Leaving?

Julia Bräunig


March 22, 2019

It’s been a couple of months since I have updated this blog last and a lot has happened. I changed my host family, I went to Rio on a Solo-trip, I have been accepted to universities and am slowly figuring out the next step of my life, I have been sick for a long time, I have eaten a dozen (or maybe a few more 😉 ) açaí, have surfed, hiked, gone to protests, changed my apprenticeship to a paradise-like sustainable garden with monkeys, tarantulas and banana trees, celebrated new year’s all in white, Skyped and missed my friends from home and UWC, improved my portuguese, danced samba during carnaval and so many more things I could never list here.

But now, in merely two weeks, I’ll be boarding a plane to San Francisco, leaving my island paradise behind and facing the transition into my old life. But is it really a transition back to my life? My friend Danielle and I have recently realized that there is no such thing as „our old life“ that we simply jump back into. THIS is our life, experiences in it that will shape us for the rest of it. There is no coming back (not that I would want to.) I am different now than I was seven months ago, and the people back home have also transitioned into new people through the experiences they have made without me. But that’s ok. There will still be the things that haven’t changed: the icecream Shop next door, the supermarket around the corner, the lovely hug my mum will give me when she picks me up from Frankfurt Airport, just as she has given me in August of last year when she hugged me goodbye.
But isn’t it amazing to see that now I’m not only part of the lives of the people back home but also of those I have met here? My host families, apprenticeships, friends I made, they all shared so many parts of their life we me and I shared mine with them. They have changed me, just as I have changed them.

I’m not too afraid of leaving, of the painful last hugs, last açaí bowl, last glance onto the little green island in the south of Brazil.
I’m grateful for yet another home I’ve made, the love I have received and the mere hope that I can come back here in the future, having changed just as the people here will have changed in my time away, and looking back at this year and remember. Remember the precious memories we shared and the people we have become together.

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Julia Bräunig