar House in Hubli. That was really hard for me because I could not imagine continuing my trip the next week without them. We all became so close and that place felt like home. I have never met a more amazing group of people in my life. Before going, I was not sure how everyone would connect with each other but the connections went beyond my expectations. I write this with a heavy heart that I will miss them all forever, or until we meet again. Luckily, we still got to keep the Chinese students for another week. My time in Chennai and Pondicherry were great too, and we got to see a lot of cool things. We visited temples, churches, beaches, and other great sites that I will never forget. I even enjoyed the long bus rides because we were all together and sometimes relaxing, looking out the window, and listening to music is happy time for me as well. Also, the hotels we stayed at were beautiful! Some complaints about the last hotel, but I will not waste my time on that. I would hate to complain about any second of this trip because I would do anything to go back there even if it was at my worst time (there was no “worst time” because I loved everything!!). Furthermore, it just felt nice to finally have a softer bed or a better running shower. However, I would sacrifice those things if I could go back to Scholar House and do it all over again.
I would not trade this experience for anything in the world. The classes, culture, sites, and learning were all great, but for me it was mainly about the friendship. I went on this trip because I was at a time in my life where I felt my most lost and loneliest. I pushed myself to come on this trip because I needed adventure and something different. I went alone, not knowing anyone, and leaving with a family. I have never been that consistently happy for three weeks in my whole life. I would like to take a minute to thank and shout out the people who had a hand in any of this being possible. Thank you. It truly changed my life and I am forever grateful and humble for this opportunity. Now being home for a day or two, I feel lost and alone. My heart hurts and I miss everything and everyone. I know this will pass and it is only the post-vacation blues, and once I am well rested and able to reflect on the positives that this trip left me with, I will smile about it forever. I will always have a friend in all the Indian boys who took me on a ride on their scootie, and the beautiful Indian girls dressed up in their Sarees. I could never forget Kuku, who was my rock and made me feel more loved and appreciated than anyone else I have ever came into contact has made me feel. Also, my American friends who I now get to see at home and can continue our friendship. I have never met a more unique group of people who I now think of as family. I will never forget how I felt for those three weeks: happy, warm, loved, and accepted; all the things I was going there to remind myself that I could feel again.