25 days. That’s how long I have to wait.
By the time my plane takes off I will have been planning this journey to Florianopolis, Brazil for over a year. The countless hours spent in the HUB’s study abroad office meeting with my advisor, getting every little detail right, running around campus trying to get those course equivalencies signatures. Everything will come together in just three short months.
A Gainesville native, I have always been excited at the prospect of attending college in the same city that I’ve grown to love. The one with all those hidden treasures like Alred A Ring park and Maude’s. A city where academics, artists, and entrepreneurs all find themselves interacting and sharing ideas.
Despite my strong connection to this city, I have an insatiable hunger for travel and cultural exposure. For me living without exposing myself to the different perspectives, lifestyles, and people that exist on this beautiful planet is not an option. Even though I grew up in a multicultural household with frequent trips to Sao Paulo, Brazil to visit my family I never got to experience that culture for myself, stay there for more than a few weeks, or discover for myself what it means to be Brazilian. That’s why as a senior in high school I decided I’d spend my second semester of college in a country that I’ve already been to, where I already speak the language, but this time I’d live there. I’d make my own friends, ones that were my age, I’d go to school, and I’d live with a host family on an island of the southern coast of Brazil.
As I sit at my favorite spot on campus, a bench across from Marston that faces Century tower, I wonder what it will be like to go five months without the people that I love most and this familiar city where I’ve spent my entire life. Will this lifestyle that is so comfortable and accustomed to me feel any different when I get back?
Now all I can do is wait. 25 days.