October 20, 2016
I always tell people that I like changes because routines are boring and I am not. As time passed, I actually started to believe it myself. But do I really dislike routine? When I first arrived in Florianópolis, Brazil, I was very unhappy about how Global Citizen Year is set up as a program. After spending only a week with my host family in Santo Antônio de Lisboa, I had to leave my host family and participate in a 3-day regional reconnect in Santinho.
I didn’t quite understand why that 3-day retreat bothered me so much. I enjoyed spending time with other people from GCY, speaking in a familiar language actually releases a lot of stress caused by the language barrier. Then, as I thought more about it, the answer started to surface – the routine that I strenuously set up in the first week was broken. I was gradually getting used to the life of having free time in the morning and heading to work in the afternoon.
Yesterday marked the end of my first month in Florianópolis, and even though I miss my family and friends back home incredibly, I am still having a great time in Brazil. And a big part of my happiness originated from the fact that I have a routine.
9:00-10:00 Shower + Breakfast + FaceTime
10:00-12:00 Reading + Journaling + Freetime
12:00-12:30 Lunch + Getting ready for work
7:30-9:30 Bonding with host family + Chores
High school was busy beyond imagination. Enjoying some free time was a luxury to me. And here, in Brazil, when I finally have time to just sit down and do some self-reflection, I feel peace and security. Gap year is all about finding your true self. GCY keeps emphasizing how this year is supposed to be a very selfish year. You should live it for yourself and only for yourself. Now I am starting to get what this really means. Discovering more about myself is a fascinating process. It’s like peeling an onion, one layer at the time. It’s only the first month in Brazil and I already discovered a little more about myself – routine is truly my thing!