“Don’t Forget to Come Home”

Maria Niechwiadowicz


Every place has a certain energy to it – an atmosphere that is rooted in a culture. The emotions that result can be positive or negative depending on each individuals’ personality and how the two consequent energies merge. I believe that what I actually see or do in a place does effect my overall perception of a place, but the energy of the place ultimately effects those experiences.

Have you ever been in place that fills you with vibes of energy? Not the chills of wonder or amazement, but waves of life and vitality? The atmosphere in India fills me with this life and joy. It is hard to pinpoint what exactly makes me feel this way – the chaos, the people, the colors – but it has resulted in significant moments and relationships, which ties my being to the land even deeper.

During the 28 days that I travelled throughout India, I was amazed by how God poured out his blessings each step of the way. I experienced the land in new ways as well as old –

In visiting familiar places, joyous memories abounded, bringing me back to my study abroad journey. I had a chance to see how places have changed and how small political and cultural changes are starting to make a huge impact in some cities.

But in exploring new places, I am reminded of how vastly diverse this country is! There is always something new to learn about, questions to ask, and foods to taste. Despite my footprints across the country, there are still so many places to explore!

I found myself filled with every aspect of this land and culture –

and my family reminds me “don’t forget to come home.”

Old places come with familiar faces, people who made an impact the first time around and have continued to feed that relationship. These people continue to challenge me in thought and deed, are willing to dialogue about everything, and show the utmost compassion and love. These people remind me that I have family all over the world encouraging and supporting me.


t new friends are always met along the way. These people share in my passion for this land, remind me to keep discovering this world, and are willing to listen just as much as speak.

I found myself wrapped in the embraces of others.

I found myself deep in conversations-

and my family reminds me “don’t forget to come home.”


And I won’t.

Part of my spiritual journey was to reflect on how to keep the passion of India inside of me while letting go, knowing that God has different plans right now.

I have returned to Guyuan with energy in my body, spices on my tongue, questions in my mind, and compassion in my heart.

I praise God that he is able to make me, mold me, use me, fill me – no matter where I am in the world.


Check out more pictures from my trip here!

*all pictures are property of Maria Niechwiadowicz