My experience in Brazil was very different from that in China, to say the least. Both were very valuable experiences and I would not trade them for anything. I can confidently say that I enjoyed Brazil exponentially more than I did China, however the cultural experience that I acquired in China is something that I will highly value and is important for me both now and in the future.
I’ve always said I love traveling and international experiences, and every time I am about to take a trip, I almost get a little nervous that this could be the trip that proves to myself that, maybe, I don’t enjoy traveling as much as I think and say I do. So starting off I knew this summer would teach me an abundance of things no matter what. I have learned that while staying in one place (studying, for these types of short amounts of time) has its extreme advantages both academically and culturally, the focus of my love of travel lays with the feeling of newness and excitement that comes with arriving in a new place. Therefore this summer showed me that yes, I do in fact still love traveling, but that I love it even more when that feeling of newness can be renewed and kept alive, which is difficult (yet sometimes possible) while staying in one place for a longer amount of time. Over the course of the next 4 weeks, I will be in a different place each week, which is exactly the kind of travel I love (granted, ask me in 3 weeks and I will probably be irritated with packing and unpacking by that point, but regardless, I love it anyway).
It’s been a long summer and I am ready to be in the United States again, where everyone I talk to will understand what I am saying, where I don’t have to mentally do conversation rates while paying for things, and where I can use a cell phone whenever I like to call or text anyone in my contacts. This summer has taught me more than I could have imagined, and I have no doubt there are still things that I will uncover in the coming weeks and months that I learned this summer and that will benefit me in ways unknown at the present time.