Prologue: My Adventure Begins

Averielle Van Horne - Brazil


August 31, 2018

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For a long time now, I’ve wanted to take a gap year. I knew that I didn’t feel quite ready yet for college, and I wanted to do something meaningful before slaving away at studying in college. While I was looking into gap year programs, I came across Global Citizen Year.

Ever since I was a little girl (which, technically, I still am at a meager 5’1”) I have been obsessed with learning about other cultures, speaking other languages, and traveling the world. I feel like I’ve spent my whole life traveling and I love it. It’s a core part of who I am. With this, comes my love for learning languages. I believe that experiencing new things is incredibly important, fun, and exciting. Learning the culture, customs, and language of a new country, combined with being in a new environment, sounds so intriguing to me. I knew I wanted to take a gap year that incorporated both of these aspects, and I found the program I was looking for.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s scary to leave home and go to another country on your own, and god knows I’m still not 100% confident in myself that I can do it. But I knew I wanted to try.

So I submitted my application and here I am.

Since getting accepted into GCY I’ve told basically everyone I know that I’ll be spending my next year in Brazil. In fact, I’ve said it so much that recently I get more of “shut up, I get it already” than “congrats!” It’s a dream come true for me.

I have many goals to achieve while on this program: make new friends, learn Portuguese, develop important skills, etc. but most of all I want to grow as a person. I want to leave as me and come back better.

So I left my house at 5:00am to go to the airport and board my flight to San Francisco. On my own but determined nonetheless. I arrived in San Francisco with 150 other like-minded people, and tomorrow morning, I will get ready to board my flight to Brazil (because yes, it has taken me this long to write my first blog post).

And now as it’s finally settling in – the fact that I left my home, my friends, and my family – I am both extremely excited and incredibly nervous for the journey that awaits me. This is where my adventure begins.


Averielle Van Horne