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The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Jennifer Khang. Jennifer is spending her gap year in Ecuador with Global Citizen Year.

Pre-departure already did not go as I planned. While packing, I realized that I cannot take my ukulele with me. The ukulele that I specifically bought for this gap year at the beginning of summer and had been blasting ever since.

It’s like… you know that not everything is going to fit in like a puzzle, but when a few pieces go missing, it’s easy to focus on the missing pieces.

Overall, I am exuberant about the year ahead of me. Today is the last day before I leave to California for the Global Citizen Year Global Launch, and it still hasn’t hit me yet that I am ACTUALLY leaving. The reason why I don’t get scared or nervous easily is because I tend to (and like to) wait for things to just play out. I think there are pros and cons of that, but it is just who I am.

I am also surprised at realizing how much I am going to miss my family. I thought I was ready to leave and experience a new world, but I have been sneaking into my mom’s room and sleeping with her for the past seven days, which never happens normally. Saying goodbye is hard (even temporarily), and I find myself already thinking about saying goodbye to my host family in Ecuador eight months from now, and that already makes me sad too.

But I wish it is going to be a sad goodbye. The farewell filled with love and care and hopes for the other’s well being and a promise to keep in touch.

This summer has been great. Nothing crazy, but so much good in the realm of normalcy which is everything that I can ask for. I am happy that Angela and Taylor are both in the same hub as me. Hopefully, they are not too far away from my place.

I wish all fellows in GGYF good luck as they embark on their journeys.

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