Its nearly one month until I get on the plane and fly east to India for one whole year.
I will be running art projects and workshops for the whole 12 months. Working with disadvantaged children in and around Vellore, Tamil Nadu, as well as travelling across and up to tribal villages in Jawadhu Hills too.
I find it quite a challenge in itself to really explain how I feel about going. Ive been organising and preparing for the trip since March 2016. Its always felt so far away. Something I often ask myself is, is this real? Am I really going?
As time passes by everybody is asking me how I feel? I take a minute to think of an answer to this frequently asked question. Depending on the person and the day, my answer always seems to vary
It feels like a dream, I dont know how I feel. I think the reality of going will only kick in once I have reached my destination. When I step out of the plane in Chennai. I feel excited. Im not nervous. Perhaps when I arrive, my feelings may change. I am looking forward to immersing myself in to the Indian culture and lifestyle.
I visited India about 4 years ago, as part of a university exchange program. And I have spent a long time in Nepal, so I am not going to be completely shocked at what I see. It is a great opportunity to practice the language, Tamil, make new friends and to really be able to integrate within the community.
Being away from my family and friends in England will probably be hard for me. But from my previous adventures, I have already experienced being away from home. Although I feel positive with social media and wifi everywhere, its going to be easy to stay in touch. I will probably be in touch with certain people more than I am now.
The biggest challenge is one which will be constant throughout the year. In the recent months, I have met someone who is very special and dear to me. My albatross. Unfortunately bad timing, things happen when we least expect them too. I like to think that this is all part of lifes hurdles. And well come out winning!
I have had so much support from my friends, family and strangers. Already I have seen how amazing humans can be.
Ive started loosely planning art projects and workshops for the children. Gathering ideas, which will be enjoyable, expressive and fun! This is where the excitement really kicks in. When I know I have made the right decision.
I am about to have my last week at work. Where I have been working as a fishmonger for nearly 3 years now. In an air-conditioned shop, I throw layer upon layer on to keep warm throughout the day. As I joke with my customers about the end of my fish career, many of them say
At least 2017 will be a warm one for you!