DELHI -- Realizations and true emotions can arise at the strangest of times. For me it was in a cramped bus seat on a bumpy, dusty road en route to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
Listening to my iPod and reading my fourth book in two weeks, "The Book Thief," by Markus Zusak, I began to cry. Not the hard, sobbing, sad kind of cry; No, this was a silent, peaceful, tears welling up in your eyes and spilling over when they have nowhere else to go, cry.
Playing on my iPod at the time, "Chicken Fried" by the Zac Brown Band. A song always sung loudly during a time out at a Packers game (SUPER BOWL!!!), or after one drink too many at my favorite bar.
I struggled at first to realize why this song would bring about such a strong reaction. I wasn't feeling particularly homesick. And I definitely wasn't sad.
I was happy. Scratch that, I am happy. And grateful. But not in the way you might think.
So many people I spoke with who had traveled to India (most for business), had all returned with a new appreciation for the luxuries we are afforded in the Western world. Toilets where you can actually flush your tush wipes, clean drinking water, wifi and coffee shops on every corner, are amenities we expect. Many fellow volunteers on this trip have dreamed aloud about how much they miss pizza, burgers and a cold beer.
As for me, somewhere between Delhi and one of the modern seven wonders of the world, I realized how easy it is to live without all the things we deem "necessary."
Sure, I miss taking long, hot showers and not worrying if everything I put in my mouth will make me violently ill (more on that later!), but in the end all I'm really missing from 7,000 miles away -- people. My people. And I am realizing how easy it is to take those relationships for granted, and not really spend time with friends and family when you are inundated with complex technology.
By being limited when it comes to texting, e-mail and Twitter, I'm forced to pay attention to everything and everyo…Read more...