I’ve dreamt of joining the Peace Corps since I was 16 years old. I have distinct memories of late night conversations with friends, expressing our internal contemplations of all the future would hold. Although my goals have changed as I have grown as a person and time has passed, one major dream has remained constant. I want to travel and I want to do so through the Peace Corps. I couldn’t think of a greater honor than to represent my country, the United States of America, on a global standpoint. I also couldn’t imagine a better way to truly immerse myself in a foreign culture, all the while getting to know the rawest of my own being.
Fast forward nearly seven years, I can’t help but feel tears well in my eyes as I think of my younger self and the lofty dreams that are turning into my new reality. I am overwhelmed with emotions as I envision all that my 27 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer will bring me. I feel proud knowing that I haven’t lost sight of my priorities and my goals, and even prouder knowing that I am in the midst of accomplishing them. I feel excited to meet the other volunteers I will work alongside and can only assume we will share an incredible journey. I feel confident because although the journey will be extraordinary, I am sure to face inconceivable obstacles, but I know God has prepared me well throughout my lifetime. I feel nervous because I have undoubtedly taken a less conventional path than my peers, and I can’t help but wonder what that other path would bring me. I feel anxious thinking of all the ways my relationships with those in the states may change over the course of two years with minimal communication. But mostly I am exceedingly grateful knowing that I am about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will offer me a new prospective on the world as I have viewed it for the past 22 years.