Go big or stay home seems to be my unintentional travel manifesto.
I've never been to India before and I've never taught a classroom full of children, but on March 25, I'm flying from Boston to Bangalore to spend three weeks doing both of these things.
I first heard about the amazing students at Shanti Bhavan Children's Project through my dear friend Christen, whose nonprofit, She's the First, has taken her around the world on a quest to sponsor girls' education and create first-generation graduates and leaders. I wanted to volunteer for no more than two weeks. Christen pushed for more and I'm glad she did. Friends and family concerned about the length of time I'll be gone: blame Christen. She can take it.
On top of my excitement about working with the children at Shanti Bhavan, India also holds a great deal of personal significance for me. I'll be the third generation in my family to travel there—my grandparents many times for business, my mother and aunts as tourists, and me to volunteer. It was my grandpa who first sparked that ever-present need to get out and see the world. On my sixth birthday, he asked if I'd like to see England. I had no clue what he was talking about, but I said "yes". That summer, he made sure it happened. I remember the magic of that experience like it was yesterday.
My Visa application is in and my to-do list is growing. I'll be chronicling my trip here and also blogging for She's the First once I arrive in India. Stay tuned for more updates!