The Heebie Jeebies


People sometimes ask me if I freaked out at any point when preparing for the trip, if I started stressing about what I was getting myself into. And I would say no, since what I was feeling was something closer to positive excitement, a pleasant unknown – a sense of adventure!

But this still was, subjectively speaking, quite an undertaking and bound to rattle somewhere. And, admittedly, I did get the fight-or-flight feeling, once: 15 minutes before boarding the flight from Helsinki. I was sitting in the terminal, feeling quite calm and looking out toward the runways – at nothing in particular. Then it hit me, like a wave from an unseen horizon – as these things usually do.

My skin started tingling and my mind was racing, frantically trying to find a solution to a problem that didn’t exist. What am I doing, moving to another country? More or less by myself, to almost the other side of the world, for six months? Did I really want to do this? What if I hate it, what if I can’t cope? What if I get seriously ill?

Alright alright alright, this was to be expected, I thought. Tried to keep a cool head, took a few deep breaths and started walking through that inner maze, telling the lizard brain that the more evolved parts got this covered; everything was going to be fine. Just let go.

Just let go.

A few minutes later the wave had passed and my head was back on my shoulders. Not as firmly as before, but good enough.

It was almost time to board the flight. Decided to call my parents, to give a final farewell from Finnish soil. Also told my mom – who, not surprisingly, is usually the more fretting one of the two – not to worry about this whole India thing; I was going to be just fine.

I’m still not sure if it was her or myself that I was trying to convince.