I wrote a long entry thanking anyone and everyone I could think of that was involved in my trip or this show. It was long, it was eloquent and it was a final entry to make me feel proud.
Then my computer crashed.
So I'll make the thank-yous brief. They all fit into four groups: The Indians I met who were guides, hosts and friends to me; the University of Chicago Staff and Students I was with and who got me here; the people behind the scenes at NBC who first got me on this thing and then worked incredibly hard to make it great; and finally my fellow cast members for showing us their fantastic experiences all around the world.
As for me, well, my next step is on the way. I go back to Chicago and use what I learned. After that, I will travel around the world. Like I said, I've been saving up since I was a little kid. India was only the beginning for me.
I'm going to lay an open invitation for anyone who wants to join me to do so. I will be leaving after I graduate in the summer of 2008. I don't know where or when. I don't expect anyone to come with me all the way (and in fact I intend to do some of it solo) but if you're reading this from France and want to see Germany, or you're in South Africa and want to try to get to Madagascar, or maybe you're near the Tierra del Fuego and want to catch a glimpse of Antarctica, come with me when I'm near you and see them.
All I know is that I will be seeing every continent on this planet in the space of a year. Anyone who can help me or who thinks I can help them should get in touch with me through this site or email me directly at JPTiger@hotmail.com. This goes out especially to my fellow cast members of JYA 2006, Lauren, Jason, Erica, Matthias, Christopher, Natalie, Lisa, Stacey, Roger, I want to see some of what you guys did up close. Drop me a line.
The world is too big for you not to see it. If you still have to chance to study abroad, take it. If you do not, find out the best way for you to leave your home and return. Find somewhere you'd never thought you'd see in your whole life, and go see it. Money will not be an issue if you do your homework on the subject. Time and opportunity will.
I don't feel like I'm a good enough writer to end this properly with my own words, so I will leave with a quote from one who I feel can:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark TwainI thank you all, and wish you all good-bye, good luck, and real adventures.