It’s actually happening..

I can’t believe Riley, Makena, and I will be traveling this week to Kolkata for 6 weeks! After the stress of finals, followed by graduation festivities, and moving out of my apartment, I feel like I haven’t had a chance to breathe and reflect on our upcoming travels. After weeks of preparation, I am beyond ecstatic to travel to a new culture for almost 2 months! India’s economy is growing exponentially, resulting in overpopulation in their country’s major cities. With that being said, I’m looking forward to the new pace that the Indian culture has to offer. The busy streets, the crowded sidewalks, the various modes of public transportation, the traditional clothing, and the exotic foods (to say the least) are all aspects of the Indian culture that are creating excitement and anticipation as I pack my bags for my Wednesday departure. Oh yeah, I still have to pack! Visa — check, vaccines — check, malaria pills — check, clothes… yikes!

To be honest, the only thing I’m really worried about at this point is how I’m going to make it through our 16-hour flight to Dubai and remembering to take my Malaria pills every night! 16-hours on an airplane is a long time… I’ll have to remember to stock up on snacks and think of conversation starters for the person sitting next to me. I’m also really excited to people watch in the Dubai airport. I’ve heard there’s a waterslide located on the premises — I’ll be on a mission to find it (lol)!

But on the top of my list, I’m most excited to travel with Riley and Makena. Turns out, Riley was my admissions tour guide when I was initially considering transferring to Santa Clara. How rad! And… Makena has never been out of the country before! I’m so excited for her and can’t wait to be a part of her first experience abroad! I honestly couldn’t have asked for more amazing people to travel with. I’m really looking forward to working with ASED alongside Riley and Makena. I have a lot to learn from Diti, the founder of the Indian non-profit. She started ASED when she saw a need to educate the local youth — teaching them about the importance of environmental preservation. I hope one day I find a need and am able to start my own non-profit in order to serve others. Working for a non-profit has its challenges, let alone starting one in a developing country! I’m ready to learn as much as I can from this upcoming journey to Kolkata :)

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