Ever since I arrived in India, I’ve made many friends and been to many farewells, seen many arrivals and departures. Whenever you arrive in a new place you feel like the outsider. You have no friends, you know nobody, and you keep listening to endless stories of people who once were here and now are gone.
Slowly you start learning names, recognizing all of these faces and being part of all of these stories. And slowly, whenever someone new arrives, you are the one telling the stories about those amazing friends you made who have gone back to their home countries: the friend who used to cook really well, or the friend who was always making you laugh even when you were crying, the friend who had the best hug, the friend who taught you a new language, the friend who had a heart of gold, the friend who was always doing something crazy, the friend who became a confident and made you feel like you are siblings from different parents. Or if you’re lucky enough, the friend who used to be all of this and much more.
A few years ago, when I was in France, I shared 4 weeks of my life with the most amazing people I could have imagined, people who I still carry deep within my heart, people who taught me that in the end of the day, we all share the same problems, agonies, anxieties and moments of small happiness…people who taught me that, by the end of the day, regardless of the country or culture, we all belong to one only family, the human race.
Here in India it’s the same, only on a larger scale. Because now, instead of 4 weeks, it’s been months shared with the same people. The only people in the entire world who, within such a short span of time, will be able to understand all of your fears, frustrations, who will be there for you and tell you kind words whenever you have a bad day in a strange country. And in India, a strange country it is! I cannot imagine how my life in here would have been if I did not count on the love and support of all of these people who have become like a new family to me.
I have the impression that being outsiders in a foreign country is an element that will bring people together, but also the fact that you realize you are together for a specific amount of time makes you closer, and makes you enjoy every day, every weekend, every trip, laughter, meal or ride. Every moment should be cherished, as for every day that passes by you have the conscience it’s one day less to enjoy these moments with these wonderful people.
Well, shouldn’t it be the way things are done our entire lives? How much would you be thankful and enjoy every single day, if you had the precise conscience of when these days will end? I guess this is one of the beautiful gifts of traveling; seizing the days, having a crystal conscience of the time you have left, enjoying every piece of food as you would never have it again, taking every picture as you will never see those moments again, hugging those special people as you don’t know if you will ever see them again, laughing, loving, playing those songs that will forever remind you of that special place and time in your life.
February will be a month where some of the very special people I met will go back to their countries, one of them who not only has been a friend, but also a colleague, a roommate and a sister from the first weeks since I got here. As much as I try to find words, I cannot fully describe how small my heart feels whenever I think of the distance who is about to be set between us.
Today, I would just like to thank every wonderful person I’ve met since I started travelling. Thank you for the moments we’ve shared, thank you for making me a stronger person, thank you for listening to my problems, thank you for teaching me to eat different food, listen to different music, and learn about different cultures. Thank you for giving me a small piece of your heart and getting one in return.
And specially to Daffy, thank you for all of our conversations during coffee at work, thank you for teaching me how tasty food at bus station can be, thank you for teaching me to dare, to stand up for myself, thank you for being like a sister whenever I had nobody from my family around, for all the moments you made me laugh and even for the upcoming moment you will make me cry, because crying means that our experience has been really special. <3