Monday, June 20, 2011


I had a conversation last night with a friend about 'Intent'.

Working abroad is a challenging adventure.  Choosing the country, the city, and the job.  Convincing your family, your friends, and your wallet.  Getting the vaccinations, the flight tickets, the working visa, the health insurance, the travel insurance, and the packing list done.  Saying your good byes and learning how to say hellos.

All these things are the challenges you will face before you have even left, and I am sure you can find many more.

Everyone will have different first impressions and first experiences when they arrive at their foreign destination.  These are all based on your mental preparations and your physical preparations.  I will not get into detail about these, because everyone must learn their own preparation needs.

During our conversation, my friend and I were speaking about all these little details and how many different factors affect your trip.  Of the whole list, the only step that will carry you through from start to finish is convincing yourself.

We realized that only two things can happen when you arrive.

You will either want to stay or want to go home.  Intent is the difference between the person who stays and who leaves.

If you undertake an AIESEC internship, or a trip in general, and want to leave, then it is your decision and your decision only to do so.  If you choose to go abroad, before you even start packing, state your intent.

"I will work abroad in India for the summer 2011" This is my intent since August 2010.

My advice is to firmly understand your 'intent' because this will carry you through any obstacle.  Intent is the difference between someone who embraces a challenge and someone who gives up on it.

I have been extremely satisfied with my trip so far, but that doesn't mean I haven't hit all sorts of obstacles.  By stating my intent and understanding it, I overcome challenges and enjoy the experience.

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