A mere four days from now, I will be on my way to India. I’ll be sitting on the longest flight of my life thus far, probably already bored with both my iPod and the 1,900 pages of unread books I stuffed into our backpack. Chances are, I’ll struggle to sleep (even in spite of a full dose of Gravol), because I am bursting–and very much at the seams–with excitement.
Of course, I have my share of pre-travel jitters, things that I’m anxious about. However, having arrived at the ‘less than a week to go’ stage of travel preparation, excitement trumps all other emotions. And I am, of course, preposterously well-prepared (especially medically).
In all my prior travel experiences, I’ve had a hard time getting a grasp on where I’m going before I get there. I’m sure there’s a neuroscientific reason for that. The Eiffel Tower was a lot larger than I anticipated and the Mediterranean Sea was more menacing, the latter probably because it attempted to claim my camera. Seemingly-infinite image searches aside, it is still a challenge to imagine myself standing in front of the Taj Mahal, or looking out at the Lake Palace in Udaipur.
I find that my emotions get all tangled up with travel. My prairie heart longs for quiet, familiar places, but my eyes can’t stay open long enough. Although I recognize Canada has a rich history, there is something special about visiting a place with architecture standing since the 17th century. Despite my love of wide open spaces, I’m actually looking forward to being in a country with more than 17% of the global population. Unlike Canada, India won’t provide the luxury of suddenly finding myself alone.
As the pre-India days are dwindling, and the preparatory pieces are all coming together, I’m so excited to be in an entirely different environment. I’m excited to carry a silly number of bills to pay for things in rupees, to build relationships in the rural communities we visit, to take hundreds of photos, to return to Canada exhausted and with a full heart.
— Christie Esau