I don't think they realize that outside the context of our family, I am exotic. Surrounded by whiter friends and relatives, I'm assumed to be the nanny, pursued by "ethnic" fetishists, and asked, nearly once a week, "What are you?"
It's not something they've experienced. Not something they can know.
This weekend alone, the question came twice. I gave my stock answer, explaining India. But still... it's hard.
No one is asking who I am. They're asking what.
Since returning from our trip to the Exumas, Nate and I have been talking about where we should go next. In some ways, I want to do something easy. A week in Mexico, for example. (I've got a lead on an incredible little eco-cabin right on a beach with tonnes of wildlife. Sigh.) I dream about a week of total relaxation. A week designed around what I imagine I want, which is to read and sleep and eat seafood.
But then... I also want to go to India.
I've been already. Several times. But always on my Dad's dime, and always with the protective buffer of family around me. With a confident, domineering dad, a place to stay, and a mother who speaks both Konkani and a bit of Hindi, the India travel I've done has been easy. It's been about sunny days, posh hotels and pretty beaches. Sure, we stayed in very small villages too. Dirt floors, boiled well-water, no western bathrooms, but again, with family, which is not the same as traveling alone.
And there are the beaches to consider. Nathan and I both love the beach. I mean, it's not like the journey would be selfless.
But India isn't easy. The real India is something unknown.
All the more reason to go, right?