Friday morning we flew from Bangalore to Delhi and then took a 6 hour bus ride to Agra. We left Casa for the airport at 10am and did not make it to Agra until 10:30pm! A very long day of travel. It felt weird saying goodbye to Casa, our home for the past 6 weeks. We woke up really early on Saturday morning to go to the Taj Mahal. And my first thought that morning when I stepped outside was not about how excited I was to see one of the seven wonders of the world- but how incredibly hot it was! Bangalore’s temperature was very mild and pleasant, normally 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit at night. But wow, Agra’s weather made a St. Louis summer (which we all know is unbearable) look appealing! I don’t think I would have survived 6 weeks in Agra. Within the first ten minutes of arriving at the Taj Mahal we were all drenched in a sweat that made us look like we had just stepped out of the shower. But it was all worth it when we laid eyes on the Taj Mahal!
They were doing some repair work on the minaret towers but it did not take away from the overwhelming beauty of the mausoleum. After taking many pictures of the outside we got to go to take a look of the Taj Mahal on the inside. Our tour guide told us the story of how the Taj Mahal was built. The tomb was built as a symbol of love for the Mughal King’s favorite wife after she died. The King’s love can be seen in everything from the smallest detail of carvings marble to the inlaid gems and stones.The whole experience was breathtaking and surreal. After the Taj Mahal, we went and visited Agra Red Fort where the royal family had stayed. This is where the King who built the Taj Mahal and his family lived. We drove back to Delhi and checked into a hotel for a couple hours to shower, nap, and eat dinner before we left for the airport at 1 am. We flew 4 hours from Delhi to Abu Dhabi. And then a 16 hours from Abu Dhabi to Dallas. Even though I made it home, it took my suitcase another day to make it back. I was just happy it got lost on the way home instead of the way there! It was so good seeing my family. I hadn’t realized how much I missed them!
It’s been a little weird adjusting back to life at home. There is no endless honking or traffic, I can’t barter for the price of things, and I can pet every dog I see. Bangalore is my second home and I will always miss it. But it is good to be back home with my friends and family. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Girish, Gabrielle, my parents, and everyone who made this trip possible. I really have had the best experience. I’m excited to take back all that I have learned to my future classroom! I’ve made relationships that hopefully will last a lifetime and India will always hold a very special place in my heart. Goodbye for now India, I will see you again someday.