It has been a whirlwind of anticipation and preparation trying to ready myself for this new adventure. Travelling somewhere you’ve never been is always exhilarating and a bit overwhelming, but moving to a new place takes the work and emotion to a whole new level.
Whenever I told people I was moving to India, and then told them I was moving to Kolkata, the response was generally a head shake and an exclamation of “woah” or “why?” or (my family’s favorite) “you’re going to sweat like dogs”. I never received any lukewarm responses to this move. I imagine that is kind of how this experience will be for me too: nothing mild, gentle, relaxed or serene. It will be hot or cold (although I imagine mostly hot), crazy or super crazy, frightening or amazing, opulence or poverty, frustration or function, sadness or joy.
I am anticipating seeing and experiencing the very best and the very worst. I am anticipating laughing and crying. I am anticipating making wonderful friends and connections to colleagues that will last my entire life.
It was tough leaving our jobs and our lives in New York prior to this experience. I’m going to miss some of the stability I have experienced being in the same job for the past four years. I am going to miss family and being able to brush my teeth with tap water. I’m sure I will get sick at some point, and I’m not looking forward to that. But overall, there are few things that could have dissuaded me from accepting this fellowship.
You can never fully prepare for an experience that will change your life. However, since I accepted this fellowship, I have felt that this will change mine. And with that energy and excitement, I am as prepared as I can be for whatever crazy, frightening, frustrating or joyful thing that might come my way over these ten months. I’m so excited that it has just begun!