I’m embarking on my journey to India with equal amounts of excitement and trepidation. I have spent time in India as a Fulbright Fellow, but no amount of time spent in the country can prepare you for the challenges you’ll face once you arrive. India has an odd way of enticing you and shaking you to the core at the same time. Being in India forces you to confront the issues you used to see as black and white. Despite its drawbacks, however, working in India can be, and is for me, the single most defining moment in my life. It has given me a different perspective on my life, where I want to be and what type of impact I want to have on the world. Being in India, quite surprisingly, fills me with an immense amount of hope; hope for India’s future, hope for its people and hope for more equality in the world. I believe this time around will be no different. India will change me, it will redefine my life and will give me a newfound respect for the country.
Working in India will be challenging, for sure. I anticipate having to deal with many bureaucratic processes, ones that are so entrenched that no one knows their purpose. But, I also believe I’ll be working with people that are passionate about what they do and about seeing India reach its potential. I’ll learn a great deal of patience and an appreciation of the idiosyncrasies that define life in India.
Although I’m looking forward to learning a lot about India, I’ll miss my family and friends, many of whom I won’t see for the duration of the trip. I’ll miss the modern conveniences that life in America has to offer, but I’ll appreciate those offered in India that much more. I’ll miss being able to drive and the sense of independence that goes along with that. But most of all I think I’ll miss how easy life seems in the U.S. India will be a stark contrast to life that I’m accustomed to, but it is an experience I’m eager to go through.