About

Justified unemployment.

Unsurprisingly, I tend to write about religion, women, and culture. Sometimes about silly things that happen, but more often the difficult things. This is a “journey” by being an evolutionary experience in a foreign country, not because I am constantly moving from place to place or behaving like a typical backpacker.

Being a nomad is my life right now, not a break from some other life elsewhere. The longer I am away, the more permanent this feels.

If I have nothing to say beyond a description of my breakfast, I won’t write. Promise.

 

August 10th, 2011, “To India”:

My backpack has been packed and repacked, straps adjusted, objects shuffled around or abandoned. I’ve poured over the guidebooks, chosen my gear (it took months to settle on a mosquito net), and made contacts in India. I’ve got a notebook with carefully recorded directions, safety instructions, and advice.

It’s been six months since the seed of this journey was nestled into my brain, an offhand comment that rolled through my mind during one restless night and bore a lengthy email to my family – a declaration of intent-to-travel that has manifested in my small, overbearing pack, ten shots of various unpleasant and/or deadly diseases, and a six-month visa for India.

I’m living the Gap Year Traveler, mixed with some New Age Pilgrimage and Wandering Soul.

Intense preparation was part escape, as I tired of DePaul and being a College Student. It also shaped my understanding of the coming months, taking note of where I felt called to, how the places related to each other, the path found in maps and ideas. But, most of all, it is my liberation. With extra caution and understanding, I can take calculated risks that push myself and my journey farther into adventure and fuller engagement.

While you could argue that a traveler is going out to “find herself,” the experience has been more an education in perspectives. Some self-reflection slides in with the fresh understanding. Several summers ago, in Europe, I noticed that reactions to my eating vegan revealed how people viewed their food – from a plastic-encased, disconnected food product that silently appears in the grocery store to a purchase from a known farmer’s cows that someone passes every day. Even before I cross into a new culture, reactions to my journey expose how others understand their lives and roles in society. Each encounter produces a particular form of lifestyle that otherwise might blend into a generic “normal” somewhere in the world. It all sounds very grand, a journey to India, but it is a matter of perspective. This is tame travel to many people, to others it is nearly unthinkable – “but who are you going with?” I promise, I do not hold any pretense of innovation or uniqueness.

For the past few days, I’ve found myself thinking “but what does it mean?” over and over: an attempt, perhaps, to comprehend this new way of moving through the world as I wait at the precipice, the potential that the next piece of my life could hold. This has been a summer of waiting in the distance, a slow advance in a watery neutral space. Here, sitting in the O’Hare airport with my netbook balanced on my knee and surely-soon-to-be-thinned objects waiting beside me, something has concluded. Yet somehow still here in the liminal space, not quite on the official journey, I have reached a new dimension of anticipation. An inner quietness, a familiar traveling mindset that I feel descend whether I am waiting for a bus or a lift. A space where constancy is in the movement, where the temporality of life is more fully present, where beginnings and endings are pronounced. I am shifting into a different way of moving through the world, as I will shift through many spaces and forms in my life.

So. To India.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “About

  1. You are my hero, B. I can’t wait to learn from you and your experiences this next year!

    Posted by Madison | July 8, 2011, 6:09 pm
  2. Its an interesting but truthful and intriguing look at India and really enjoyed it and the description of Mumbai is just perfect. I live in the city see its madness on a daily basis :).

    Posted by Sriram | March 23, 2012, 7:05 am
    • Thank you for commenting! I am grateful and relieved to hear that it is alright. One of my greatest concerns in writing is creating an unfair account when describing the more challenging sides of travel in India. Will continue to strive for ethical representation.

      Posted by Bridget | March 23, 2012, 9:42 pm
      • I believe that its the best way forward as the areas that need improvement for you as a traveller are also an areas of concern for me too. Maybe to a lesser degree but I too will be affected by some of things when I travel to those places. Most places have something lacking and there are some basics that are univeral requirement if we want to have a steady stream of people coming to visit. If something is wrong, rarely should one defend it and know India I would say somethings are really frustrating :).

        Posted by Sriram | March 23, 2012, 9:59 pm

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