Sunday, June 26th, 2016

10:02pm –  2 months prior to departure date

Should I be nervous? It seems to be the first thing I am asked when mentioning this trip to anyone. “Are you not scared?”,  “Are you sure it’s safe?”, and most importantly; “Will you have WiFi??!”.

Yeah I’m scared! I’m not going to lie and say I’m not nervous about the fact I will be living in West Africa for 8 months. It only seems reasonable to be afraid of things we are uncertain of. However, I do not believe being nervous is a reason to stop yourself from proceeding with something that could be great. When given the amazing opportunity to study in Ghana with my school, Trent University, I knew it was something that I had to do. I began traveling at an early age which made me fall in love with the world. I know that sounds lame but it’s true. I’m so interested in humans and the earth that I study Anthropology and International Development studies as an outlet. I want to understand people as a whole in order to better conceptualize how society progresses. Add that to my love for traveling and you have an aspiring ethnographic researcher!  (Basically I want to travel around and study different cultural concepts and write about it in books that are important).

So yes, I am nervous, but how boring would life be if you never challenged yourself? I’m a firm believer that you manifest your reality through your mentality. Since I have been waking up for over the past year in the mindset “F*ck yeah I’m moving to Ghana!”, I’ve been subconsciously setting myself up for success. If you constantly tell yourself you will succeeded in doing something, you will. Go try it out. Remind yourself of your goals daily and watch what can happen.

It’s two months before I leave and I’m getting more excited and nervous everyday. My biggest concern is probably my diet. Being vegan I’m unsure of what I can actually eat there, and fear of offending someone potentially offering me some sort of non-vegan meal. I also fear the heat, but I know I will adjust eventually. I am also more nervous of coming back afterwards than I am to arrive;  I know I wont be the same as I am now. I fear of my mind growing to the point where the self I am now will no longer be recognized. But I can hardly wait. I do not know what this trip will bring but I am guaranteed an adventure.

I decided that this opportunity would be a good test run to see if this is truly what I want to spend my life doing. I’m going to post updates here  throughout my time abroad, because it’s easier to just share with everyone in one place instead of writing my stories to each person I may not get the chance to speak with. I wanted to do one now to trace my change in attitude as my time there goes on. Who knows, I could end up running home week 2, switching my major to molecular biology (doubtful). The truth is that I do not know what to expect. But I have to at least try. How would i feel if i didn’t?




Published by

Taylor Holmes

Studying Cultural Anthropology and International Development at Trent University

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