The first thing everyone asks after not seeing you for 8 months is, "So how was it?".
After hearing this question time and time again, I now have a method of explaining my year abroad. I usually start off with saying it was a mix of everything, making sure to let my audience know that there were definitely amazing times but there were also terrible times. Also, when I try and explain my gap year, I want the story to be just as authentic as the experience itself but from what I have come to realize is that story telling is quite difficult. Especially trying to tell a story about an 8-month experience in a foreign country… So I talk about my triumphs making sure to include my failures. I tell about weight gain making sure to include a juicy description of Pao de Queijo, the Brazilian cheesy tapioca dish filled with an abundance of delicious calories. I tell about it all. It usually takes around 10-12 minutes to cover all the bases ( apprenticeship, homestay, social life, family, missing home, etc…) After telling countless stories varying with different amounts of effort and enthusiasm I can safely say that when I'm passionate and giving the most authentic version of my experience is when people enjoy the story the most.