The day is finally here – I’m on my way to India. Even though it’s been planned for quite sometime, I’m only now realizing that I will soon be in a place completely different from anywhere I have ever been.

For months family and friends have been asking me, “Why India?” As I sit in the Chicago airport preparing to depart for London, I still lack a definitive answer. I guess I am going to India for an experience. I’m not looking for just any experience, but one that will open my eyes to a part and culture of the world that is completely foreign to me.

As I await departure, I am filled with mixed emotions – I’m excited, yet scared; anxious, yet reserved. Who knows what’s in store for me during the next 5 weeks?

My goal for this trip is to be as open-minded as possible and to try tons of new things. I have been making lists for weeks and have been packing for days, and departure day is finally here. I am more prepared for this trip (in terms of packing) than any trip I have ever taken; yet, having no idea what to expect, I must admit I’m a bit intimidated.

I am prepared to be overwhelmed – or at least I can only hope that I am. Whether I am ready for it or not, I hope this trip will prove to be one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life in all possible ways.