For so long, I have envisioned myself traveling somewhere far away. Longing for the chance to escape the walls of my community, the chance to explore life and all it has to offer, but most of all, the chance to explore me.
When most people think about the future and what they predict themselves doing, people think of a time many years ahead of us. However, when I think of the future I think of tomorrow, next week, and next month. My future consists of me going to Senegal in less than two weeks doing what I’ve always been interested in for a while…being a part of change.
Traveling has been something that I appreciate doing because it is an opportunity to experience a new atmosphere and new things. It causes us to come out of our comfort zones, where we are forced to try something different. Having been placed in situations such as the aforementioned, I know that it can foster both positive and negative reactions. But it is not until you experience it firsthand that you truly learn who you are.
Being a native of New York city has exposed me to many different cultures. It is hard or might I say not so easy to get a good grasp of these cultures when they are often trying to immerse themselves into the American way of life. My hope is that is that when I travel to Senegal in the coming days, I will be able to impart something positive on the people that I interact with. Teranga means hospitality in the native Senegalese language Wolof. More than that, the word signifies when a family takes a stranger in as one of their own. I do not want to be just a tourist in a strange land, just an American visiting Africa. I want to feel like Senegal is home!