Thursday, June 30, 2011

tell the world. . .

3 continents, 6 countries, and over 6 months later. . .

{even before i left this was my designated coming home song, but now it's real. singing this walking off the plane for sure}

friends, tonight i board a plane to qatar. after a few hours in the doha airport, i'm off to nyc and from nyc - HOME.

i am filled with such a mix of emotions right now i am going to be a mess when i walk off that plane in charlotte in two days. it is all very bittersweet.

as much as i have loved, enjoyed, cherished these past few months abroad - all the funny stories, making new friends, exploring old and new cities, getting lost, trying out new foods {and learning to make them!}, taking photos, writing in my journals, reading for hours {entirely uninterrupted}, seeing some of the world's largest cities for the first time, a life of true adventure, painting and drawing, the daily excitement, the constant change, and feeling the true sense of victory when i overcame something really difficult or challenging - {just to name a few!} - i am really looking forward to HOME.

just some of the things i am looking forward to:

- that first hug from my family & friends . . . seeing them all for the first time in HALF A YEAR!
- painting on real canvases
- going to church
- sleeping in my first clean and comfortable bed in HALF A YEAR {no more rats, poisonous snakes, roaches, spiders, bed bugs, lice, urine stains, wood mattresses [yes] to worry about!}
- cooking in mom's kitchen {and eating her amazing homegrown foods!}
- kale
- editing and posting photos {on my new lappy!!! no more internet cafes y'all}
- being able to walk down the street without being stared at, shouted at, and asked if they could take their photo with me {realized on this trip i am so not cut out to be a celebrity}. i cannot wait to get back and simply blend-in
- unpacking and staying unpacked
- reading books from a library
- playing sports with family and friends
- sharing stories and hearing stories
- driving things
- working {knowing i am actually earning rather than only spending!}. . . paying off my little debt that i owe to my parents!
-planning for the next four years at uni
- getting back to a classroom and real schoolwork
- running
- yoga classes and teaching!
- learning new things back home too {this is the year i learn to sew and knit mind you}
- playing with new babies and puppies
- davidson
- nc weather {and a/c and pools and being able to wear shorts in hot weather!}
-clean water
- writing letters

i still have A LOT to still write and share about this little journey of mine, so stay tuned! . . .but for now, i'm just focused on getting HOME.

this was the best decision i have ever made in my life and i am forever thankful for all that i have had the chance to see and do. i feel so loved and so blessed. thanks for all your support too lovies!

signing off for the last time from kathmandu,



p.s. tonight there will be tears.

{photo from flickr}

Saturday, June 25, 2011

so little time left

hard to believe it. . . just where does time go when you travel?

in just three days i'll be back in kathmandu!

instead of killing myself to get back to this place, i have opted to take the expensive {though more practical} route back into nepal. a direct flight from delhi to ktm.

currently in pushkar having a killer time and i look forward to seeing friends in delhi tomorrow afternoon {after my LAST long train ride in india for a while!}

all the love!

Monday, June 20, 2011

three little things

+ just finished a fabulous book {may you be the mother of a hundred sons} this afternoon in udaipur. a certain lovely lady recommended it to me last time we were in india, and i finally got around to reading it. i think you should read it too.

+ tonight = overnight sleeper bus in the desert! in the morning i'll be in jodhpur {a famously blue city}

+ eleven days. in eleven days i'll board a plane. it's unreal.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

bombay for dreamers

i made it to mumbai world!

this place is wayy better than i thought it would be, in fact, i don't particularly want to leave anytime soon, but in the afternoon tomorrow, i'm off to rajasthan {starting in udaipur [a.k.a the city of lakes] for those of you who are interested in a more specific travel itinerary!}

leaving bapatla was hard and i hate not being able to answer the questions "when are you coming back? coming for christmas?coming next year???" the truth is i don't know. i really didn't even know i would be fortunate enough to make it back there after two years. i am so happy to have had the chance to get back there. i felt truly at home there and it was well worth the long journeys and expense of getting down there.

my journey into mumbai wasn't ideal {it had me coming into this crazy city at 4:30 in the morning without a place to stay [after 24 hours on a train too!]} but everything worked out and the salvation army house thankfully let me sleep on the floor of the kitchen until check-in time at 7:30 {dear friends and fellow travelers, here's a tip for you - travel with a lightweight yoga mat. always. it has saved my life more than once on this trip}.

once i got showered, changed, i got to do one of my most favorite things in life - wander through a new city. i found mumbai {or at least the parts of what i have seen today} surprisingly charming. i haven't seen or experienced the pressures of shantaram's world. . . yet.

i met a group of sweet swedish nurses tonight at the gateway to india {sometimes being a tourist is quite fun. . . esp. when you are an instant celebrity. more photos were taken of me and the swedes than the "gateway" itself today.} . . . and now i'm off to a little dinner with them.

p.s. my sister is wonderful. please read her most recent post about the blog world. i don't have any real reasons for keeping this blog myself. i am no writer but i do love to share what inspires me throughout the day. . . most of the time i know i am writing to myself, but ultimately it is a ridiculously fun way to document time. one of these days i will actually get around to writing about meaningful stuff . . . but for now, i'm sticking to my travel agenda and what i am doing from day to day. . . read it or not. . .

p.p.s. it is absolutely killing me not being able to post photos. . . i have seen some amazing things in india this time around and i am afraid my limited vocabulary doesn't even begin to capture this place.

until next time world. . .

Sunday, June 12, 2011

little letters

dear blog,

sorry i have been a lame blogger. internet is slow and without recent photos to post i just haven't felt much like blogging.

dear ipod,

please have enough battery to get me through the next few train/bus rides. please.

dear indian summers,

you're hot.

dear random facebook messages from people i have only met once,

i've received lots of you this past week and they've all been great, very affirming. keep 'em coming.

dear bapatla,

you are awesome. i love you. thanks for the good times.

dear women of the kitchen here in bapatla,

thanks for letting me help out. i've missed cooking dearly and i've loved learning new things from you. also, where can i get my hands on one of those fancy/ not so fancy knives/ blades? i want one to come home with me.

dear family bank,

thank you for the loan. without you, i would be sleeping in the streets in india. one of these days i will have a job again and pay you back!

dear johnson,

thanks for the driving lessons. i can now officially mark off - "learn to drive a motorcycle" on my life list. one of these days i'll see all of india by bike. i just know it.

dear ice cream, polaroid cameras, and red ray ban wayfarers,

i would like all of you to be a part of my life when i get home.

dear future dorm room,

i cannot stop thinking of all the ways i want to decorate you. i just hope i will follow through with some of these ideas. it will be rad.

dear clothes being made at the tailors,

please fit. remember, my arms are not indian sized.

dear camera {s},

you're dirty and need a good clean after all this traveln'.

dear rihanna,

one of these days we're going to be so close you're going to call me up on the phone whenever you've got man problems. i just know it.

dear family and friends and america,

i miss you more than i can say. three weeks. then this is all over.

{photo from india two years ago}

Thursday, June 9, 2011

where i am now

after two years, i've made it back to bapatla!

i went through hell to get here, {the train from varanasi to vijayawada took 31 hours. yes, 31 and unless you have traveled long distances on indian trains before, you have no idea how challenging they can be!} but as soon as i saw johnson at the train station, i was the happiest person on earth.

not long after i got in, got showered, i was whisked off to not one, but two weddings in the local villages last night. let's just say i was reminded once again why i love india so much!

i did not realize how much i missed this place until i got here.

most of the childrens are still on summer vacation, but most should be here by the time i have to leave.

more to come. . .

but for now, enjoy the photo from the water fight two years ago. . .

Saturday, June 4, 2011

happy {early} birthday sam!

little bro peep,

i get this feeling you are going to be twice as tall when i get home, have a girlfriend, and act all mature and grown up. this, is not allowed i am afriad.

hope that you have a fantastic 17th birthday tomorrow.

love you and miss you dearly,

your big sis,


{photo of sam and i sometime in the winter last year}

happy happy {belated} birthday maria

dear mac,

sorry i couldn't be there to celebrate with you this year. remember last year we got to celebrate at the beach?!

it has been unfair going this long without seeing you and i absolutely cannot wait to hug you.

you are amazing in every way and i love everything about you.

i know full well that you will have a great year of LIFE!



{photo from charleston trip '10}