Just thinking about the awesome trip we are about to go on makes me more excited than when we first began talking about it. This will be my first time outside of the country for an extended period of time which makes me a little nervous, but I’m much more excited. I can’t wait to see, hear, smell, feel, and taste parts of a culture other than my own. One of the parts that I’m most excited about is physically seeing and experiencing the beautiful temples and caves we discussed in detail in class. There is something special about learning about a place and then visiting it. I took a class at the beginning of this year in which we studied environmental concerns on an island and then went and visited the island, seeing those effects right in front of us. It was an impactful and unforgettable experience which is what I hope this trip is for us!
As the holiday season is coming to a close, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I’ll be on the other side of the world two weeks from now. I remember last year, when I had found out I had been accepted into the SRS program, one of the most difficult things had been that I would have to wait a whole year before actually getting on the plane. And again this semester, learning about and seeing photographs of this sites we were to visit, there was a sense of anticipation and awe that I felt. But this week, as I’ve was explaining to countless relatives (“so your mom tells me you’re going to India!“), it really doesn’t feel like I’ll be standing at the foot of Elephanta in 13 days.
I’m not quite sure what to expect, or even how to feel. I guess it might take physically getting on a plane for me to finally believe that I’m actually going. Until then I’m enjoying the excitement of preparing for the trip, getting suitcases and outlet converters as Christmas gifts and almost passing out during my hepatitis shots. And as I’m reflecting back on it now, I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I am so lucky to be able to have this unreal experience to travel and learn, and I truly cannot wait.