By Ashton Willcox
I can’t wait to get to India and stop traveling.
This airport in Abu Dhabi feels like America. It’s very westernized. It feels like an airport anywhere in the developed world – in Europe or somewhere else. It doesn’t feel special. The people we’re surrounded by are from all over the world, which also makes this feel like any other airport.
I am looking forward to being somewhere that feels different, less westernized. I am looking forward to getting out of airport terminals and entering a real world. Being here makes me appreciate why we are traveling. It is not to check off boxes in random countries but to really experience a place and be immersed in a culture.
I am really interested in the Indian political system and what is going on politically in the country right now. I plan to interview people in India along our voyage to try to get a sense for the political situation. My questions so far are:
- Do you think Indian politics are becoming too radical?
- What are your opinions of Prime Minister Modi and his party?
- Do you support the BJP or the Congress Party?
- Do you think that the India and Pakistani border situation is escalating too fast?
- Where do you think religion fits into Indian politics?
I hope that people will be open to my questions. Sometimes people in the United States react quickly to political questions. I hope that I will be able to engage in long thoughtful conversations about these topics while in India.
I think that the entire group is looking forward to finally being on the subcontinent. People’s morale is high but I know that others have questions similar to mine that they can’t wait to ask. It might not be about politics, but each of us seems to have an interest or a focus that will shape our experience.