Recently, I’ve flown twice on two different airplanes, and doing so has helped me realise something important about this trip: going on this trip wasn’t quite so impossible in the end. At the beginning of these three weeks (or, even at the beginning of this semester) I couldn’t quite believe that I would manage to go on this trip and experience everything.

I’m someone who loves to stay in her comfort zone and I’m never quite prepared when faced with having to move outside of that zone. Being here in Brazil has forced me to spend more time outside of my comfort zone than inside it.

From one direction, it certainly seems like airplanes should have the same problem I do, in that staying on the ground would be an airplane’s “comfort zone” (remaining on the ground due to gravity).

One of the reasons I love planes so much is that it seems like it should be impossible to accomplish the one thing they’re designed to do: fly. Airplanes are these huge metal machines propelled with extremely heavy engines carrying dozens upon dozens of people and cargoes and somehow they still fly.

And yet an airplane can still fly.

A small glimpse of the airplane we flew out of São Paulo on.

I don’t like to leave what I find familiar. In the past, I’ve struggled with trying new foods or going new places or meeting new people.

And yet, here I am, almost to the end of an amazing trip. I think one of the important experiences I took away from all of this is that I am capable of trying new things and even enjoying them.

While here, I got to try new foods I wasn’t sure about, and still ended up liking them; such as the pastels I shared with my host family and friends on an early Saturday afternoon. Later, I would go on to order pastels for myself (in Portuguese!) at a bakery in Foz do Iguaçu.

On another Saturday, we went to walk down Paulista Avenue, and near the end we visited an art exhibition while on our way back. I’m not sure I would have ever experienced anything like it had I not come on this trip.

I spotted this airplane on our drive back from the Brazilian side of the waterfalls. I’m not sure why it’s been parked in a field next to a road.

Much like an airplane manages to do what seems impossible at a first glance, I wouldn’t have believed before this trip that I could’ve accomplished so many new things.

Categories: Brazil 2023


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