Leaving Home

Emily Stevens - Senegal


July 19, 2013

I have a pesky habit of chronically putting the cart before the horse in almost every aspect of my life. I get these big ideas and become impassioned. But when it comes to the development and execution of the idea, I get intimidated by the construct I’ve built. Apparently I’m not the only person afflicted with a tendency to dream. However, there is hope! I’ve decided to follow through on every logical project or idea I begin. Here’s where Global Citizen Year comes in. As an adventurous person of course I was elated by the prospect of living abroad for eight months. But now I’m really going to embark on this trip! It’s actually going to happen to me and the surreality is indescribable.

Let me tell you where my past ideas have gotten me so far. I was lucky enough to grow up in the Pacific Northwest halfway between Seattle and Vancouver. I put on my first pair of skis at the ripe old age of three. Bellingham is idyllic for outdoorsy living. Think NorCal or Colorado connotations of adventure. Then add a heavy dosage of rain. Come sophomore year my mom and I were ready for a change of scenery and I was hungry for new experiences. Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Louisville, and New Mexico were all viable options. I decided to apply to a performing arts conservatory in St. Paul and the math/science/tech division of a magnet school in Louisville. In the spring of 2011 I was admitted to both. This is usually the part of the game where I get confused and duck out nervously. This time was different. We uprooted ourselves and moved 2500 miles to Kentucky! I took the above picture in Shaker Village, the first place we visited after moving here. I feel that the cow embodies my current home and the calm that I will be leaving in just over a month.

I’m very excited for the coming adventures, relationships, difficulties, and oddities I know I’ll encounter over the next several months. For now I’m going to enjoy the last month I have with my friends- before they go off to college and I go off to Africa. Thanks for keeping up with me along the way!

Emily Stevens