I cannot clearly remember what it was that made me want to visit some of the Southern states that I did. Did I want to visit the Bourbon trail, see horses that raced in the Kentucky Derby, or was it reading about Asheville and the arts there? Did the trip spin out out my desire to see another National Park, did I want to see a hill billy or was I wondering what made certain states red and certain states blue?
My friends in New York asked with amused curiosity, why I was going there; some more directly than other, ” Is it to figure out what third degree racisms feels like?”
Interestingly as the date for my departure arrived, I went from excited to anxious. I wondered if I would be treated any differently and what people would say to Ashwin and me. Well wishers told me, that if I missed people from my subcontinent that I could reach out and go to motels, where I would definitely find Indians. And if anyone said anything that seemed threatening, I should just leave the scene.
I should have known better! In NewYorkCity, we live in our little bubble. For some of my friends living in the city, it’s easier to get to Italy than it is to go over to New Jersey, let alone Tennessee. Newyork is where the buck stops.
And it maybe it does for some! I absolutely love New York, but I guess I am just not one of them.
Being an Immigrant and curious by nature, I want to know everything I can about the country I have chosen to call home. I want to see the amazing landscape that makes this country and know the people of America.
Celebrating a special occasion, instead of flying off to Paris, Ashwin and I headed to see more of this country. We set out to drink Bourbon, pet horses, eat grits, hike in The Smoky Mountains and take in lots of art and craft.
Over the next few weeks, I hope to write a little piece about our travels: Louisville and Lexington in Kentucky, Berea in Kentucky, Knoxville and The Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and Asheville in North Carolina.
I love my city and am happy to be back home, but will miss the landscapes and arts of the mountains. I am so glad I saw the people who live in parts of “The South.” They were every bit as warm, friendly and welcoming as one would hope. Traveling, meeting new people is my cure to shedding preconceived ideas and to learning about a country.
I love America, as much as I did before I left New York to visit The South, if not more.
- Form your own opinions.
- Travel in your own country.