Preethi Balagani

Right now I am preparing for our trip to South Africa, at Ward’s house, on a Sunday. I don’t know what to expect. Everyday the trip gets closer and closer, and I get more and more excited. Everyday I realize how soon this trip is; yet is seems so far away. We have spent so much time, outside of school and at school, preparing for this journey that it’s hard to believe that in less than a month we are going to be there. There are so many unknowns about this trip, just like any other, but this trip is different. I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s because I am going with my class or maybe because we are going there to meet different people.


I have goals for this trip, but I have to remember to keep them as goals and not expectations. A couple of my biggest goals are to stay in the present and interact with others. The other day my parents asked me what I was going to get out of this trip, and I responded, “I don’t know yet.” Ever since that day I have been thinking about that question. There is so much to get out of this trip, as long as I stay in the present and pay attention to the little things around me. Sometimes those are the things that significantly affect me more than the big things we plan to do.


Curtis Clausen

I think about our upcoming trip many times a day. It usually happens when I think about the summer, which is very often. I see this trip as a quest to open my eyes and understand what is happening in the rest of the world.  It is sort of in the realm of journeying out, to understand what is within.

The thing I am most excited for in the short term is the experience of leaving the world I know behind to encounter a new world.  I really love the country I live in but it is entirely possible that I will become fascinated with the rainbow nation as well. This experience could uncover a desire for world exploration. I enjoy traveling. This may be due to my appreciation for mechanics but I really enjoy seeing what it truly takes, and the organization required, to make planes fly through the sky.

This trip is also is an exceptional opportunity to get to know my classmates.  I find that it is in the greatest extremes that you fully understand the inner workings of a person, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.  I also enjoy experiencing the uncertainty that comes with traveling, because even with planning and the tightest execution it is always possible that things that are beyond our power will heavily influence us. Those times are a good opportunity to use problem-solving skills and put to use knowledge that may before have seemed irrelevant or excessive.

3 thoughts on “Preparations”

  1. Looking forward to the reflections you will share with us all. Soak it all in and be present!

    With best regards,
    Leigh Ann

  2. Success! Traveling tips from a great deal of experience clearly sunk in 🙂

    Having flow 1.5 million miles personally, you are now officially further south than I have ever been. Enjoy your exploration! 😉


  3. Have a great trip! Thank you for these initial thoughtful reflections as you prepared to leave. I look forward to following your journey on this blog.

    Tiffany (mom to Miles, 9th grade)

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