Hello from India!
Since my time in India is winding down (kind of) I have been thinking about what I have learned so far in this experience. It has been amazing so far and I am so thankful for this opportunity. I have grown so much.
I am naturally a positive person which is probably why I have not posted anything too negative or hard about my experience so far. The hard parts are a huge part of my trip too so I am making an effort to talk about them more.
The hardest part of my experience when I first arrived was finding a new routine. I love a good routine. I have a strict during the week routine that I follow. It makes my work days flow smoothly and I am a much happier person because of it. As you can imagine, moving to a foreign country really throws off your routine! And not just your morning routine... ALL OF THEM.
I was so overwhelmed when I first got here that I did not even realize how much this mattered to me. Once I could chill and journal a bit (after the initial sleep deprivation) I realized I needed to find a new routine to make India feel like home. Since India is dramatically different from the United States I realized quickly that my new routine was not going to resemble my former routine at all. A big problem for me was the inability to exercise outside. Those of you who knew me at Belmont know that I religiously woke up at 5:00am everyday to rock climb and ran or did yoga almost every night. It was my way of taking my mind off school and feeling fresh and healthy. The pollution is insane here in India and there is no way to exercise outside and the gyms are well I don’t know how to say this nicely but pretty dirty. A gym membership is not a common thing here so there is not a lot of money invested in them.
Here are things that I have implemented to make India feel more like home.
- I still wake up at 5:00am even though I do not have a dynamic workout. I do YouTube yoga in my room for an hour to at least keep flexible for climbing when I’m home. And then I respond to emails from the States/Facebook Video with friends and family. Then do work for my side projects. I started taking a few classes over here (online in the States) to hone some technical skills that I didn’t have the chance to work on in college. And honestly, because I can’t stay away from classes and learning.
Something really interesting that I found in the States that I missed in India is running into the same strangers all the time. I know this sounds weird but it is weirdly comforting. The same thing happened to me when I lived in London and I always seem to see the same strangers in New York too.
2. I will admit that I don’t eat Indian food everyday. I did in the beginning when it wasn’t as hot but now that it is consistently 108 or above everyday eating hot and spicy food isn’t my first choice. As a result, I eat a lot of Subway. My office is in a food desert so I find it funny that there is even a Subway here but there is! Great news for me!
^ this is what I eat multiple times a week
The funny part about me eating Subway is that the second I walk in the door they start making my sandwich. I always get the same thing: wheat bread, grilled chicken, every vegetable, minimal mustard, salt & pepper – they have perfected it! Even though We can’t communicate (sort of) they are so sweet and it’s nice to see the same people over and over again.
Around 3:30pm or so almost everyday I need to stand up and walk around. Usually this means getting some “fresh” (read: hot) air and some light. Our office doesn’t have any windows...
I usually walk to a cafe down the street and get what they call “cold coffee” over here. It’s kind of like melted ice cream, coffee, and a lot of chocolate. They love Hershey’s!
^ my two most common drinks in India: water and coffee! I meant to take this picture before I drank my coffee but I completely forgot! Whoops!
The guy in the very top corner is who makes me the same coffee almost everyday. We also can’t communicate (except with smiles). I know they think it’s funny that I come in so often! It’s really the only option.
Until next time!