Nice To Meet You, India

Friday, June 16th, 6:10pm.

A wet arm sticks out the crack of the car window. A red shirt and waving hand grow distant in the rain as our car moves away from home. I am leaving Reading, Massachusetts and heading to Boston. The first thing I leave behind is my little brother, standing under the frame of our garage.

By the time the car hits the highway I am leaving things behind in layers. These thoughts arrive in waves of realization that come down hard with the rain. I am leaving my bed. My outlet at home that is always within reach. My bathroom. The Nutella in my kitchen cabinet. Cars brush across us on the highway. Rain streaks down across my window in short strokes. The next wave washes in and I already miss walking barefoot in our house. I miss the sound of dinner sizzling in the pan. Evening news at 7. The clatter of keys on the kitchen counter when mom comes home from work. The silence that swallows us in at night. With every mile forward I leave another part of home behind.

Shortly after, we arrive at the Logan Airport. The only things I have with me for the next month are in the two suitcases by my feet. The next things I leave behind are my parents. A hug each, a distant wave from the baggage check-in line and I watch them walk out the door. A kiss, still fresh, lingers on my cheek.  

Friday, June 16th, 8:44pm.

An hour or so passes after we get through the security check, and I realize I am leaving behind my sense of security. At home I am surrounded by familiar faces. It is just me, my brother, my mom, and my dad. As people rush by in the airport, I know not their story, where they came from, or where they are headed. I have left my comfort zone.

A few moments after the plane lifts its wings, I feel its feet leave the ground. A sudden lurch inflates my chest with hope, fear, the unknown, love, and visions of dreams coming true. I tell myself that it’s not what I leave behind that matters, but instead what I decide to offer India. I bring with me my open heart and my open mind. With a pair of waterproof sandals and a travel bag in the compartment above me, I bring curiosity and a strong yearning for adventure.

To India—I am Amy and I am from Massachusetts. I cannot wait to get to know you!