Wow! It has been a journey to reach Mumbai: cancelled flights, running on 4 hours of sleep, navigating airports, and most importantly, sticking together as a group of 14 students!
So let’s start from the beginning… it’s 10PM at Auckland airport. Waiting in the check-in line for our first leg of the journey to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s been 40 minutes, and the line has not moved… and my excitement slowly becomes feelings of frustration. After many confusing announcements, our flights are cancelled, and we finally board a flight to Kuala Lumper 12 hours later!
Given we now had a 24-hour layover in Kuala Lumpur, our airline organised an overnight stay in one of Malaysia’s 5-star hotels! Being back in a country I am familiar with was so special – I got to spend the day showing the other PMSA scholars some of the famous landmarks in KL… of course, with a quick stop for Teh Tarik!
At this point, I was surviving on 5 hours of sleep – my eyelids were hurting, and my body was absolutely drained. However, landing in India was extremely special – I still had another day of my birthday due to a change in time zones and felt a sense of comfort being in a country I call home! My Hindi was very quickly put to the test as our drivers knew little English, and upon reaching our hotel another 50 minutes later, located in South Mumbai, I zonked out!
The next morning came with a lot of challenges:
- Mosquitoes went straight to my forehead
- My Hindi needed work (as I speak Fiji Hindi, which is slightly different to Hindi)
- I was again running on 4-5 hours of sleep
The moral of the story – not everything goes to plan when travelling! There will always be highs and lows, but with that comes a lot of laughter along the way and opportunities for developing yourself and growing your mindset! Something I did not plan for was being homesick – I thought I would be fine, given I was an Indian going back to India. However, that was proven wrong as soon as I said goodbye to my family at Auckland airport. So overall, my first few days on my PMSA Mumbai trip have been challenging, yet I’m happy to say I am having the best time of my life – learning, observing and navigating the bumpy rollercoaster I have boarded!
Till next time x