One Year Later
I posted this on my new blog - NithinCoca.com - but I thought it was appropriate here too.
12 1/2 months ago, I stepped foot on American soil for the first time in over a year. I wasn't wearing a flag lapel pin, and my passport had stamps from some rather unseemly countries (Turkey, the Emirates, Malaysia, to name a few), my hair was long, and I was going to live at home. But I knew then that, even though I had just finished a trip around the world, with experiences that I'm only now starting to understand, I was starting a far grander journey.
The journey to change America.
I travel with a slightly different perspective than most travelers. The world is a patchwork of disparate peoples, each with their own dynamic and fascinating history - and I only wanted to tap into this great collective of knowledge. So I went, from the picturesque battlefields of Gallipoli, where the seeds were planted that led to the great ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia only a decade ago. I visited the remote kingdom of Nepal, where the rapidly changing weather patterns were wreaking havoc on subsidence crops (a precursor to the food crisis today, I now realize).
I realized what power I had - I was from America. Six years of Bush had taken it's toll on me, but I still believed that I could make a different. I just hadn't tried hard enough.
Change isn't easy. And that's a lesson I'm learning slowly everyday - but after what I've seen, nothing seems too daunting.