When I found out I was moving to India, it was beyond a nightmare, it was something I couldn't even imagine. Although I am Indian, India was more of a distant land, rather than a home to me. Maryland was my true home; it was my birthplace and my life. Leaving Maryland would be like letting go of my entire six-year old world. The visions I had of India were solely based upon a few summer visits to my grandparents, filled with intense heat, pollution, chaos, and filth. Even though I was only six years old, I knew this would be a complete change from my comfortable life in Maryland, with my wonderful house, shopping malls, and all the junk food I could ever want.
During my first six months in India, my expectations were met almost exactly. I hated my new apartment, I missed my school and friends back in Maryland, and I was sick of all the dirty marketplaces that filled the streets of New Delhi. I remember coming home almost everyday and just crying from pure frustration. I was not used to this different lifestyle with servants, maids, and drivers. Although these things might seem like amenities, to me they were just inconveniences. I wouldn't even let myself see the positive aspects of anything.
After those six months were over I finally realized that I was going to be in India for awhile. I realized that I had to stop dwelling in the past, and start making the most of my new life. It was then that I became thoroughly involved in my school. My school, the American Embassy School, was filled with international students; Europeans, Australians, Chinese, and Americans just like myself. I even found some people who were Indians born in Maryland, and they all understand exactly how I felt. They had moved from different places, and although some had been there longer than others, they all welcomed me with open arms. It was amazing to be among such diverse students, people who had traveled all over the world, people who had such incredible experiences to share. Since AES was a very select private international school, it was quite small. My classmates and I not only became friends, but almost family as well. We knew everything about each other, and although at times this could get quite annoying, it was always nice to know that I had such close-knit network of friends.
Now, when I look back at my time in India, all I can think about is how fortunate I am to have had such a wonderful experience. My move to India not only allowed me to see a completely different side of the world, but I was also able to establish unbreakable bonds with so many interesting and amazing people. Even now, after quite some years, I am still in contact with my closest friends from the American Embassy School. I cannot even imagine what I would be like without having lived in India. I would have missed out on meeting so many extraordinary people, and I would be a completely different person today.