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To the Italian man next to me on the plane

On my flight home from Newark to Dulles

I cried about 15 times,

and the poor middle-aged Italian business-man sitting next to me

could not understand why the young teen girl near him was sobbing.

Didn’t know of a way to ask.

So to the Italian man who sat next to me on the plane,

Here’s why.

 

I cried because I miss home,

and I cried because I just left a home.

 

I cried because, after a month, I would see my family,

and I cried because I just left 14 people who I loved, a different family.

 

I cried because I missed coffee in the morning,

and I cried because I would not drink milk tea every hour of the day anymore.

 

I cried because my home has changed while I was away,

and I cried because Ladakh will continue to change without me.

 

I cried because I just finished a journey,

and I cried because another one lies ahead.

 

I cried because I missed who I once was,

and I cried because I finally found who I  am.

 

And finally,

I cried because, as one of my instructors said,

it’s better to be affected by the world than indifferent to it.

 

So to the Italian man next to me,

Thank you for putting up with my tears.

And to everyone that made this trip possible,

Thank you and Julley.