December 20, 2016
Compared to other programs, Global Citizen Year is rather strict when it comes to travelling. It only allows fellows to travel for fourteen days, which is clearly not enough time to see all the wonders of Brazil.
Even after I left Curitiba, my host family there has been asking me to visit. I really want to see them, but at the same time I am hesitant to use my precious independent travel days in a city I’ve already visited. In the end, I finally made up my mind and purchased my bus ticket to Curitiba.
I just came back from my 4-day, 3-night trip in Curitiba and words cannot express how happy I am for choosing Curitiba over other places. Even though I stayed in Curitiba for two weeks in the beginning of my gap year, everything looks different after 3 months. The streets don’t look as terrifying as before and the people not as intimidating. During my visit, I spent an extensive amount of time with my previous host family. As I spent more and more time in Brazil, I’ve stopped noticing how my language improves on a daily basis, but having a conversation with my host family whom I haven’t seen in 3 months definitely made me realize how far I’ve come. Even though I am still nowhere near being fluent, we can now have an actual conversation.
Up to this point, I’ve been so focused on my personal growth and have therefore failed to pay attention to other aspects of my gap year experience. Getting to reconnect with my previous host family makes me realize how making new connections is also a crucial part of this year. I’ve met so many nice people who genuinely care about me along the way.