As the last semester came to a close, I slowly came to the realization that I was going back to Brazil for winter break! With finals, studying and the end-of-semester stretch all whirling around me I had little time to reflect on what this actually meant. One day before my flight, I stopped to really think about going home. It was going to be the first time in almost six months that I was going to see my family and my friends, get a taste of the much-missed Brazilian food and, of course, experience the scalding heat of the summer in Brazil. I wondered to myself just how different would things back home be. Had I changed? Had my family changed? My friends? All those things came into my mind and made me all the more eager to get there and see for myself.
The flight was long and a bit tiring (six hour layovers are never fun), but it was very organized and worked out perfectly. When I landed and got my bags, the first thing I did was look for my parents who had come to pick me up. The airport was really crowded but after some searching I found them. I hugged my brother, my mother and my father and we all got in the car and drove home. It immediately felt right. The joking around with my brother, the long talks about school with my mother and even the music playing in the car. I realized that even though I came here and had all these new experiences, I was still the same person that left Brazil. College helped me improve my strengths, but didn’t change who I am.
In the following weeks my family and I went to the beach.
The extremely warm weather and my mom’s cooking was paradise for someone coming from Minnesota! The days were beautiful and I got a lot of time to relax. We spent New Years at the beach (it is a tradition in Brazil on New Year’s Rve to dress all in white and go to the beach to see the fireworks) and it was just beautiful, I was very happy to be with my family again.
In the final days of my vacation I came back to São Paulo (the city I live in) and got to see all of my friends again, which was great. It was fun to see all of them in college and hear stories about their experiences and to share some of my own.
Soon it became time to leave and come back to Minnesota. I felt a little sad, but I was also very excited about this new semester because my college experience is only beginning and I know that this is the place I want to be. Besides, a semester goes by really fast and I’ll soon be able to see them and Brazil again.