by Anna Ungerman, Greenheart Travel Abroad Participant in India
First impressions of a culture and place can become the most vivid memories that remain long after a trip has ended. Senses are heightened and the adrenaline has kicked in as each experience becomes a lesson in adaptation and patience. One Greenheart Travel participant shares her initial thoughts as she settles in to new surroundings.
“It’s hard to know where to be when everything you’ve known has been reversed and revised. When I first got here it was a constant roller coaster of emotions… part of appreciating the experience though is learning to “let go” of situations that are out of your control, as well as stepping down from your pedestal of pride. Just because this country is suffering from mass poverty and numerous other problems doesn’t mean that the people here aren’t as rich as kings in other areas of life. I understand now that these people aren’t necessarily victims of their life style, but more as participants in cultural traditions. Traditions that I’ve never been exposed to in any other country. For example, the social hierarchy of men is so prominent that the ratio of men to women i see on average is about 10:4. The women here have a meekness and mystery about them that always leave me so curious about what it would be like in their “sari’s” if you will… Its been such a wonderful experience living here already for 2 weeks. I feel almost like I’m no longer an observer but a participant in the this living and thriving community.” -Anna Ungerman