As you all know, I have been living here in Brazil for about 5 months now. These past months have been filled with so much adventure, excitement, sadness, challenges, and joy. I have made so many friends and memories throughout this journey. It is insane to think that just the other day I was a senior in high school living with my father in our home in Maryland. Never in a million years did I see myself taking a gap year, let alone living in Brazil.
Now, here I am. I have developed an amazing bond with my host family and I know that we will stay in touch long after I leave Brazil.
I’m learning a new language! It is difficult, there’s no denying that, but it is so much fun being able to communicate with people in their native language. The way they light up when they hear that I am a foreigner and that I am attempting to communicate with them is worth it every time.
I have had the opportunity to try different foods and drinks and I have access to an abundance of fruits that I hadn’t even heard of before moving here!
Then the transportation… I was so used to driving everywhere back home. Here, I am walking and taking buses everywhere. I even have my own bus card.
I’ve grown so much in these past 5 months. My eyes have been opened in ways that they never would have been if I had stayed in the US and went straight to college.
When I think of my life now and what I have experienced here in Brazil, I think, “whoa”.
I cannot even explain what I feel, how I feel, or what I want to say. My gap year has been truly incredible and filled with so many ups and downs. I would not change a thing. I would do it all over again if I had to.
To this day, people still ask me the infamous question: “How is Brazil?”
Brazil is a journey. Brazil is indescribable. Brazil is a different adventure every day. Brazil is my home away from home. Brazil is unimaginable. Brazil is exhilaration, thrill, and hesitation all at once.
I have thought a lot about what my life would be like if I had not taken this gap year. How I wouldn’t know any Portuguese, or how I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet my host family, or explore the 40+ beaches here in Florianopolis. The list could go on and on. I am so grateful I had this opportunity. I can definitely say this has changed my outlook on a lot of things for the better and helped me realize just how much I am capable of.
One of Global Citizen Year’s goals is ensuring that this experience is available to all students regardless of their financial background. One of my challenges as a GCY fellow is to raise $2,500 in order to support the Global Citizen Year Fellow Scholarship Fund. This allows next year’s selection of fellows to have the opportunity to embark on this exceptional journey and create their own story.
I am truly honored to be able to help open this program to any future fellows as I continue on this adventure. Any donation helps me to achieve my fundraising goal and gives future students the opportunity to develop themselves on an international level.
Please consider making a donation to the GCY Scholarship Fund! With your help and support, I will move further in my leadership journey knowing that my community has my back.
You can donate here: https://donate.globalcitizenyear.org/fundraiser/2179558