First Blog Post

Elizabeth Farrell - India


August 25, 2018

Thanks and Greetings

To begin, I would like to thank everyone who donated to the fundraiser allowing me, and others like me, to take part in this exciting program. I really appreciate your support. I would also like to thank those who have supported me in different ways to achieve my goal and to be able to take part in this program. So, thank you to my supporters, friends, family, and all the teachers who’ve given me the tools to succeed in varying degrees on my next big adventure.

To repay all of those who’ve supported me in different ways, I now offer you my thoughts and reflections as I go through a year in a new place and hopefully a new home. Therefore, I welcome you all to my blog!

Third Time’s the Charm…

Some of you who know me well and talk to me (or my immediate family) somewhat regularly may be familiar with the struggle I faced getting my visa to go on this adventure. Getting my visa for my gap-year was no ‘walk in the park’. It took three tries, lots of stress/a bit of crying (mostly out of frustration), lots of patience, and a lot of coordination between myself and the GCY (Global Citizen Year) team.

I’ll admit, there were several points during the process where I confronted myself and thought:

“God… I’m taking a gap year…but its not gonna be in India like I’ve thought for the last couple months… it’s gonna be in my hometown! I’m gonna be stuck in my home-town. I love my parents but …what would I even do?! Would I survive a year in my home-town?? I, I don’t think I could do it!”

Dramatic, yes. And, does it come from a point of privileged thinking? Absolutely, 100%. I am coming from a lot of privilege to even consider doing a gap year abroad vs. working for a year at home. However, it’s how I genuinely felt in those moments when faced with the possibility of not going on an adventure like GCY due to a strenuous visa process.

It took us three tries to get the documentation I needed to legally be able to take a gap year in India, and I got the paper on the last day GCY was accepting them. Needless to say, celebrations were had when I finally got it. My mother and I nearly kissed the FedEx driver when he gave me the parcel with my documents in it. My personal celebration was getting a honey cruller from Tim Hortons with my mom. (Note for non-Canadians reading: A honey cruller is a type of donut from Tim Hortons, a cult Canadian fast food chain. As I understand, it’s the Baskin’ Robbins of Canada)

Above: A dramatic retelling of me waiting for my documents. You probably can’t see it, but I’m crying a bit (at least on the inside).

Packing Up and Heading Off

After much work on the part of my parents, who helped me get the last couple things I needed for the next 8 or so months (advil, socks, a hat, etc.), my bag is packed and I am ready to go! I am not entirely sure how to feel about going away this time. I’ve done it before, but this time, it’s different. I am not sure how to synthesize those feelings exactly. But I do know this: I’m excited! I have no idea what to expect of the next year, but I am looking forward to it, struggles and all. If I’ve learned anything already, it’s that an opportunity like this doesn't come without its share of challenges.

I’m sure the next vexing obstacle will reveal itself in due time, and if you are subscribed to this blog, you’ll learn about it too with my monthly blog updates!

Until next time (when I’ll be In India!),

Libbie

Elizabeth Farrell