I remember being a child and watching shows of people traveling all over the world. I never thought I would get any farther than Mexico. Even as a young adult, traveling seemed unattainable.
It took a study abroad summer experience to open so many possibilities. Since that summer, I began to wonder what more could I do and how far could I go. It’s been eight years since that experience, and so far I’ve done many more things the 10-year old me never thought she would do.
It’s crazy how even after traveling all over the world and fulfilling your greatest dreams, sometimes you still need to continue finding yourself. It was last summer when one of my cousins mentioned wanting to go to India, but he didn’t want to go alone. I invited myself, and luckily he said yes.
I had just returned from Peru, so my bank account was not happy with me. However, the husband encouraged me to go.
I was to meet my cousin in Mumbai. He departed from New York City and I from Kansas City. It would all have to work out perfectly for our plans not to get ruined. We would arrive on Friday to attend the wedding on Saturday.
After 22 hours of traveling, I was in India. I met up with my cousin, found a cab and we were off to our hotel. The next morning we were greeted by the groom’s family who was also staying at that hotel. We all had a delicious breakfast prior to leaving to the resort in Lonavla.
It was the first time in years that I traveled without my husband, so I felt a bit off. Excited about this experience as well as meeting new people. I tried to make the best of it.
It was also my first Indian wedding. Before leaving, I made sure I had proper dress attire. A girl from India sold me a beautiful lehenga that I got to wear for the wedding. Everyone, there was so inviting. One of the workers helped me dress, and she even did my hair.
It was a day full of events. I wish I understood everything that was going on, but I was happy to be part of it. There were guests from all over the world, and it was nice to meet so many people.
The next day we departed back to Mumbai. We had gotten a hotel, but we spent the whole night parting. We got to our hotel at 6 AM, just in time to depart to the airport to go to New Delhi.
We said our goodbyes to our friends, and off we went. The plan was to go get to Delhi, get a cab, go to Agra, see the Taj Mahal and then get another cab to travel 12 hours to another town. This plan did not work. The flight was 4 hours long. Then another 5 hours in a taxi. Our driver got pulled over by an officer for hitting him on the road. Yes, that happened. There was arguing, and then there was my cousin and I freaking out about not knowing what to do. We were in the middle of nowhere. Eventually, he let us go.
After arriving in Agra, we realized that the Taj Mahal was almost closing. It was dark, and there were no lights there. We had to make a decision. We would either spend the night in Agra and see the Taj Mahal, or forget about it and go to the next town. Both of us thought the best decision was to stay. By this time we were both tired and hangry. We had our driver pull into the first hotel, and we paid for the night.
I questioned when was the last time the sheets were washed, but by this time we both didn’t care and tucked ourselves in.
The next morning we got up to see the Taj Mahal. It was a building. A beautiful building, but it was one of those things that you see, and then you’re done. We took photos, walked around and killed some time.
We went to the market and bought some souvenirs. Time seemed like it flew. We hired another cab to take us back to Delhi where we would meet some friends who were letting us stay in their home.
We didn’t get to see much of Delhi because by the time we got there it was late.
The next day, a van picked us up to take us to the wedding reception. The whole place and decorations were beautiful. We ate, we danced and we made new friends.
This concluded the end of my trip. The next day I would fly to Paris and spend the next three days on my own before returning home.