A few years ago I made the realization that I wanted to see and experience the world even if it meant I'd do it alone if I had to. Not everyone has the same desire to travel like I do and not everyone has the same ability that I am fortunate my job and current situation allows. I understand that.
So I have. I feel brave and empowered and happy whenever I get on a plane and step off in a place I've never been before. I walk around the streets I don't know and figure out the buses and trains by myself to get anywhere I want to go. I sit alone and eat my meals and drink my coffee and feel the different energies of different cities and am energized myself by all the newness.
I count these solo trips as one of my greatest joys but, have limited myself to the United States. As brave as exploring a new city makes me feel, staying in the US still represented a sense of safety and familiarity. Even if I hadn't been to a specific city before, I still know how things work, how to call a cab if I get lost, how to communicate with almost anyone, my phone works at all times. WHAT IS THE FUN IN THAT?!
I obviously love countries that are completely different culturally from my life. I have almost always chosen to travel to developing countries that have very few things in common with how I live. I truly believe the meaning of life lies in places like these.
India was always my ultimate goal. A place that would completely challenge me as a person in this world. I decided a year ago that I was going to figure out how to get there, even if it meant I'd go alone. I needed to become wilder and bolder because the only way forward in my life was to become wilder, and bolder, or else I would simply would not exist.
I have been looking into volunteering abroad and, after many years of finding organizations that cost a small fortune and also not making it a priority, I stumbled upon International Volunteer Headquarters. This was the way.
"Nobody is going to give you a thing, darling. You have to give it to yourself."
Week one: Delhi and the god damn TAJ MAHAL: