The newest debate in workplace equality seems to be this topic of freezing eggs at 30 so that women in the workplace can postpone having a family until they’ve worked 10 more years I guess.

I think this is really awesome. I understand that it’s not solving the entire issue but I think it’s setting at least some form of a standard that should exist. These changes don’t happen quickly and expecting one solution to just blanket the rest is unlikely, which is why this step (an expensive one at that) is important and necessary.

Being 30 doesn’t mean you have to have children anymore! I don’t know when I’ll want to have children but I do know that I’m going to want to keep working hard during my 30’s alongside my male counterparts as well as my female counterparts who aren’t planning on having children. Being beautiful, successful, and comfortable financially and in my partnership with someone is much more important to me than bringing a human into the world without those stabilities.

I say yay and onward with the freezing of eggs and hopefully we’ll have longer maternity leaves and robot nanny stipends this time next year.

Thoughts on 16 year olds at Harvard

We all have reasons not to pursue an opportunity. We all have excuses for why we didn’t do something that we had the chance to do in the past. That’s all ok, but do yourself a favor and let all of that go!

I dwell a lot on missed opportunities to have done as much as some 16 year old who got accepted to Harvard at the age of 12 only to become a millionaire by sophomore year and now owns an island somewhere in the Caribbean. I mean come on… I look at those kids and I think to myself, “What did I do wrong to not be in their shoes now?” I think, “I’ve worked hard and I’m hustling. What else can I do?” I get lazy. I think, “There’s no way I can catch up to them…” But why bother with the self-doubt? If you’re over the age of 16 and still haven’t gotten into Harvard or started your own multi-million dollar business then just let go of the dream of doing it by 16. Make a new dream and accomplish all of it by the time you’re 25 or 30 or whatever!

The truth is, or at least for me, is that I missed my pre-16 opportunities. I was too busy doing things that made me happy in the moment and not grasping the opportunities that would make me happy for a lifetime. That’s not a bad thing though! We can’t all be absurdly successful 16 year olds because then an 8 year old would still make us hate ourselves and our accomplishments. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be absurdly successful. You can still do something amazing.

Stop turning down, or simply neglecting the existence of, opportunities to be amazing! I’m the type of person who likes opportunity to just show up in front of me…who doesn’t amirite? That way I can mobilize and act on it. But I’m realizing that less and less of those in-your-face opportunities are cropping up and instead, I have to try harder to find the right ones. But I think about that statement and realize that in reality, I’m literally surrounded by opportunities. The opportunity to help a friend with their startup, to work part time for a promising business idea, to volunteer my time in a space I know nothing about simply to learn, and so on. These opportunities are literally swimming around me, day in and day out, but I’m just sitting here, doing something else. The 16 year olds aren’t just sitting, they’re doing. They do because they can. They do because they see the future value of the struggle today.

So take a serious look around you and realize where opportunities are hiding in plain sight. Just because you’re busy, doesn’t give you an excuse not to pursue! If you don’t do it, then someone else will, and that someone else will be better off even if it was a waste of time. Realize that whatever you’re doing or think you’re busy with probably isn’t actually taking up enough time to justify not doing more. I have many opportunities to both consider and seek out on my own but I have to stop making up excuses and just do them. Not to be rich or famous but because I can and because I’ll be a better, smarter, more well-rounded person because of it.

I think I said opportunity like 69 times in this post but I’m serious. Just frickin do it and be awesome and make yourself damn proud of you!

Reflection #4 August 3, 2014
During a rickshaw ride, Emma expressed how bad she felt that she had so much and gave nothing to the poor. Kirsten and I reacted immediately with our own forms of justification, saying how giving money isn’t the cure and how societies are built in this way, that poor people have to exist for a multitude of reasons. But, in the end, when the conversation ended, I didn’t feel any better about myself.

I started to wonder, what have I done for anyone less fortunate? I had said that it’s not fair to feel bad because you didn’t choose to be born into your life just as much as they didn’t choose theirs, but that didn’t seem to justify the countless times I chose to sleep in on a Saturday instead of volunteering. I thought about Ladli. Those girls, who probably had no say in their predicament, were making something of themselves but they needed help. I thought about the homeless and hungry in America and how even there, the land of the free, the strongest nation on earth, there are homeless, hungry, and devastated people. Why don’t I help them?

I wouldn’t say the homeless are any more or less prevalent in India as they are in America because after working in the West End of Boston, I’ve seen my fair share of bums sleeping in the streets with children and dogs by their side. It’s painful when you let it penetrate your defense mechanisms but you have to wonder; how can people let others suffer when there is a way to help? I realized in the Rickshaw that I had justified and truly believed in a lie to cover up my own laziness, at least for the most part.

Although I come from extremely humble means and can’t say I have very much of anything to show for my family in the form of wealth or good fortune, I have been given opportunities and knowledge from others who have guided me in a fruitful direction. Being less fortunate has kept me grounded for my entire life but made me selfish in thinking that I deserve something because of it. The reality is, I didn’t choose this, but I can find my way out of it, with the help of friends, family, and gracious people through shared knowledge and opportunities.

India is headed towards phenomenal growth and already experiencing a substantial amount of it which will make a lot of people’s lives at least a bit better but that doesn’t justify shedding a blind eye and disregarding those who have been dealt a poor hand. I wish that I had had the opportunity to do some social work or actually spend a substantial amount of time learning about the efforts in place for the less fortunate. Thinking back, I realize that almost everyone we spoke to somehow mentioned the rural areas and people who are less fortunate but I feel the need to somehow make a difference without just giving money. Places like Ladli, where young girls learn how to build lives for themselves are so beautiful and frankly, everyone in this world with a penny to their name should find a way to help others less fortunate than them.

    
Here in India, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t try hard enough in a few realms and being selfless is one of them.

Reflection #4 August 3, 2014

During a rickshaw ride, Emma expressed how bad she felt that she had so much and gave nothing to the poor. Kirsten and I reacted immediately with our own forms of justification, saying how giving money isn’t the cure and how societies are built in this way, that poor people have to exist for a multitude of reasons. But, in the end, when the conversation ended, I didn’t feel any better about myself.

I started to wonder, what have I done for anyone less fortunate? I had said that it’s not fair to feel bad because you didn’t choose to be born into your life just as much as they didn’t choose theirs, but that didn’t seem to justify the countless times I chose to sleep in on a Saturday instead of volunteering. I thought about Ladli. Those girls, who probably had no say in their predicament, were making something of themselves but they needed help. I thought about the homeless and hungry in America and how even there, the land of the free, the strongest nation on earth, there are homeless, hungry, and devastated people. Why don’t I help them?

I wouldn’t say the homeless are any more or less prevalent in India as they are in America because after working in the West End of Boston, I’ve seen my fair share of bums sleeping in the streets with children and dogs by their side. It’s painful when you let it penetrate your defense mechanisms but you have to wonder; how can people let others suffer when there is a way to help? I realized in the Rickshaw that I had justified and truly believed in a lie to cover up my own laziness, at least for the most part.

Although I come from extremely humble means and can’t say I have very much of anything to show for my family in the form of wealth or good fortune, I have been given opportunities and knowledge from others who have guided me in a fruitful direction. Being less fortunate has kept me grounded for my entire life but made me selfish in thinking that I deserve something because of it. The reality is, I didn’t choose this, but I can find my way out of it, with the help of friends, family, and gracious people through shared knowledge and opportunities.

India is headed towards phenomenal growth and already experiencing a substantial amount of it which will make a lot of people’s lives at least a bit better but that doesn’t justify shedding a blind eye and disregarding those who have been dealt a poor hand. I wish that I had had the opportunity to do some social work or actually spend a substantial amount of time learning about the efforts in place for the less fortunate. Thinking back, I realize that almost everyone we spoke to somehow mentioned the rural areas and people who are less fortunate but I feel the need to somehow make a difference without just giving money. Places like Ladli, where young girls learn how to build lives for themselves are so beautiful and frankly, everyone in this world with a penny to their name should find a way to help others less fortunate than them.

Here in India, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t try hard enough in a few realms and being selfless is one of them.

Elephant Love Medley

Reflection #3, July 26, 2014

“If you had to feed your starving family and your only choice was to either kill an elephant for it’s tusks or die, what would you chose?”

This question, posed by one dialogue student to another after seeing tusks used as decoration in the Mysore Palace, is a trivial one in my opinion. Obviously, if your family is starving and you love them then you’ll do anything for them but on the other hand, how could you kill such a beautiful and majestic animal simply to sell off it’s tusks? It’s hard to say where your morals lie when it comes to questions like these, but that’s not what my reflection is on.

Just one short hour after I overheard that trivial question, our group happened upon a small patch of grass in the middle of a courtyard, that held within it, two defeated elephants and two seemingly exhausted camels who’s sole purpose seemed to be to entertain the passerby, for a price.

As I stood up on the ledge and looked on towards the camels, a man yelled “100 rupees for elephant ride!”  I realized as I looked up that one elephant was parading six full grown people on it’s back to the middle of the patch of grass where a man took a photo of the unlikely bunch, but only after the elephant raised its front right leg in a painfully depressing pose.

The man next to me continued to yell the sale until Sagar requested that he stop as he noticed I was getting more upset with each pitch. As students from our group congregated around one elephant to take photos with the exploited animal, I watched as the other collected rupees from those same people who were just riding him and handed the money up from his trunk to the man on his back before placing his trunk on the paying customers head for a photo. I could feel my face getting hot. I looked on one last time at the camels kneeling on the ground and my heart seemed to break.

I walked away, past the students taking photos with the elephant and as they laughed at the tricks that it was trained to perform, the tears came. I’ve never been one to advocate for animal rights or preach about animal cruelty. I don’t agree with it all of course, I don’t want animals to be in pain but I do eat them on a daily basis. I’ve even ridden elephants and camels as a child at the zoo, but something about this sad little patch of drying grass where these animals were being seemingly exploited, made my chest heavy and cheeks warm with tears, my heart literally broke for them.

I can’t explain where it all came from, if it was due to the cold I’d been battling for the past few days, the lack of sleep, the cultural differences of this country or a combination of all those things, but I had to walk away and ignore the patch of grass at all costs to keep myself from breaking down even further.

India has been a new experience for me in so many ways but animals are kept and exploited this way in America too, so what was it about these that really hit me? I’m not sure, but I know that something about this experience has switched a gear in my mind and moved me in ways I didn’t know I was capable of.

Reflection #2: July 20, 2014
Traveling to different locations and experiencing their cultures, religions, and general beliefs has always had a profound affect on my own beliefs of how I live my life and what I believe in or subscribe to on a daily basis. It’s interesting to realize the differences that experience warrants you when it comes to formulating your own mantra and the morals or beliefs that you hold yourself to.
There was a point during our second day in Aurangabad when we made it to the temples and I stood there in awe of the perseverance of the people who committed their spiritual lives to building these massive and beautiful works of art.  I’ve always envied those who can say that they live with a purpose and they know where they stand in this universe with themselves and in reference to those around them. As Ram spoke of the years that it took to build the temples, I thought how phenomenal it must have been to chisel away at a massive stone with only a vision and passion to drive you.
It’s difficult for me to place all of my passion into one singular thing, or to say that there’s one thing in this world that encompasses my purpose during this lifetime. The men who dedicated their lives to studying their religion and practicing, sacrificing, and ultimately building a monument in the spirit of their beliefs, knew their purpose and that is something that astonishes me.
When I traveled to Israel on my Birthright Retreat, I was so full of passion and drive to continue living, in some form, the Jewish life that I saw around me that it brought me to tears. I loved to see so many people believe in such a beautiful driving force that I wanted to be a part of that. When I stood in front of the massive temple, I felt that again. I felt that yearning for a purpose and a passionate drive to commit all of myself to anything and accomplish something mind-blowing in the process.
In a parallel universe I’d like to have had the opportunity to speak to those men and hear what exactly encouraged each and every one of them to commit themselves. I’m constantly in search of my purpose and what I could commit 100% of myself to but I haven’t found it yet. Did those men just realize one day that religion was their passion? Did it take them 10 or 20 or even 50 years to realize it? What did they sacrifice in the process and how did they justify it? I have so many questions to ask the people who faced those mountains of rock and not only saw but also built temples from them.
I hope that when I leave India, I’ll at least feel as if I’m closer to finding my passion. I hope that I won’t lose the excitement that I feel during our cultural experiences. I want to find my passion and I feel as though traveling is getting me closer and closer to that goal.

Photo Credit: Alex Anfuso

Reflection #2: July 20, 2014

Traveling to different locations and experiencing their cultures, religions, and general beliefs has always had a profound affect on my own beliefs of how I live my life and what I believe in or subscribe to on a daily basis. It’s interesting to realize the differences that experience warrants you when it comes to formulating your own mantra and the morals or beliefs that you hold yourself to.

There was a point during our second day in Aurangabad when we made it to the temples and I stood there in awe of the perseverance of the people who committed their spiritual lives to building these massive and beautiful works of art.  I’ve always envied those who can say that they live with a purpose and they know where they stand in this universe with themselves and in reference to those around them. As Ram spoke of the years that it took to build the temples, I thought how phenomenal it must have been to chisel away at a massive stone with only a vision and passion to drive you.

It’s difficult for me to place all of my passion into one singular thing, or to say that there’s one thing in this world that encompasses my purpose during this lifetime. The men who dedicated their lives to studying their religion and practicing, sacrificing, and ultimately building a monument in the spirit of their beliefs, knew their purpose and that is something that astonishes me.

When I traveled to Israel on my Birthright Retreat, I was so full of passion and drive to continue living, in some form, the Jewish life that I saw around me that it brought me to tears. I loved to see so many people believe in such a beautiful driving force that I wanted to be a part of that. When I stood in front of the massive temple, I felt that again. I felt that yearning for a purpose and a passionate drive to commit all of myself to anything and accomplish something mind-blowing in the process.

In a parallel universe I’d like to have had the opportunity to speak to those men and hear what exactly encouraged each and every one of them to commit themselves. I’m constantly in search of my purpose and what I could commit 100% of myself to but I haven’t found it yet. Did those men just realize one day that religion was their passion? Did it take them 10 or 20 or even 50 years to realize it? What did they sacrifice in the process and how did they justify it? I have so many questions to ask the people who faced those mountains of rock and not only saw but also built temples from them.

I hope that when I leave India, I’ll at least feel as if I’m closer to finding my passion. I hope that I won’t lose the excitement that I feel during our cultural experiences. I want to find my passion and I feel as though traveling is getting me closer and closer to that goal.

Photo Credit: Alex Anfuso

With another 3 weeks left of my India adventure, I can safely say it’s been a lot of highs and generally speaking, a few extra lows. I haven’t been posting every day or even every other but I’d like to recap the last 2 weeks with an overview so you can all see what I’ve actually been up to…
Week 1 & 2:
We arrived in Mumbai and stayed at the Fariyas Hotel where we were guided here and there throughout the next 7 days by Mala Malkani and Sancia Sequiera. Sancia is a saint!
We went Ghandi’s home and toured the surrounding village temples. We visited the American Consulate as well as the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, which was an “interesting” experience to say the least. 
We then heard from Veena Gidwani on a very thorough rundown of media trends and projections in India. This same day we visited the Dharavi slums where entrepreneurship thrives and efficiency is key, a truly eye-opening experience. We ate traditional South Indian food..off of a leaf..go figure and we tried out the local cabs for the first time.
We then ventured to Rickshaw Designs, a guerrilla marketing agency, and we were presented with media and print marketing projects to execute new campaigns for.
We visited Zee Media (and DNA), to talk media which was a very drawn out affair…not sure why…but it was.
Then…we went to Aurangabad! Spirits were high on arrival because the food was delicious and never-ending, in true American fashion, we all overate. Aurangabad was spent in the temples of Ajanta and Ellora as well as some time spent at the Daulatabad Fort and some ‘light’ shopping in the silk district.
We left Auranagabad, back to Mumbai, but this time we staid a bit up North from the Fariyas. The next few days consisted mostly of issues with the wifi, working on our Rickshaw projects, and being extremely ill.
But, Mumbai FINALLY came to an end after we presented our media and print campaigns to Rickshaw and jetsetted out of Mumbai this morning to arrive in beautiful Bangalore…thank god. 
That’s the gist of it all, check out our official blog for more details and photos on everything: http://neumarketinginasia2014.tumblr.com/
So for the next few days it’ll be all sun and low 80’s, and I’m a-ok with that.

With another 3 weeks left of my India adventure, I can safely say it’s been a lot of highs and generally speaking, a few extra lows. I haven’t been posting every day or even every other but I’d like to recap the last 2 weeks with an overview so you can all see what I’ve actually been up to…

Week 1 & 2:

We arrived in Mumbai and stayed at the Fariyas Hotel where we were guided here and there throughout the next 7 days by Mala Malkani and Sancia Sequiera. Sancia is a saint!

We went Ghandi’s home and toured the surrounding village temples. We visited the American Consulate as well as the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, which was an “interesting” experience to say the least. 

We then heard from Veena Gidwani on a very thorough rundown of media trends and projections in India. This same day we visited the Dharavi slums where entrepreneurship thrives and efficiency is key, a truly eye-opening experience. We ate traditional South Indian food..off of a leaf..go figure and we tried out the local cabs for the first time.

We then ventured to Rickshaw Designs, a guerrilla marketing agency, and we were presented with media and print marketing projects to execute new campaigns for.

We visited Zee Media (and DNA), to talk media which was a very drawn out affair…not sure why…but it was.

Then…we went to Aurangabad! Spirits were high on arrival because the food was delicious and never-ending, in true American fashion, we all overate. Aurangabad was spent in the temples of Ajanta and Ellora as well as some time spent at the Daulatabad Fort and some ‘light’ shopping in the silk district.

We left Auranagabad, back to Mumbai, but this time we staid a bit up North from the Fariyas. The next few days consisted mostly of issues with the wifi, working on our Rickshaw projects, and being extremely ill.

But, Mumbai FINALLY came to an end after we presented our media and print campaigns to Rickshaw and jetsetted out of Mumbai this morning to arrive in beautiful Bangalore…thank god. 

That’s the gist of it all, check out our official blog for more details and photos on everything: http://neumarketinginasia2014.tumblr.com/

So for the next few days it’ll be all sun and low 80’s, and I’m a-ok with that.

A somewhat week in Mumbai and now I have to pick just one experience…crazy, but I’ll do it.
The slums. This won’t be a post on how the slums make me feel so thankful; it’s not that at all. In reality, the slums didn’t make me thankful, they made me rethink the way we do things in other parts of the world and how we perceive things. The slums are better known here as the recycling bin, in my opinion. Going in I assumed I’d be holding my nose, my breath, my things close to me, my spirits high and my eyes averted because from what I’ve heard, it’s dirty, smelly, dangerous and depressing.  But in reality, it wasn’t. Yes, it smelled and yes, it was dirty and unorganized by American standards, and maybe to some, smiling faces are depressing but it was also none of those things. These types of understandings of experiences come from our perceptions of what we’ve lived through and seen through personal experiences. The same can be said for the people here and especially those in the slums. I’m not saying that I could see myself living in the slums, given my upbringing, that’s a definite no. But that doesn’t mean I can’t respect the way they live and what they do to survive. 
Walking through the streets of Dharavi was like a museum of entrepreneurs and honest middle-class workers who did their day-to-day in the open as opposed to behind walls of large skyscrapers and uncomfortable suits. I thought that was honest and that was what would motivate me, to see people working hard to get to where they want to be, instead of just talking about it and visiting universities and holding lectures to talk about what they’ve done to end up where they are. I think people need this motivation to feel as though you can come from nothing, or what others perceive as nothing, and make a something out of yourself. But in reality, or at least my reality, coming from nothing means something different to different regions of this world. My nothing, is someone else’s ideal life and a local Indian farmer’s nothing could be the dream of an overworked cubical dweller.
It’s all perception, and my perception of the Dharavi slums was nothing short of inspired. The slums are built to produce recycled goods and to manufacture a certain amount of branded goods for sale. People might say, “They’re producing goods that they can’t afford themselves”. Ok, but what then are people in American car factories doing when they build some of the most expensive domestically manufactured and sold vehicles that they themselves can’t afford? A few times during this trip we’ve been told not to think so lowly of Indian practices because there’s a similar practice done in the US too. These things are happening in the US and they’re not wrong or bad necessarily, they just are. The slums have barbers, meat and produce merchants, tailors and clothing shops, an entire pottery maker village. The slums have men and women working hard in the rain and in smoldering heat whose beauty are visible even through the smoke and grime.
 I don’t want to be told anymore what I’ll expect from a location. I want to hear the truth and nothing but the truth. What does it smell like, look like, feel like to more than just one person, but many. I no longer want to base my perception on what I’ve seen but by the reality of multiple cultural perspectives.
 The slums can be beautiful and there are more ways than one that others could take a hint from the way they run things.

A somewhat week in Mumbai and now I have to pick just one experience…crazy, but I’ll do it.

The slums. This won’t be a post on how the slums make me feel so thankful; it’s not that at all. In reality, the slums didn’t make me thankful, they made me rethink the way we do things in other parts of the world and how we perceive things. The slums are better known here as the recycling bin, in my opinion. Going in I assumed I’d be holding my nose, my breath, my things close to me, my spirits high and my eyes averted because from what I’ve heard, it’s dirty, smelly, dangerous and depressing.  But in reality, it wasn’t. Yes, it smelled and yes, it was dirty and unorganized by American standards, and maybe to some, smiling faces are depressing but it was also none of those things. These types of understandings of experiences come from our perceptions of what we’ve lived through and seen through personal experiences. The same can be said for the people here and especially those in the slums. I’m not saying that I could see myself living in the slums, given my upbringing, that’s a definite no. But that doesn’t mean I can’t respect the way they live and what they do to survive. 

Walking through the streets of Dharavi was like a museum of entrepreneurs and honest middle-class workers who did their day-to-day in the open as opposed to behind walls of large skyscrapers and uncomfortable suits. I thought that was honest and that was what would motivate me, to see people working hard to get to where they want to be, instead of just talking about it and visiting universities and holding lectures to talk about what they’ve done to end up where they are. I think people need this motivation to feel as though you can come from nothing, or what others perceive as nothing, and make a something out of yourself. But in reality, or at least my reality, coming from nothing means something different to different regions of this world. My nothing, is someone else’s ideal life and a local Indian farmer’s nothing could be the dream of an overworked cubical dweller.

It’s all perception, and my perception of the Dharavi slums was nothing short of inspired. The slums are built to produce recycled goods and to manufacture a certain amount of branded goods for sale. People might say, “They’re producing goods that they can’t afford themselves”. Ok, but what then are people in American car factories doing when they build some of the most expensive domestically manufactured and sold vehicles that they themselves can’t afford? A few times during this trip we’ve been told not to think so lowly of Indian practices because there’s a similar practice done in the US too. These things are happening in the US and they’re not wrong or bad necessarily, they just are. The slums have barbers, meat and produce merchants, tailors and clothing shops, an entire pottery maker village. The slums have men and women working hard in the rain and in smoldering heat whose beauty are visible even through the smoke and grime.

 I don’t want to be told anymore what I’ll expect from a location. I want to hear the truth and nothing but the truth. What does it smell like, look like, feel like to more than just one person, but many. I no longer want to base my perception on what I’ve seen but by the reality of multiple cultural perspectives.

 The slums can be beautiful and there are more ways than one that others could take a hint from the way they run things.

A Week in Mumbai

It’s been almost a week here in Mumbai and we’ve had enough experiences to last some a lifetime. We’ve traveled around Mumbai to see temples, slums, markets, and museums that have had a profound impact on our perceptions and understandings of other cultures.

Seeing the Dharavi slums, the largest in India today, was much different than I had expected. It is, more or less, a recycling community for more than just themselves. Some may think you’ll only see filth and homeless but in reality, this is a thriving community filled with entrepreneurs and beautiful people making an honest living. Yes the ground was dirty, and yes there were smells that might make you cringe but the way space is used and work is done, it’s phenomenal that a self-managed city can function so well. They do what our machines do in America by hand and what we outsource to other countries to take care of for us. They work hard and stay happy even when the rains come down like waterfalls.

Oh the rains…

I’ve never seen rain like this! Coming down the way that makes you stay inside for the entire day in America, bundled up in sweats and a large cup of hot chocolate with only chick flicks to combat your boredom. But here, they embrace and they go on with it. As we drove through the city, we saw hoards of people, soaked to the bone, hanging out on the beach with their friends and family just taking it all in. They’ve been waiting for the rains all year and this year it came especially late so they’re rejoicing. It’s nothing like someone who enjoys rain…it’s like a love affair with the rains. It’s crazy to me that the rain they get over these few months is enough to hydrate the entire city for the remainder of the year…it’s mind blowing.

Everything here is mind blowing. It’s all different and I don’t have a chance to settle the images in my mind until I’m back in my hotel room with nothing to overload my senses besides the delicious room service. Here in the hotel I come to terms with the massive amounts of culture that I’m exposed to. Visiting the temples, seeing people pray for just 5 minutes every day and the street vendors peddling cheap crafts and the homeless children taught to pester any tourists in any way they can. It’s overwhelming to think about it all at once. 

Out here, I have to take one experience at a time or I’ll drown in culture overload. It’s all so different than anything I’ve ever experienced but I’m adjusting and I’m seeing the difference that my own world travels have on this current experience. 1 week, 7 states, 24 students, and endless experiences.

p.s. I’ll be writing more often now that we’ve gone through the motions of the first week.

The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.

In about 11 hours I’ll be boarding a plane that will take me and some 20 other students from our home here in Boston, MA to Frankfurt, Germany to the first city of many that we’ll be visiting over the next month and change…Mumbai, India.

In the words of friends and family, India is hot, beautiful, crowded, delicious, filthy, and a once in a lifetime experience. Whether I’d like to at this point or not, I’ll be there experiencing it all with an open mind for unfamiliar things.

India, from what little I truly know, reminds me of the word, bittersweet. For all the things that make me nervous about studying there, there’s an equal amount of things that I’m extremely excited for. This blog will be capturing them all as often as I can find wifi and the time to document them.

So, here goes nothing. I’m Nina and soon, I’ll be in India.