What was your dream come true in 2011? What is your wildest dream for 2012?
In 2008, a mere 6 weeks after my long-term relationship ended and I was grieving, lost and feeling very alone, I took myself off on a month long holiday to India and Thailand to lift my own spirits. I had become fascinated with India after reading the blog of a young American woman travelling and living there. But what I knew of India was that people either love it or hate it and I was unsure how I would react. So I booked myself onto a two week tour that took me sailing down the Ganges to Varanasi to Agra and the Taj Mahal, to Jaipur, to Pushkar and then back to Delhi. And I loved it. The energy, the colours, the sights were unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was the joy, the happiness and joy on the faces of the children who had nothing that really captured my heart and reignited my own joy of living. When I left, I knew I wanted to return to India again but not as a tourist. I wanted something more, a closer interaction with the people and children who had so little things but so much joy.
In July, my dream finally came true. I spent two months in Pondicherry volunteering with Prime Trust. I lived a different life surrounded by dirt, poverty, rubbish, heat but so much joy. I volunteered with orphan boys and I helped to establish Prime Trust’s own new orphanage for boys. I met wonderful people from India and around the world. We shared lunches, dinners, pancakes, beers. We partied. We danced.
In a few hours one night, I simply had the most fun I had ever had in my life. I visited the leprosy slum school with my friend and fellow volunteer Nicolas. The children were so excited to see us, lining up for the opportunity to sing or dance for us to welcome us to their school. And when they had finished, they grabbed our hands, pulled us to our feet and we danced and spun around in circles and laughed and took silly photos until finally we collapsed exhausted in a sweaty mess. This one night made my visit to India unforgettable.
Although I am sad to leave my Asian life behind, I am very excited about 2012. I feel like it is filled with endless possibilities. Not long after my travels commenced, I rediscovered my love of writing. I loved to write as a child and in High School, my favourite subject was English. And then I became practical. I focused on uncreative, inexpressive business studies and then focused on my financial planning career. During this time, I wrote every day as part of my work, practical reports explaining strategies, policies or analysing business acquisitions, but my personal and creative writing was sparse and sporadic. Then I started travelling and I started to blog regularly. I wrote poems and captured moments I never published for anyone and kept just for me. I wrote more and more until it became a daily practice, a part of how I live.
I have a story to tell and although those inner demons keep insisting that it’s not worth telling, my wildest dream for 2012 is to write my story, to write a book and to get it in the process of being published.
|With kids from the Leprosy Slum School, Pondicherry|
|A few boys from the remedial school in Muthial Pet|
|My farewell dinner with my volunteering friends|
|Two of my orphan boys, Xaviyer & Rajeskar|
|Dance Party with DJ Bobby @ Seagulls, Pondicherry|