The last night before take-off and I find myself looking up quotes about discomfort and personal growth to reassure me that what I am doing is the right thing. I just said my final goodbye’s (which sounds way more dramatic in writing) to my housemates at Santa Clara which made me think about how isolated I will be in India and how much I take constant contact with people I know for granted. Today was a day of lasts, where even eating my last piece of sushi became a big deal. The shroud of excitement about experiencing a new country inevitably disappears as concerns about daily life in India takeover. Food poisoning, language barriers, searing heat, homesickness, cultural adjustments, work stress, etc. I have about 3 different kinds of pills in my suitcase specifically for diarrhea and it constantly reminds me that they will not go unused. I am constantly going back and forth between my decision to do Franklin Templeton over any other program focusing on social entrepreneurship. The more I see and learn of the Finance world the less interested I become. Its common purpose in the business world seems so meaningless in the scheme of things as compared to social entrepreneurship. The only thing keeping me going is the fact that finance has huge potential for good and if I end up enjoying my time at Franklin Templeton then maybe I will have found my niche. However, because of the intensive workload, I am afraid I won’t be too focused on the “India” aspect of the program as much as I would like to be. And then comes the question which is more important, the work or my experience? I have a lot of different people I am representing that I need to think about before I make that decision. Fortunately and unfortunately, I will be in almost too luxurious of accommodations and I pray I will not let the comfort of the hotel overpower my desire to explore and immerse myself in Indian culture. More than anything I am concerned about the person I will be when I return. I have a sinking premonition that I might return bitter about the materialistic lifestyle that the US is so famously known for. I already am and an experience like this might confirm my beliefs to the point of hatred and I just don’t know how I’d cope with that. For some reason I think less about the positive outcome. I could return more appreciative and grateful and discover which direction I want to take my life. Hopefully, I can gear myself towards the latter.

Despite all of the fears I have for the future, I am excited for something new. New people, new place, new geography, new culture, new perspectives. I have been sheltered my whole life and I need to see first hand what the rest of the world experiences. Thank you to everyone who has made this experience possible, especially my parents. I am excited to see the person I become on the other side.

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