By Whitney Trapp, a member of the SkillCorps India December 2016 team

Being constantly connected to 6 other women is no easy feat. There are good and bad times just like any other experience in life. I’ve had moments where I’ve felt absolutely on top of the world: laughing until I cry, being awestruck, and gleefully overwhelmed. But I’ve also had moments of frustration, doubt, and loneliness. Maybe you’re not like me. Maybe you do an awesome job of keeping optimism in the forefront of every second of your life. I wish that was my story, but it’s not. I am nothing if not a work in progress. If you are also not a rainbow riding unicorn lover I implore you to find at least one thing to hold on to. Some anchor of joy (in country) to tether yourself to. For me there were two main things, a few of my travel mates in whom I’ve built what I hope to be lifelong friendships and a teacher at Sorem with a heart for the work that we all do that mirrors my own. In my travel mates I found comfort. They made me feel safe to always be myself, no matter how different that was from them and that teacher provided the other half of what turned out to be a wonderful cultural exchange. One unaffected by the occasional language barrier. There were somethings that were not necessarily my cup of chai, like large group conversations. As it turns out smaller groups are more my bag.

But it is not the few moments of discomfort that I will remember. I warn you, if at some point your experience stops being all that you dreamed it to be (and it might), find at least one good thing around you to sink your teeth into. That will be the memory that lives on….if you let it.

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