Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Traveling Blues

I'm definitely struggling right now. I'm feeling left out, disappointed, and defeated. And it doesn't help that I have another cold. I was so excited to get out of town and see the rest of India. I think I just don't like Bangalore that much. It is a nice enough city and good for first-time visitors, but it is so Westernized that it has lost a lot of its original culture. I don't really feel like I'm in India. I was looking forward to the upcoming travel opportunities, hoping that I could see a real part of India. Now it feels like it is all spinning out of control and I don't have the power to stop it. In the beginning, the plan was to go to Kerala for Spring Break and then during our three-week travel period, we would circle around Northern India. My travel companions and I were starting to plan things out and everything seemed great. Suddenly, last week, I find out that they decided instead of going to Kerala for Spring Break, they've decided to go to Delhi and Rajasthan and leave Kerala for after classes, to go along with our North East portion of the trip. Okay, I could deal with that. I was a little annoyed that no one asked me about it, but whatever. But it just keeps getting worse. Now they've decided that they want to spend two days in Delhi/Agra and the rest of the break on a camel safari in Rajasthan. Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that I would like to see other cities in Rajasthan, and that I don't want to go on a five day camel ride. I would be okay with two days, because it would be an interesting experience and a good story to tell. But what is so appealing about spending five days in the desert, on a camel, in 90 degree heat? But instead of compromising, all they tell me is: "Well, you can find a hotel to stay in and we'll come pick you up when we're done." Why the hell would I want to spend the little money I have to spend five days by myself in a state where it isn't advisable for women to travel alone? That would mean spending the majority of my Spring Break cooped up in a hotel room.

Now they're planning a couple of weekend trips for the next two weekends and the only reason I know about them is because they mentioned something to each other and I asked what they were talking about. The three of them are hunched over books and computers and have never once asked me what I think, or really even if I wanted to go there.

So I don't know what I'm going to do. I might go on the weekend trips. For Spring Break, I might just fly to Delhi with them, travel to Rajasthan, then split up. I'll go see Jaipur for a day or two and then fly back to Bangalore and do some volunteer work or something. It just breaks my heart a little. I was looking so forward to planning out trips with my friends and now it seems like they are planning out trips and I can tag along if I want. There is no compromise; majority rules. I've found myself counting down the days until I get to go home, which isn't how I wanted to remember India. This isn't what I want to tell people when I get back. But what other choice do I have? It isn't safe to travel alone and all the other groups are either planning trips I'm not interested in or I just really don't like the people in the groups.

Well, we'll see what happens. It sounds like Spring Break is going to suck, but I still have hope for our three-week trip. Maybe that will turn out okay. Maybe I'll actually be included in the planning, since portions of it were my idea to begin with. I'm sorry to dump all this bitterness on you all. I'm just having a rough week and all I want to do is go back to Washington and cry. And stop being sick constantly.


  1. Ugh, that SUCKS!!! People can be such assholes. When you're abroad, it's so necessary to equally compromise, otherwise you just end up wasting other people's time. And a camel safari. Really? That sounds kind of lame for FIVE DAYS. What do you do, ride a camel, set up camp, ride a camel, set up camp, ride a camel... Exciting....

  2. Awww Erika I'm so sorry to hear that! That really sucks. :( Hopefully they will rethink their camel safari idea but if not at least you have a fun trip planned for the end of the program. :-/