Back to Reality

It has been just about two weeks since I returned home from India. Though the jet lag has faded and the stomach has settled, I still feel just a little out of it. When I got to India, I was prepared to feel scared, surprised, and uneasy. When I got back home, I wasn’t scared or surprised, but was a little bit uneasy. I felt as if I was in an alternate universe for two months and when I landed back in my universe, it didn’t feel like it was mine anymore. Everything looked and seemed different and strange.

As my parents welcomed me at JFK with big hugs and relieved looks on their face, they asked how it felt to be home. The only response I could come up with was, “Really weird.” Since that first night, it has felt less and less weird. Being back on campus with my friends and getting ready for classes has brought me back to reality. But when people ask me about my summer, I feel like I’m describing a crazy dream I had. And now, when I’m walking around, I notice little things I never would have before. For instance, I never realized how much people trust street lights here. If the light is green, nobody even looks, they just go with full confidence. I still have leftover trust issues with street lights, since they are kind of just for decoration in India. Anyway, you get the point, some things are hard to shake!

I guess I waited a little while to do this last blog post, because I really didn’t know how to sum up my time in India. I think I’m still processing all the things I did and saw and experienced. When I do look back on my summer, though, I get flashes of some of the funniest, scariest and once-in-a-lifetime moments that Sylvia and I had. I see the time we got chased by a monkey in Jaipur, while teenage boys laughed hysterically. I see our trip to the Taj Mahal, which is completely worth the hype and honestly took my breath away. I see Sylvia and I walking from the gym to our house, feeling totally accomplished when we knew the way home without google maps. I see the dinners I had with family and friends. I see the very sweaty day that Sylvia and I kept getting lost in Delhi. I see the extremely spicy meal I had while sitting on the floor of a restaurant in Jaipur. I see the beautiful meditation at the lotus temple. I see us flying through the hills on a zip line over a palace in Rajasthan. This list could go on and on. My time in India was truly unforgettable and I am so grateful for it. I now feel I have a relationship with India that will grow and develop throughout the years. I don’t know when I’ll go back again, but when I do, I won’t feel so scared, surprised, or uneasy, but excited and ready to explore more of the universe I called home for that summer in college.

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About JulietKohli

Hello, my name is Juliet Kohli! I am from Montclair, New Jersey and I am a rising senior in the Health and Societies major. This summer, I am working with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) in Gurgaon, India. I am very interested in studying and working in maternal and child health. Aside from my academic/professional endeavors, I run division I Cross Country and Track and Field for UPenn. I also enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends. I am very excited for a summer filled with adventure, learning, and new experiences!