Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't worry Mom, I'm going to be just fine!

So I've decided to write a little bit more, just to keep my audience guessing... Even though I should be focused on studying for that exam coming up... ;-)

First of all, I'd like to say thank you to all the people who have been helping me out so far- with information, as inspiration, and for all the love, all around!

Some of you were shocked when I said I was going on this trip by myself, and some said I was "crazy!" and I felt like I really had to steel myself up to make that commitment and just really GO.

And to tell you the truth I was really scared.  Right? But that's a good thing, a sign that I do have some sense of the task I will undertake. Right? I'd be crazy if I wasn't scared! 
But anyhow, I bit the bullet, held my breath and jumped right in. Typical! :-) 
And now, I'm not so scared anymore. I have already started the journey. I've gone around a few philosophical bends in the road and already feel more at ease. Somehow this is a process that seems to happen whenever I go on a trip... There is an initial sense of fear, and the thought that "Yes, maybe I am really crazy, and now my actions will prove this fact." This feeling kind of persists as I get started, while I'm buying the ticket, getting packed, and finally leaving. But then, as I progress down the path of no return, these worries start to seem superficial, and flake off like a dry facial mask. Replaced with new worries, like, I think I have my passport with me, I hope my luggage doesn't weigh over 20kgs, I hope that ride I arranged from the airport shows up... and as those worries pass, a new lightness arises, because there's not much I can do about any of it, and I can only look towards the future. It's like life in a nutshell. You just gotta make the decision and go for it. You can't worry about what everybody else is going to think. If it's what you want to do, things will come together because you will make them come together. There is no other option. So basically, I really wanted to go on this trip. I have planned since before I started grad school that I would save my money and go. And hearing a lot of people ask me why I'm going and how I'm going was really good for me to build the character that it will take to get out there and come back in one piece- and YES I'm still scared! I know it's a risk. But I have this philosophy about the world - we are all the same. Regardless of race, color, belief, size, whatever. Now I'm not saying blood isn't thicker than water. And I'm not trying to try hitchhiking across the Asian sub-continent. But most people, the average joe, in any country, just want to be happy. They want to play around when they're kids, they want to grow up, get married and have kids of their own. They want to be healthy, they like to laugh, and they want to live a peaceful life. I think people are ethical and moral, and they might try to cheat you out of a few dollars, but I don't think people are bad. And Mom, please know that I will do my best to stay safe, know where I am, where I'm going, what I'm doing, and come back safe and sound! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blog one for the trip

Well, I booked the ticket! Using my Delta skymiles accumulated over two years, it came to a grand total of $135.79... (70,000 skymiles)

I will be leaving Dec. 2nd to arrive in Mumbai on Dec 4th (Korean Airlines)

(I will find my own way from India to Hong Kong)

Leaving Beijing to arrive in Tokyo Mar 6th (Northwest)

Leaving Tokyo March 18th to arrive back in LA... (Korean Airlines)

And that's it!!!

It was surprisingly easy to book the ticket, and now I have begun the trip planning phase: staying up later than I should poring over guide books, emailing random friends of friends who've been to where I'm going (and being really excited when they actually email me back with TONS of info, thanks guys!), making lists of stuff I want to bring, going to REI and staring wistfully at all the fancy high-tec gear and realizing that I probably won't really need much that I don't already have, so no excuses for making extravagant but really cool necessary purchases!
Not to mention that studying for the board exams that I hope to take before Thanksgiving... (oh yeah, I will have to work when I get back!)

And overall just enjoying this exhilarating brief calm before the storm.