Luscious greenery, the incessant chirping of birds, the horn of delayed trains, and the sound of trucks on I-78. Welcome to North Jersey, my home!
Hi, I’m Tejas. I’m really excited to see you all tomorrow (wow, I posted this late)! I write this yak as I struggle to pack for the the trip of my lifetime, trying to grapple between taking all of my stuff and leaving everything behind, embracing my simmering adventurism. Hopefully, you all will get to know who I am through the year we’re sharing train rides, so I guess I’ll tell you things that you wouldn’t know at first glance.
As a son of Indian immigrants, I speak Hinglish: the words of my ancestors intermixed with Internet lingo and American colloquialisms. I always like to take any opportunity I see and embrace it, which resulted in me enjoying almost every subject in school. I play squash for my school team, as well as in a couple local sports leagues. I consume far too much media for my own good (books, TV, podcasts, movies, you name it!), but I blame my friends who binge just as much as I do. I also love music; one of my greatest treasures is my music collection and playlists. I will literally listen to anything except for country. I have played a variety of percussion instruments for the last eight years in everything from rock bands to symphonic orchestra, so music has been a big part of my life.
As I prepare for this trip, everyone around me has been saying that it will be the trip that defines the rest of my life and how they wished that they had this opportunity when they were my age. A large part of the decision to embark on this journey was the regret I would have if I didn’t. No matter the choice, I almost always say yes to do something, so going on this gap year seemed like a no brainer at the time. Several months later, seeing all my friends go off to college, I cannot help but feel that I am being left behind for some reason. Hopefully, some of you can relate as well. A lot of the mental preparation I have been doing has been deconstructing the long-standing idea I had for myself, so I can go across the world without these preconceived notions of who I am and what my future holds. I cannot wait to see who I am one year from now, and I’m excited to grow alongside all of you. See you soon!
PS: the photo is actually from a water fall near McLead Gang, where we will be going!!