The India Archive [1]

In 2012 I spent four weeks in Bangalore, India. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I cried a lot, I complained a lot, and there were at least two instances that I was positive I would die. That said, I learned a lot and went on adventures and had so much fun. On a bi-weekly-Monday basis I will share my trip here.

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. . .

The four-week study abroad program I applied to was presented to me/us in an “Eat, Pray, Love” kind of way. In reality, we saw a lot more “Slumdog Millionaire” action. Honestly, the two movies that sum up the real India are “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Million Dollar Arm.” All of that to say Bangalore is a real city in a real foreign country and it was real culture shock.

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I am so glad that I traveled to Bangalore, but I really wish I would have had the right knowledge to mentally prepare; I think it would’ve made a world of difference. But what’s done is done.

My mom encouraged me to study abroad in my final year of school, but I believe she had a westernized European county in mind. When I came home with India brochures my parents’ jaws dropped and it took a little convincing to get them to agree. K was also a little wary, but like I said on Friday, he was nothing but supportive.

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They even got me a cake!

There were 6 girls that signed up for the program from my university. Additionally, there were 10 other students from the US that met up with us at our layover in Hong Kong or in Bangalore. (Plus 3 American adults on the trip.) The flights from Pittsburgh to NY to Hong Kong were fairly uneventful (and loooong) but our trip from Hong Kong to Bangalore scared the living sh*t out of me. I’m still a little nervous when it comes to flying.

Never in my life has a plane shook so hard or dropped altitude so fast. Even the flight attendants had fear in their voices. One of my travelmates was across the aisle and two rows behind me and I swear we just locked eyes and knew we were going to die in the damn Bay of Bengal. Everyone else on the plane (read: Asian business men and women) were peacefully sleeping. It was so surreal.

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Obviously we were fine and landed in Bangalore after roughly 36 hours of travel. #dead

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** If you fly in from the right direction in HK it looks like you’re landing in the ocean! **

So that’s enough for now. I could go on for hours; it was seriously the biggest adventure of my life!

More India craziness in two weeks!

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15 thoughts on “The India Archive [1]

  1. I have that awful pins and needles feeling I get when my anxiety goes up just reading your plane story…even if I know the outcome, that’s absolutely terrifying. On the other hand, I’m excited to hear the rest of your India story because it sounds like it was an amazing experience!

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    1. You know what’s funny? I went back to read my journal from India just to make sure I had some numbers right and when I got to the part about the turbulence, which I’d written on the plane RIGHT after it happened, I said it was scary but also super exciting. Now I just look back on it as terrifying! So weird!

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    1. During one of our weekends we could take a day trip to Mysore! I opted to stay home and relax and rest- my introvert personality needed some TLC that day so I missed out on the trip.

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  2. I literally am nauseated thinking of that plane ride…. I dont fly. I am terrified of it. Those moments like that is the reason why.

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    1. I have never ever been that scared and I’ve been flying all my life. It still has me a little scarred. After reading my journal, though (which I described the turbulence as EXCITING !!?), I think my current fear is a mix of the rocky flight AND all the recent news stories of flights going down or getting lost.
      Apparently in the moment I was very, very adventurous!

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  3. oh yay so excited to read more! when we flew into hong kong for the first time in 2014 i totally thought the same thing! i said to my husband “um…are we landing in the ocean!?!” it’s by far one of the prettier landings/surroundings i’ve seen but i am so sorry for a bumpy flight – yuck!

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    1. I’ve talked to a few people that have flown into Hong Kong and they all say the same thing 😀 I think that’s so neat!! I wish it hadn’t been such a cloudy day!

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  4. I love hearing about people’s study abroad adventures! I was able to study in Hawaii for a j-term, and spain for a whole semester (and I went to Uruguay by myself on a “make your own study abroad” after graduation), so I’m a big believer in the experience. Can’t wait to hear more about yours!

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    1. Oh my gosh, those sound like amazing adventures! Hawaii?? Lucky girl! I wish I would’ve done more with the traveling when I was in school. I guess I just have to make up for it now 😉

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