I'm officially back home in the USA, and the fact that I just spent the past few weeks travelling around India seems completely surreal to me. Nineteen days ago, I boarded a flight to a faraway country with some familiar faces and a head full of fears. Now, I have made so many new friends, gained so much new knowledge, and have had one of the most unique travel experiences I could ever imagine. There are so many things I could say to conclude my thoughts on this trip, but I don't think any words will do it justice. Traveling to India forced me to step out of the world I have grown familiar with and into a totally different universe. Just a few weeks in India were not nearly enough, so I know I'll be back soon. This trip has most definitely shaped the way I view the fashion industry, and going forward I know it will impact the decisions I make in my studies, my career, and the way I live my life. India is a young country with a lengthy history. It is rich in color, personality, and faith. What its people lack in wealth they make up for in generosity and happiness.
Before I stop talking about India (okay, let's be real, I'm never going to stop talking about India...) there are many thanks to be had...
Thank you to my new FSAD and IARD friends! You made this trip so much fun, and I am so glad to have become close with each and every one of you!
Thank you to Professor Hinestroza, Professor Green, and Professor Fan. Not only were you fantastic leaders in a foreign land, but also your insightful company truly enhanced the experience of the trip. I am not sure how you managed to keep track of 13 students every day, I appreciate all of your hard work throughout the entire trip!
Thank you to Avinash Khanapure, our fearless leader! And also, thank you to the entire Sathguru team for organizing this amazing trip, making sure each day ran seamlessly, and putting on two amazing parties for us! I am already looking forward to seeing you again the next time I am in India!
Thank you to Mr. Ajit Khaitani, Gary, Depac, and the entire United Dry Goods team for welcoming us into your space, showing us a good time, and making this trip possible. I will be forever grateful for your generosity and hospitality.
Thank you to Cornell University and the Fiber Science Department for providing me with this opportunity and also with the opportunity to study something I love so much!
Thank you to my parents for trusting me to travel to India and come back in one piece, and a special thank you to my father for stepping in as blogger extraordinaire and keeping my website afloat while I was away.
Thank you to YOU (the readers!) for sharing in my experiences, following my journey, and sending me your thoughts, questions, and comments. I hope my photos and posts sparked some sort of discourse in your life (I know this trip certainly impacted the way I think about India, the apparel production industry, worker conditions, religion, America's place in the global economy, and curry's place in my daily diet).
Being a travel blogger has been a blast, but now I have to go back to being a college student (sigh). I hope to one day have another travel opportunity such as this, but I will always cherish this trip!
I'll leave you with some of my favorite shots from across India...