Saying goodbye is never easy. These past three weeks flew by so fast, I find myself wondering how it’s already time to head back home. A large part of me is reluctant to leave Brazil, yet in the midst of my sadness, I feel a surge of happiness and gratitude for this experience. Because even though this trip is coming to an end, I know the memories I’ve made will last a lifetime.
From the tranquility of the Atlantic Rainforest to the roaring waters of Iguazu Falls, the natural beauty of Brazil will be one of the hardest things for me to leave behind. While gazing at the various breathtaking sights, I could feel all my worries slip away as I stood there in awe. I’m not sure if it’s because of the novelty of being in another country, but I am beginning to appreciate nature in a way I never have before.
A very painful goodbye goes to my new extended family in São Paulo. I was extremely nervous to be away from home, but my host mom, Monica, displayed a level of warmth and generosity that helped ease my transition to my new surroundings. Before parting ways, Monica gifted me a pair of shoes with the Brazilian flag as a way to remember her. She explained, “Wherever you go, I go with you.” Although departing is hard, I am glad to have loved and been loved enough by Monica and her family to miss them as much as I do.
The relationships I’ve formed remain the most important takeaway from this trip. Not only will I miss my host family, but I am also sorry to say farewell to the my time in the Global Honors Program. Indescribable amounts of fun, laughter hard enough to produce tears, and long bus rides filled with heartfelt conversations have allowed me to get to know my classmates in such a thorough way. Even though the end of this stay in Brazil signifies the last time the entire class will be together in one room, I know that the friendships I’ve made will extend past this trip.
The pain of leaving only proves the impact this country had on me during my short stay here. With the unforgettable memories and kind-hearted people in mind, I bid a bittersweet goodbye to Brazil.