Before I had even boarded onto the plane to Senegal, many thoughts ran through my head. What would the people I care most about be doing back home without me? What would life be like upon arrival home from Senegal? Would anything really even change? Eventually I came to the realization that the more I thought about the trip and the future, the more stress I was putting on myself. So I decided I was going to just pause life, and go into the trip going with the flow and soaking up as much as I could. Doing so, my experience throughout the trip was nothing short of amazing. Meeting generous locals opened up opportunities for me to take a look at my “inner self” in the mirror for the first time ever, and this eventually helped me to recognize what parts of me needed work.

Global travel has truly helped me to meet face to face with issues in the world that I had never really paid mind to previously. I would say that going through such an experience is playing a role in my newfound interest to educate and be educated on problems occurring not just in my country, but all over the world. I wish to keep up with such problems, and hopefully act on them in a way that will help somehow.

Reading the “Why Build Bridges, Not Walls?” blog post, I agreed with the idea of building bridges. With today’s reality of separation in our country, I believe that putting up “walls” only causes problems. Being that we are all human, it only makes sense to me that we all be treated the same and learn to work things out with each other, rather than block others out and treat everybody differently.

One thing I will take from my experience in Sengal and apply to my life, is the idea of hospitality. I have never been the type of person to offer help or peace to individuals without getting to know them first. Looking at it now, I was treated with an immense amount of hospitality based primarily on respect. So with this, I wish to do the same and treat everybody with respect and offer open arms to people in need of my help.