my biggest fear

I am leaving behind a girl who has been sheltered for all of her life, a girl who swallowed what the media fed her and accepted headlines that were only half of the truth. I’ve only ever seen the United States, and even then only my small, northeastern part of it. But as I was stepping onto the plane to Dubai at Logan, I shed that version of myself. She lays crumpled on the ground right before the door, and I will never see her again. I’m leaving behind my ignorance and preconceptions of a place I’ve never been to, leaving behind all of the times I thought I knew what India was like.   

            I know India is not homogenous. Neither is Asia, and neither is the Eastern Hemisphere. But on my journey towards more cultural competency and understanding, I am starting with a slice of a life I’ve never had the opportunity to see. Ever since I was little, I’ve been greatly bothered by the idea that in a world of seven and a half billion people, each person with so many different stories and experiences to tell, I’ve only seen and heard the stories of North America. I haven’t even scratched the surface of the planet I live on, and the unknown is my biggest fear. My biggest fear is not knowing, and in regards to the rest of the world, that’s all I do. I just don’t know the languages, cultures, dress, and politics of any place other than the US.

            Going on this trip, I leave behind that sheltered girl. But I am already gaining a new sense of curiosity. Now that I am on the other side of the world, what will I see? How will it change me?