Walking into Empty Space

Natalie Glick - Brazil


September 1, 2018

I walked into this week not fully understanding what was happening around me. I packed up my bags and left the life that I have known for the past 18 years and came to California for something called “Global Launch.” I didn’t have any expectations, I didn’t know anyone; but instantly I felt a sense of community and belonging, but this didn’t come easy. There were hard moments, moments were I questioned my choice to be here. I felt scared, and lonely, but I found a community that supported me. This has never happened to me before. 
During high school I always felt like an outsiders, like I didn’t fit into the school. I wanted to do more, I wanted to go see the world. Part of me just wanted to escape from Chicago, but I never knew how to do that. To me, I never felt like it was possible. Then Global Citizen year found me. It felt very random, not planned, but it felt right. Now, I am here, just hours away from getting on a plane to Brazil. Getting on a plane to my home, a new family all full of so many uncertainties, unknowns. Yet, I’m so excited to go, I want to get on the plane. I want to go learn, meet new people, push myself, and grow. It’s scary, I am scared beyond belief, but this next adventure feels like the next step. 
When things get hard for me, I think back to the following quote. It goes “ I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown, eat interesting good, dig some interesting people, have an adventure, be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, your president differently no matter who it is…. There are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting got you at the other end of that flight.” Henry Rollins. 
These are the reasons I am here with Global Citizen Year. I want to learn, to be pushed, to be okay with not fully understanding what I happening around me. I want to embrace the unknown, and listen more. I know that the upcoming year isn’t going to be easy. I may cry, I may laugh, I may be sad, or happy; but this is all valid and okay. I am excited for my upcoming year in Brazil. The founder of Global Citizen Year Abby Falik told the group that “ you won’t get the gap year you want, but the gap year you need.” 
I am ready for the challenges that I am going to face, and I am eager to share my stories with all of you. 

Natalie Glick