The senior class at my school takes a month-long trip to India every year. We spend the first semester studying the religions, culture, history, art and literature of India in preparation for the trip.
Unfortunately, the trip coincided with the Olympic Class Regatta (OCR) in Miami. OCR would have been our first chance to sail with the other US 49er teams and possibly secure a place on the US Sailing Team. A once in a lifetime trip conflicting with one of the first steps in my Olympic dream. Life is not always obvious, which path to pursue. I tried to workout the logistic to do both, but after much consideration, I decided the focus and preparation for OCR was simply not possible at this moment in time.
Life has an interesting way of teaching us lessons. My experience in India was amazing and in certain terms life affirming. The students we visited at our sister schools were great, the girls beautiful, and everyone was really sweet and happy. I loved the food, the people, the colors, the art, everything. We visited schools, temples, big cities and rural towns. I had the opportunity to stay alone with a local family and lived life for a short instance as a member of their family. After nearly three weeks of travel, I was beginning to feel a bit edgy, tired and slightly out of sorts. I thought I was missing home, but couldn’t put my finger on exactly my discomfort.
Our final destination was on the coast at Idea Beach in Mahabalipuram. After an eight-hour train ride we finally arrived. I exited the train and quickly found my way to the Indian Ocean. Seeking the cool embrace of the sea, I dove in and immediately felt renewed and recharged. The three weeks traveling throughout Southern India was the longest time in my life I’d been away from the ocean. I hadn’t understood the impact, but the moment I stepped into the water, I realized I was home.