Over the last 3.5 years or so without my dad in my life, I have visited India 3 times. My first trip to India was shortly after his passing, the point being to pay my respects to his immediate family – his mom, dad, and brother – and his enormous extended family. The following trip was solo. This was especially special to me because for the first time in my life, I traveled to different parts of India and truly bonded with my dad’s family. I also dove into learning more about my parent’s religion. My most recent trip was in December. I traveled through other parts of India again and thoroughly enjoyed every minute spent there. I adventured and dove into the culture to leave my comfort zone. I finally felt a sense of security and safety in what to me was once a foreign country.
Each trip, I made amazing memories and true connections with my family members – connections I never had living on the other side of the world away from most of my family. Each trip, I went almost looking for my dad and looking for the answers to my thousands of questions. I wanted so desperately to find out why my dad left me. Although I will never get the answer to that question, I got so many more answers. I went to India to learn more about my dad, but I learned more about myself. Each trip led me to exponential growth. Each trip taught me more about myself. While looking for my dad in India and while getting lost, I found myself.
Ever since my dad passed away, I have been looking for some sense of security. Losing a parent at the vulnerable age of 18 made me believe the world was insecure and evil. It made me insecure about myself as a whole and about my decisions regarding various things. Traveling abroad, especially to a country with generations of family, connections, and memories gave me that sense of security. I was born and raised in this country, but I find myself feeling homesick from India. I am so thankful for all of my experiences and my opportunities to travel. I cannot wait for my next trip and the new discoveries I make!
Here are some of my favorite pictures from my last trip: