Namaskar and Welcome!

My name is Benjamin Weiss. I’m a writer from the United States, currently living in New Delhi, India. I set up this blog to chronicle my time abroad, and I’m glad you’ve decided to swing by.

Several years ago, in the early moments of my semester abroad in Europe, a mentor of mine shared the following quote from Albert Camus, where he describes the personal transformation that comes with travel. It’s been a sort of guiding verse for me since that day, and now that I’ve decided to spend my time a world away from the comfort of my home in the United States, it seems more relevant than ever.

For what gives value to travel is fear. It breaks down a kind of inner structure we have. One can no longer cheat – hide behind the hours spent at the office or at the plant (those hours we protest so loudly, which protect us so well from the pain of being alone)… Travel robs us of such refuge. Far from our own people, our own language, stripped of all our props, deprived of our masks (one doesn’t know the fare on the streetcars, or anything else), we are completely on the surface of ourselves. But also, soul sick, we restore to every being and every object its miraculous value.

Thank you, again, for joining me on this journey.

  1. Navneet
    November 28, 2011 at 16:47

    Dear Benjamin, Namaste!

    I landed on your blog during a web search (I googled volunteer in leh cloudburst). It was great to read some parts of what you have written in this blog. I really appreciate your perspective on travel, life and, of course, India. I reckon from your blog that somebody warned you that “nothing in India makes sense” and I think you have spent more than a year in India which is enough time to validate this.

    Though I have never been out of India, I have travelled quite a lot across my country. There’s diversity in almost everything that you see in India. It’s quite different from the USA and a lot of other western countries. Being a country with a huge population of less educated and very poor people, it’s indeed very difficult to get everything in order. Still I am glad that we’re moving, and that too with a considerably good pace.

    I thank you for reflecting upon whatever you saw in India during your stay. What gives sense to something is the perspective of the person who does, sees or feels it. So, no place, no person, nothing makes a perfect sense. I believe you must have added some sense to the things you remained associated with during your India stay.

    Your blog is great, by the way!
    Navneet (India)

    • ben
      December 7, 2011 at 20:58

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Navneet! I’m glad to hear you enjoy the blog. Hopefully I will find my way back to India soon and will have more to write about!

      Take care and thanks for reading.

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