Bharat Yatra

I often forget that I have this Word Press.  I believe I made it as another outlet for myself to express myself where no one I personally knew could really find me.  I believe that was about two years ago or so.

I don’t even remember when my last post was, but I’m sure a lot of things have changed!  I graduate in about three weeks, and I’ll be getting my BAs in Religion and East Asian History.  Tonight I’ve completed about half of my senior thesis (my last real obstacle this semester, required to obtain my History degree).  Today I also booked my flight to India.  Next semester will be my first semester of grad school (at my same university) and I’ll be spending it abroad at a partner university in Delhi!  I’m very excited.  While my UG History degree was in East Asian history, my MA program will be on Indian history.  As of right now, I’m playing with the idea of mid-19th century to mid-20th century India, so namely from the time of the Uprising to Partition.  My UG advisor (whose speciality is WWII Japanese war crimes and the Tokyo Trial) advised me that an MA in Japanese History (which I initially planned to apply for) would be difficult for me since I don’t know Japanese.  As a result, I’ve decided to jump into Indian History.  I’ve studied Hindi for two years; I started studying Hindi in preparation for my Religion degree.  I thought I would pursue an MA in Indian Religion, but my GPA was a lot stronger in history so I didn’t even think I’d get into the Religion MA program (I got into both, and went with History).

I’ve been wanting to apply for the Delhi study abroad program since Spring 2014 but I never committed to actually turning in the materials.  Not to mention, two years ago, I was in a much worse place mentally and emotionally.  I’m a lot better now, and I have absolutely no reservations about going.  I’m so excited.  I’ll be living with a host family for the duration of my scheduled program (July 29th – December 3rd).  My return flight is the evening of December 17th, so I left two weeks at the end of my trip to venture on my own.  I hope to make it to Uttarakhand and Jaipur, and maybe Gujarat if I have enough time, during school breaks, and I’m saving Kerala (and maybe neighboring states?) for the last two weeks of my time there.  Another girl is going as well and we’ll most likely be sharing a room in our host home, and my professor is also serving as the Resident Director at the university there.  He’s probably the biggest source of encouragement I had throughout this entire process.  From last semester, once he learned that I knew Hindi (and after my Hindi professor told him I speak it well) he asked me a couple times about going, and eventually I agreed earlier this semester.  Since then he’s spent a lot of time talking to me about things I can do around Delhi, things I’ll need, etc.  He also helped my revise a bunch of statements for my MA programs, the study abroad program, and an attractive $5,000 scholarship I applied for specifically for the study of India.  Fingers crossed — the scholarship announcement will be made on Monday.  If I get it, I’m going to India for five months only for the cost of my plane ticket and spending money.

I’ve always been so timid and soft-spoken.  I never do things on my own.  I always try to get the approval from people and whenever possible, I always try to get people to do things with me so I’m not alone.  I’m going to India for almost five months;  I’ve never spent more than two weeks away from my mom and brother; I’ve never gone abroad in such a small group.  Most importantly, I’ve never really traveled alone — I’ve taken flights on my own (I love flying on my own, actually) but I’ve never taken a trip on my own.  And here I am, at 22 (will turn 23 in India), and I’m finally doing something on my own…which may include trekking across such a large country on my own.  Two years ago, badly affected by anxiety and depression, I never thought I’d make it to India, and now I leave in about three months.  And I’ve never been more excited.