Starting the Journey

Kali Nelson - Ecuador


July 30, 2014

I have always known adventure, and have always gone out looking for it. The need to explore and see things for myself is one of the strongest forces guiding my way. I always loved getting outside and climbing a tree just to see the rest of the world around me. My junior year of high school, I found myself with the opportunity to attend a semester school called Conserve School, where I finally let myself be free to the world around me, able to try anything new, and after leaving finding myself yearning for more.

I found out about Global Citizen Year through a friend who has always pushed me to explore more and to do more with each step. I knew that I did not want to go to college right away, but to immerse myself in the world before I figured out how to spend the rest of my life. I needed the experience in my life, to do more with my life than the normal ‘cookie cutter’ route so many of my friends were doing. I found that if I did this bridge year program my whole life would now be a book that I could write in every day about the new experiences that I will be encountering.

In the days after I submitted my application, I began fantasizing about the life I would have if indeed I would be accepted into the program. I wondered about the country I would be going to, the people, the family I would be living with, anything and everything about it; especially what I would be doing there. I have always been someone to help people who otherwise cannot help themselves, and I especially care about the environment and how we treat it. More than anything, I want this program help me make a difference.

As Annie Dillard said. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” And I want to spend my life helping make a difference.

Kali Nelson