By: Ana Maria
Fear is an enormous feeling that often slows me down, but sometimes it leads me into another great feeling that is unforgettable. I began this blog post talking about fear because it is the reason why I came on this trip. I was supposed to go on a cruise with my friends to the Caribbean Islands, but because I was scared of being on a cruise ship for a week, I decided to come to India. I did not regret making this decision because this trip is infinitely better than what I expected; although, I also did not expect India to be full of many things that I fear. The India Trip of 2019 has helped me overcome some of them.
For example, I was always scared of being around dogs because I have got bitten by them six times since I was a kid. Before this trip, many people have told me that there would be a lot of dogs in Agora, which is scary but not a big enough reason to stop me from visiting this incredible place. In Agora, I met Suman’s dogs who looked big and scary to me at first. They followed Suman everywhere he went, so they hung out in front of our lodge most of the time. These dogs turned out to be very sweet and friendly to everyone around them, letting me pet them and fed them. I even held a puppy at my host family’s house – it was a great feeling, although I was startled when the puppy moved. This experience made me significantly less scared of dogs than I was before.
I have also always been scared of heights. And when we were in Corbett National Park, there was a big rock we could jump from. The water under the rock looked deep and I am not very good at swimming – I was shaking and my heartbeat was really fast because I had this feeling of wanting to jump but at the same time being too scared. So after my advisor jumped off the rock and I felt safe when she waited at the bottom, I decided to jump, too. And after I jumped, it was so satisfying and unforgettable. At first I thought I was sinking, but then my body felt like I wanted to do it again. I had conquered that fear.
Another fear on this trip was hiking. I have flat feet and I’m scared of being a burden to others because I don’t want to hold them back. On the hike to Agora, which was long and steep, I was sick and coughing which made it harder. But I made it to the top. Through this experience, I learned to trust others and to keep being positive because when you’re telling yourself “this trip is stupid” or cursing in your brain, it doesn’t help at all. But being positive, thinking “you can do it” helped me make it to Agora.
I think some people have parents who are too scared to let their child go on this trip, but this trip helps us to be more prepared for what’s coming in the future. Anything – you never know. By facing my fears in India, I learned to take risks and not think too much. Fear slows you down and you will never get to that satisfying, exciting and proud feeling without facing your fears.