Where We Grow

Katie Mastriano - Senegal


August 31, 2019

I learned about my host family on my 19th birthday. Throughout the day, a friend and I would occasionally refresh my email. Right before my friend lit the candle on the cake they made, I refreshed the page one last time. We screamed with excitement. A true birthday gift. A little over a week later, and the night before departure, the excitement and nervousness is building inside of me, forming like waves. The ability to create adventure lies within you whether that be through a book grabbed with your eyes closed at the library, taking a walk down a road which you’ve always been curious about, or immersing yourself in a bridge year half the world away. I love the little things in life such as picking the delicate wildflowers along the road, bracing my feet for the cool morning grass, quiet time to myself. I look forward to standing under a Baobab tree, feeling warm dry earth underneath my toes, spending time with my five host siblings. I was so hesitant to start pursue this bridge year because I was convinced I was going to fall behind my friends and my place in this world. Now I know that there is nothing on which to fall behind. I’ve known my comfort zone for a long time, and with an ever growing world, now is to time to reach into my stretch zone. That's where you grow. 

What is something that you desire to experience out of your comfort zone? 

Katie Mastriano