Since I was a little girl, I have always been scared of finding myself trapped in a boring routine. So I daydreamed about escaping and wandering, whenever it feels like I’m being stuck in the same place because I want the rush and excitement of adventure. AlL-THE-TIME. That’s why I had to make an almost-impossible trip to Amritsar happen, whatever it took.
It all started with what I think must of young adults problems or “crisis” start with: my heart started whispering something to me, like “Hey, you should really follow your dreams” or “You should do whatever you want to do in this moment of your life, you are so young” and you know the time you get to actually enjoy yourself will never be wasted time. But I still decided to ignore that voice.
This happened to me when I first made the decision of moving to India, but it started a few weeks ago again. The problem begins when we try to shut that voice or feeling and we stick to what our brains are used to. In my case, I wanted to take some time off work, but I felt like I couldn’t, and I kept reminding my “nerd academic-self” that everything in life is hard work, and study, and diplomas, etc, etc. That led to an internal conflict that made me feel bad, lazy, and confused. Why would I want to put a pause on working if I did all of this to work? I moved here to work in fashion, right?
But the problem is I was feeling sick again and I was dealing with a lot of stress at the moment, so I couldn’t enjoy anything. I wanted to stop, and take some time for myself, and feel 100% good again. So I decided to change my initial plans in order to have a little more time to dedicate to myself, and I will spend it traveling, something I don’t think I will have the luxury to do back in Colombia when I’m working again in an office 9 to 5.
I was wondering (A LOT) what to do next and then, I decided to stop for a second: I’m was here, in India stressed like a western (lol but true). I realized all I needed to do is relax in my yoga pants
, drink a chai, and start working on my future plans with calm and not letting the rush and the stress of “what comes next” take away my inner peace.
And what am I missing right now, anyway? What’s there to worry about? I feel extremely happy. Completely. I have the luxury to live in Indian time, which means, I live day by day without too many plans ahead, because what you think in the morning can easily change by the evening, and I just got used to that. I guess at this point in my life I’m doing what a lot of people wish they could do during their entire lives: have time for themselves.
So I had a weekend with no plans and I told a friend “Hey, let’s visit Amritsar!”. So we book the train tickets and were ready to leave by Friday night. We got to the train station early to find out the train was delayed by 2 hours. So we waited 2 hours, and then we were told the train was delayed another 5 hours. By this point, we knew the train would never come, so we left home and decided to come back the next day. But the next day it was all the same. Instead of giving up, we went in a rush to the bus station and decided we would travel all Saturday night on a bus, and spend all Sunday in Amritsar to come back the same night. It was crazy, but I needed to make it happen.
After 10 hours of crazy driving, we arrived in Amritsar at 7 am. We went to the golden temple right away, and since it was winter, the marble floors were freezing our bare feet but fortunately for me, the fact that I had to wear a scarf
around my head wasn’t something terrible like it would have been if we would have visited during summer. The golden temple is one of the most amazing places I have visited in India. I particularly like a lot the Punjabi culture, and I find it very interesting, so getting to walk around and know this incredible and iconic place for the Sikh culture was unbelievable.
After our entire morning in the temple, we went for lunch, and then we jumped on a car to see the border ceremony. It is a tense environment since it is a “competition” between Indian and Pakistani soldiers, but still, it is quite spectacular. Before the ceremony started, a bunch of Indian women were dancing in the road showing everyone their bests Punjabi moves, and I thought it was lovely. Then the soldiers requested everyone to seat, and they started walking and the higher the leg goes up, the better it is. When the ceremony comes to an end, the flags of both countries come down, and people are able to go near the gate they close to have a closer look on the Pakistani side.
After the border ceremony, we went back to Amritsar and had some time to visit the temple at night. If you plan to visit don’t miss the chance to do this, since the lighting of the temple at night makes it even more magical. We sat there for a few hours and then left to take our bus back to Delhi at 10 p.m. It was an intense day but it was amazing. When we got on the bus, ready to leave, we saw fireworks in the air, as a perfect way to give closure to our time in Amritsar.