journal entry #001 → unreal

Stephanie Sanchez-Aguilar - Senegal


August 10, 2017

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

Home. What’s that mean? I guess it’s different for everyone. I have two places that I call home. One is an apartment that my family rents in Chelsea, a little city outside of Boston, five minute drive on the Tobin. A bridge that finds it’s home over the Mystic River. The other, is forty-five minutes away in a town called Sharon. It’s a straight shot from the center of town, you drive down the scenic Massapoag Ave route and right as you see the Jungle Joe slide on Lake Massapoag, you take a right and you’re there; Camp Wonderland. 


These are my homes, homes that I keep close to my heart. Places that are not easily left and yet, in just a few weeks, I’ll be leaving. It’s all… unreal. These places are the only places I’ve ever called home, the only places that I’ve felt completely safe. The fact that I won’t be there, or even a drive away is terrifying to me. I know that my gap year is going to change my life but I’m holding on to my life at home so tight that my knuckles are turning white. My heart pounds every time I think about leaving. A lot of things can change and I’m confident in the relationships I have with the people in my life but eight months is a long time.

From the very beginning, Senegal felt like a dream. Something achievable but wasn’t quite in my grasp. From my initial application being lost for months, to my interviewers microphone not working, to originally not getting to financial aid that I needed, it’s fair to say that it felt like the odds where put against me. Now, everything is fallen into place. Tickets have been booked, bags are starting to be packed and my nerves are being more eased. 

At the very moment that I am writing this entry, there is exactly 16 days, 5 hours, 18 minutes and 4 seconds before I’m on way to embark on a journey that will surely change my life in ways that I can’t begin to explain. The time to leave for Senegal will be here closer that I imagined. I can’t wait to share this journey with you via this blog.

I’m hoping that maybe… just maybe.. I was created for such a time as this. 

Siempre Tuya, 
Stephanie Sánchez-Aguilar

Stephanie Sanchez-Aguilar