One of the many words I think I’m repeatedly going to use to describe this experience is immersion. It’s an immersion in a new place, with new people, and in a new kind of work. It surprised me how that immersion starts right away. Last night, as I struggled to get a few hours of sleep before heading to the airport, I felt isolated. Now, I’m suddenly immersed in a new experience. Everyone around me is going through the same process I am.
That makes me feel a lot better and more confident about what’s going to happen next, and it will also make this experience a lot more fun. But it will also be an interesting challenge to be constantly surrounded by social stimulation. I chose to major in journalism for a reason: I really like talking to people and being around people. However, I also consider myself a hard-core introvert – the definition being that I need time to recharge every once in a while. This trip is not only a chance to learn more about what it means to be a global reporter; it’s also an exercise in social stamina. And balance – that’s the other word I’m going to be using a lot. Balance between excitement and calm. Between loud and quiet. Between work and fun.
The plane hasn’t yet pulled out of the gate, but this international immersion and social balancing act has already begun. Time for the next step.