Since I last posted, the time has truly flown by and just like that I am finished with my first semester at Eller and the best summer of my life.
After my second set of finals and to conclude my time in Brazil, I traveled to Rio de Janeiro for three nights. Leaving Fortaleza was bittersweet as it was our home for two months, but we were all very excited and anxious for Rio.
We arrived in Rio around 10 PM with many expectations and questions. The weather was colder than what I was used to in Fortaleza but it was nice to be in a cooler climate. We had done some research on nightclubs to check out so that night we were able to get a taste of the Rio nightlife, which as you can imagine was pretty fun.
After a great first night out in Rio, we woke up early to visit some landmarks that Rio is famous for. The first site we went to was the Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks all of Rio. We took a train up to the enormous statue and then proceeded to take touristy pictures among the many tourists up there.
Then we got a huge lunch (grateful for Brazilian steakhouses) and made our way to the Sugar Loaf Mountain cable car, which took us to the top of SugarLoaf Mountain. I was amazed with how much of the city I could see from up there and this is where I decided Rio has some of the nicest lookout views in the world, well at least that i’ve ever seen in person.
The next morning me and a group of friends went hang gliding. Yes, I went hang gliding. For those of you who don’t know, hang gliding is when you are attached to a pair of fifteen foot wings and run off of a very high cliff and then glide in the air just like a bird would.
Dont worry, I was also attached to an instructor who had over thirty years of experience! After soaring through the sky for over fifteen minutes, we cruised over the ocean and landed smoothly along the beach.
Although I have a fear of heights, I was luckily able to overcome that on this trip.
When that excitement was over, we went to see more of the city and eventually made our way to the Olympic megastore. As you can imagine, this is a huge store that sells all Olympic apparel and goods. That was a fun shopping experience because of the excitement and chaos in the air for the Olympics. The city was preparing for the games by cleaning up the streets, setting up bleachers, and making Rio suitable for the Olympics coming up in weeks.
After a long last night of the trip, we woke up to explore more of the city and country for one last time as that was the last day of the program. We went to the Escadaria Selarón, which are a set of stairs that are covered beautifully with mosaic tiles. This placed was filled with tourists. The last thing that we did was visit the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio, which was this massive structure with stained glass windows. Once we got back to the hotel it was sadly time to load the busses and head to the airport. It was time to go home and there were a lot of mixed feelings going around about this. At this point, I was feeling satisfied and fulfilled with the things that I was able to do on the trip.
It was sad to leave the country we called home for two months. It was sad to leave the place that made such an impact on my life but it was good to know that I would come home feeling like I had grown up and matured some.
I am lucky to have met such cool, full hearted, spirited, smart, passionate, and foreign people. I learned so much from every person and experience that I encountered and plan on using this knowledge to motivate me to reach my goals in the future.
I appreciate the life I have in the United States more than I ever have as I was able to participate in a culture so rare to me. I am so thankful to have lived and learned in Brazil and truly experience something so unique. I have made friends and memories that I will never forget.
I am going to miss that place but I know when I am able to go back to those cities and that country, I will have a huge appreciation and love for it. This trip has taught me a lot about myself, it has taught me to appreciate every moment, and it has opened my eyes up to the promising opportunities that lay ahead for me.
Now that it has been a week since I have gotten home and I have finally gotten over my jetlag, I have been able to process the time and experiences I just had in the past two months. I have begun to unwind and relax before I go back to school in a couple of weeks. Not much back home has changed but reality has sunk back in. I have gotten back to my usual summer activities of surfing, swimming, hanging with friends and now trying to figure out my next steps towards the future I want to have. I have started to think deeper about what exactly I would like to do with my career and I am in the process of looking for internships to take this year.
I want to thank everyone for following my blog this summer!
I hope to continue this blog when I am able to travel and experience more of this beautiful and mysterious world again.
Please pass this link around to anyone traveling or even thinking about traveling. Traveling is inspiring and necessary to understanding this world.
I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer.
Until the next adventure,