Home is where your heart is! it takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can to build a home.

One year ago, I had to pack my suitcase, say goodbye, and get on a plane to fly away from what I have known as home my whole life.

I am putting distance between myself and the people I love, but the truth is that no matter how far I travel, I will eventually come home to my beloved food and culture. So, I must follow certain paths until they are available, 'cause opportunities are temporary, you either catch them or not.

Well, the first month in America was a bunch of new experiences, I still have the support from my host family and friends, but the major problem was to do not have my own family near me, to be responsible for myself only being 15.

Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten!

But if you don't go, you need to know that you will regret it. The train of opportunities everyone always talks about comes only one time, you either decide to catch it or not. If you don't, you just burned your only chance to know if it was worth it and will live with regret for the rest of your days.

Roots are important, but we men have legs not roots, and legs are made to go anywhere else.

I confess it took me a while to get used to a new life, I thought I wouldn’t make it. With my own experience, I can say that missing someone affects a whole life, since studies to emotional stability.

We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong...

There will always be my enemy distance to ruin everything. Because no matter how hard you try to keep in touch with the people you love, you will slowly stop contacting them. It doesn't mean you love them less than you did before, but it just happens, and it sucks. People will also let you down and you will have no one to rely on. Everyone you love will be far away. You'll have to deal with it all alone, it sucks, doesn't it? But I swear to you, it's worth it!

Oh my God, school in America will kill you!

Yes, this is only a partial view of my school in Brazil.

One of the hardest things to get used to was the school schedule: here we start school at 7:55am and leave at 3:00pm, during this time we walk around all school to get to our classes. In Brazil, we start school at 7:15am and leave at 12:35pm, sometimes we have after schools classes, but we can go home to have lunch, and we only move into one or two classes every day, the teacher always comes to us.

Here, we have the same schedule for 6 months or one year, only alternating the days for classes 1, 3, 5 and 2, 4, 6. Over there, every single day we have 6 to 7 different classes, meaning that we follow a weekly schedule.

It's all about custom, get used to it!

Oh my God, you're gonna hear the stupidest questions ever!

When you first introduce yourself as a Foreign Exchange Student, everyone will look at you like a new creature in the world. It's funny to observe their expressions, some showing enthusiasm and some showing confusion, literally you'll figure out what they're thinking about you!

But, if you're in the same position as I was and I bet the most exchange students were, be patient! They will ask you about your family, about your host family, why you are doing that, how long you're staying and so on...

I'm Brazilian, and you know what everyone in America thinks about Brazilians... Well, with all these stereotypes, they will also ask you some stupid questions, such as:

  1. "Do you speak Brazilian?" NO, in Brazil we speak Portuguese. It's the same if I ask Americans if they speak American (?)
  2. "Do you play soccer?" NO, I'm Brazilian and not a soccer player. Even thought Brazil is known as "The Soccer Country", not everyone knows how to play it.
  3. "Wait, do you have two mothers? " NO, you first have to understand what a host family means. I have TWO separate families, my "real" one and the one I'm living with.
  4. "Carnival is the same as naked woman and parties all the time, hangover is only a consequence, right?" NO, Carnival does not mean naked woman everywhere and neither parties all the time. Brazilian CARNAVAL is amazing, we save Samba, parades, and exotic costumes (yes, they're vulgar, but they're incredible). And our parties are the best ever, everyone gets crazy in Brazil, this is the only part you got right!
  5. "Do you go a lot to nude beaches?" NO, and we don't even have that much.
  6. "Have you ever eaten McDonald's and stuff like that?" OF COURSE I HAVE, Brazil like any other country has countless types of foods.

It's all about time, don't ever give up!

One thing I’m learning with this experience is the energy you put out is the energy you get back, and spreading happiness around me is getting me back only positive emotions. I go visit my family and friends whenever I can and it gives me energy to come back and work harder every time, it feels good to know I’m welcome and loved wherever I go.

The deal was for me to stay here 1 year, and I extended it to 1 year and 6 months, now it’s almost time to go back home and face a new change again, find a way to adapt to the "new" environment.

But I would do it all over again!

  • Travel opens your eyes
  • It helps you learn who you are.
  • You break out patterns and routines
The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

Life isn't meant to be lived in one place!

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