By Hannah Bitzer

As the plane descended towards our final destination, I could remember the sensation of my nerves starting to act up and my stomach churning. This is my typical reaction when I decide to leave my safe, known life behind and prepare to dive into the depths of the unknown—going from the United States to Chennai, India. Everything I’ve known to be back in the states doesn’t necessarily apply here, a frightening notion as I try and learn an entirely new and different culture from my own in only a short amount of time. Until I stepped out of Chennai airport and into the humid, damp 5 a.m. morning air, I truly had no idea what I was going to see or experience.  The unknown of Chennai is intimidating and scary for me but this trip will provide me with the opportunity to open new doors which, while it is frightening, is important. Growing pains, whether literally or physically, are a necessary evil in life—a person must struggle before they can truly learn and grow.

The decision to come to India was a difficult one, especially for me, a comfort-zone freak. As I spoke to my family about the trip, they helped me understand the advantages that it could provide, in the work place and personally. My deciding factor was simple: passing up an opportunity like this would haunt me for the rest of my life.  It seems like a daunting, scary statement but as we get older, doing trips like this and visiting other countries becomes less and less possible, something my parents have emphasized over my life.  My parents have always stressed how much going abroad can change a person—a sentiment others have reiterated to me as I prepared to leave for these two weeks to Chennai.

I want to meet new people, eat new foods, see amazing sites and ultimately, after these two weeks, arrive in Logan a different, changed person.  My goal for India is simple: have fun, don’t hold back and see where these two weeks lead me!


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