Getting Ready For Ghana
When I land in Ghana tonight I will finally be settled in a country for more than two weeks. That hasn't happened since the end of November, and at the moment travel opportunities have made life a little crazy.
Put it this way: in five days I have been in four countries on three countries. Or like this: In the first 24 days of 2016 I have been on 8 flights, 9 if you count my layover in Amsterdam as two.
You see what I mean?
I’m sure you can agree 2016 has been a whirlwind, and as I touch down on African soil I breathe a sigh of relief at settling into my new home for the next five months. I am so grateful for what I have learnt in Abu Dhabi and experienced in India over the past few weeks, and for the chance to touch base with family in England even if only for 36 hours. But I am tired too, and quite literally sick from the relentlessness of it all. The numbers may sound impressive but they don't convey the overwhelming nature of packing, unpacking, and repacking, of endless drives and queues, of the adjustments to time zones that quickly need to be readjusted. I am ill, grieving for the loss of a family member, suffering from panic attacks even at moments like trying to pack, and frantically writing a final essay on a plane because I needed an extension from sheer exhaustion. I say this not for sympathy, nor to complain: my gratitude and enjoyment of the life I am living coexists with the sometimes negative reality. I just think it's important to remember that experiences are rarely fully good or bad.
As for Ghana I honestly have no idea what to expect: I have friends who have walked this path before me but second hand experiences don’t quite convey the full picture, I am sure. I look to this change with exhilaration and excitement, a chance to reflect on who I am and who I want to be. I hope, like Paris, it will be transformative. I hope I was right to pick something outside of my comfort zone. I hope these natural nerves will subside as I unpack my belongings and meet my professors.
But, if we're being really honest, I don't know if I will be able to stay in Ghana. I may not show it on social media but I'm finding life really, really tough right now. After sobbing for an hour on the phone to my Mumma we decided that I am taking each day at a time. I tell you this because you probably look at me and think that I'm brave, or that I'm fearless. I'm not. But, as I've come to do every time I'm scared, I'm going to try. I'm going to get on that plane and last the first day. Then the second, then the third. If after a few weeks I still feel the same then I will choose to come home, and I'm not ashamed at that prospect. Please don't ever feel like choosing what's best for you, even if it means giving up on something, is the wrong thing to do. Try it, and if you really can't do it that's okay.
I will update you as I go: this blog, after all, was started as a chance to document my thoughts about living abroad. Join me for the adventure, and we will walk metaphorically hand in hand.
And how are you? I hope you have had a good 2016 thus far. I find nearing the end of January such a curious time: resolutions are waning and somehow things seem less fresh, the year has already gained that slightly worn edge. Already I have learnt so much, as I’m sure you will have seen me trying to communicate, but January has been spent in an endless quest for more energy from less sleep.
What new life lessons have you been learning?