The Pre-Exchange Feeling

I’m writing this blog from the Chicago airport during my 6 hour layover here. I want to write about what I’m feeling, but I’m not sure I can summarize it, or even put the feeling into words. Regardless of this being my second exchange, I’m still nervous and even a little scared. Stepping into the unknown, away from everything that’s familiar to you, is no easy task. It’s been half a year since I found out I’m going to India, but the reality only started to kick in about a week ago. I’ve gone through every emotion in the last week, and sometimes several at once. One minute I’m so inexplicably excited, and I feel my heart skip a beat every time I think of India and the culture, sights, and adventures I’m about to experience. The next minute I doubt myself, and feel nervous about the unknowns that lie ahead of me. There’s something extremely nerve-wracking about knowing next to nothing about the next year of your life.

I don’t want to fear it. The fear creeps up subconsciously. I know there’s no use in fearing the life ahead of me, because I can’t turn back now. Besides, I’m more excited than I am nervous. The prospect of living a new life, making new friends and meeting new people, learning a new language, and experiencing a completely different culture is exhilarating. I’ve spent a large portion of this long layover watching vlogs from past exchange students who went to India, and learning little bits of Hindi. With every picture or video I see of the country I’ll soon call home, I feel an excitement I can’t describe, and my fears and doubts melt away.

Up until my first flight I had mixed emotions that came in contradicting waves. Now that I’m on my way there, with 27 more hours of travel ahead of me, I’m ready to arrive at any time. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, and my phase of stressing is over. It’s time to embrace this opportunity and this life.

See you soon, Surat!

Ashlyn xx

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