While most would groan about having to walk down my steep hill in the bitter cold of winter, my only thought was this would be one of the last times I would take this walk before I left for my trip. As my bus pulled into the station, Boston started to appear in the distance as the sun was rising. A strange thing happened that had never occurred before; the clouds in the sky looked like the peaks of the Himalayas. I was no longer looking at the skyline of my beloved city but into what looked like mountains. This sight took me back to one of the most captivating moments of my life and to one of the most beautiful views I had ever seen. At this moment I knew everything had fallen into place and I came to peace with leaving.
“Man is wise and constantly in quest of more wisdom; but the ultimate wisdom, which deals with beginnings, remains locked in a seed. There it lies, the simplest fact of the universe and at the same time the one which calls forth faith rather than reason.” – Hal Borland
Getting everything together for this kind of trip is strenuous. I can’t count the number of times I have packed and repacked my bag, while still feeling like I was forgetting something. My bag weighs way too much but I know that every item I am bringing is something I will need.
I don’t believe anyone can ever be fully ready for a journey like the one I am about to depart on. It’s kind of like skydiving; you feel totally prepared until the time comes for you to take the leap out of the plane. You doubt yourself in that moment, and once the doubt creeps in it is hard to divert your mind elsewhere. What if something goes wrong? What if this isn’t the right decision? While your confidence may begin to wane, you must use this moment of doubt to think back to why you decided to do this in the first place and just jump.
“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream” – The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
When I was growing up, I used to dream of wild adventures in foreign lands. Every night when I was fast asleep I would dream I was in some fantastic place on a new adventure. My goal to travel – not just leisure travel, but travel with purpose – is what helped me get through some of the toughest years of my life. This journey will be long and hard. It will challenge every fiber of my being, both physically and mentally, forcing me to be more self-aware, more creative, and more financially stable in a very unstable situation.
“People need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want.” -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
The one thing I have realized is that we must not forget our dreams, even the wild ones: they are in our heads for a reason. We must hone in and listen to them. For me, my dream has been to travel far and wide and help as many people as I can along the way. Your dreams may be much different such as inventing, engineering, helping your local community, gaining new experiences, or even spending more time with your loved ones. Whatever your dreams may be, listen to them and find a way to make them happen.
As I am getting ready to leave I think of all the people I will miss so dearly. I hate saying goodbye so, in the spirit of my travels to India, I will bid you the Hindi word for both hello and goodbye: