I’m leaving on a jet plane, and I do know when I’ll be back again

Today, I’ll catch a flight lasting almost 24-hours—accounting for time lost to the purgatory also known as layovers—and arrive in Bangalore, India, a total distance flown of around 8,000 miles. The longest plane ride I’ve taken before has been maybe three hours.

July 1st, the day I arrive in Bangalore, India, is the day I will turn 23 years old. I didn’t intentionally decide to leave on June 29th so my arrival date would coincide with my birthday. It was a matter of what day was more convenient and the cost of plane tickets. But it is appropriate I will celebrate the beginning of another year by starting an adventure in a new, foreign country.

I’m still attempting to accept the fact I’ll be traveling to India. I don’t think it will feel real until I board the plane, or maybe it won’t until I actually touch down on Indian soil.

This will be the first time I’ve traveled outside of the country. I haven’t even traveled to Canada. It is going to be difficult to adjust to the cultural differences between India and the USA, but that is one of the main reasons I decided to travel. Navigating those differences are what will make the trip both exciting and terrifying. I will miss home, but comfort is overrated.

My expectations are simple: I expect to be amazed. Everything will be novel. The list of necessary preparations for a trip overseas is near endless, and worst of all, tedious to actually complete. But for everything you can prepare for, it’s the unexpected that will be the most challenging part of the trip but also the most rewarding. That’s why twist endings in movies are so satisfying, if they are well executed and earned. The surprises are what will make my stay in India memorable.

I hope to stay mindful and treat the trip as what it is, a great opportunity, and be grateful for the chance to live in a foreign country, even through the hardships I shall encounter.