“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
Asia, more specifically India and Nepal, have taught me more about myself than I could have ever imagined. Spending a year between these countries, mostly alone as a young female, has lead to some of the best and worst experiences I have ever had. The memories of families who took me in, the beauty of the Himalayas, the wonderful nights in my tent, and the constant stares and harassment I received from trying to live in a scarily patriarchal society will stay with me forever. More than that though, this year has shown me how much I value where I grew up and the things, equality of women, openness to difference, and abolition of a ridged social hierarchy for instance, that I take for granted.