Today, I didn’t want to say yes to anything. I was tired, my feet hurt from all the walking tours, and I just wanted to take a nap. So what did I do? I said yes to everything, and it was my best day yet. When we went to lunch after Portuguese class, I was done with planned activities for the afternoon but little did I know the adventures in exploration that lied ahead.
A group of girls went out with the help of our lovely new friend/tour guide, Julia. What started out as a slow, mopey day, turned into a day filled with more laughter and fun memories than I could have possibly anticipated. I was finally able to try açaí where we laughed and joked over the delicious treat; then we took the bus to a mall where we explored the different Brazilian stores. After nearly missing the bus back to campus and having to run after it (special shout out to Tiffany’s cross country expertise for holding the bus for us), we made it back to campus just 40 minutes later than we had anticipated, just missing the meeting we were trying to get back for. My afternoon was filled with smiles and laughter that I would have missed out on had I focused on my fatigue and tired feet. By saying yes, I was able to step out of my comfort zone and share new experiences with my classmates.
Once I was back home with my host family, I was looking forward to finally getting some much-needed rest. Shortly after arriving, our host brother asked if we wanted to go sightseeing and get dinner with him. Through my fatigue, I agreed to go, because as our group has been saying “when in Brazil…”. Brittany and I went with our host brother, and we had a really good time. I went on a subway for the first time, tried new foods, and spent time exchanging stories and growing closer with the people I was living with. Had I said no, I would have missed out on an opportunity to connect with a member of our new family, and I would have missed an opportunity to see amazing sights and learn more about Brazil.
Today I learned the importance of seizing every opportunity, even if you don’t really feel like it. Life gives us so many opportunities, and it is our job to reach out and grab them. Coming on this trip was my first leap of faith in saying yes to opportunities, but as I spend more time here, I am learning more about the importance of saying yes. Today was filled with memories that I will keep with me forever, because I said yes.