India: Experience for Lifetime Change

Everything started when I was 19. I went to India for two months as a volunteer to work in a project of AIESEC that aimed to raise the life standards of the street children. I witnessed such scenes that I couldn’t have read in the books or seen in the movies. I had some mischances as well but still that trip changed my life for good. It was such a turning point in my life… Afterwards, I have always chosen to go out of my comfort zone and have always followed my curiosities.

I had 17-hour journeys by trains… I saw one of the seven wonders of the world, Tac Mahal… I did a 3-day safari… I slept over in the middle of the deserts. I started yoga, now I am certificated yoga teacher. It was my very first travel, and I will never ever forget it…

👧🏻🔜🇮🇳#hindistan #2008

Elvin Levinler (@elvinimin)’in paylaştığı bir gönderi ()

Why India?

I was about to finish my first year at the university. And I wanted to improve my English. I was searching about the possibilities. Then I saw the advertisement of AIESEC, which is one of the largest volunteer networks in the world. I applied really quickly, then after some tests and an interview, I got to choose where to go. I wanted to have a real experience and of course a different one. So, having a totally different culture, India was such a perfect choice.

It was the first time that I had to leave my comfort zone. Everything sounded so good but of course there were some risks as well. I had some concerns but still I felt like I had to do this.

I chose a project in which I could work with street children. There was a garage that we used as a classroom. The children was coming to that classroom and we were trying to teach them English. We were playing games, singing songs, etc… We were trying to help them to learn English and be more active in daily life; plus we were trying to make them discover their abilities. I had such a great relationship with those kids. They were teaching me yoga and I was teaching them bale…

However not everything was so perfect and smooth… We had such a difficult journey until we reach our destination, Gujarat and of course our adaptation took a little while. Before you go to India, depending on the destination, you have certain vaccines. But still you take some risks. I was there during the monsoon period, I was getting wet all the time. We had tap water just four hours in a day and it was limited. So I wasn’t able to have a proper shower. During the first week of my stay, I really struggled in terms of adaptation.

This didn’t last too long though… Just for a week as far as I remember… Then I got used to it. Because there were so many people sharing the same experience with me. After I got used to it, I started to enjoy every second of my time there. I witnessed so many interesting things.

India is such an enormous and crowded country. I couldn’t see all of it, but I travelled quite a lot: Mumbai, Jaipur, New Delhi, Agra… I saw most of the places in northern India… Most of the time, I travelled by train… In India, just wandering around the streets or even buying a bottle of water from a market is enough. This way, you can observe the culture and learn a lot. It’s even enough just to be there and breath…

There are so many rituals in India. This makes your experience even more colorful. I will always remember it with lots of gratitude…

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