Let’s Substitute ‘Goodbye’ for ‘See You Later’, please

I’m always tempted to answer “I’m awful at goodbyes” in job interviews when they ask about my biggest weakness. I get all mushy and I feel like there is a rock on my chest and I struggle with expressing how grateful I am to meet the person. If I could, I’d prefer to walk away quietly and quickly just to avoid the feeling of “the end of an experience”. Why did humans invent closure? It mixes happy and sad tears and just makes a mess of the human emotional spectrum. I love change, but it’s hard to let things go. I’ve met so many amazing people here, everyone from my housemates, to my students I taught for 6 weeks, to the stranger on the bus who showed me directions. I even hit it off with my taxi driver who agreed to take me for a cheaper fare.

It feels like just yesterday I was in the Markham Walmart trying to stalk up on jars of Nutella, and now, almost at the end of my trip, the jars are empty (and so is my wallet) and I have a mountain of Brazillian snacks that need to be digested ASAP. I’ve done so many amazing things here on my own. I don’t think I would have had it any other way. I’ve gotten so used to life here for the past 2 months in this amazing little town, that it’s hard to imagine my life in the big city. Even my Facebook timeline is 70% Portuguese, seriously.

A lot of people ask me why I chose Brazil or even a small town like Franca to do my internship, but to be honest, I just needed an escape from the work-school-commute routine and I grabbed the first opportunity. Sorry, my answer isn’t fancy but its the truth. You can make the best of your time wherever you are if you really want to. The place is the changing numerator. The place is not what makes it special, every place on Earth has its own beauty, it just takes one to see it.

Since I got here, I’ve:

  • seen a gorgeous sunset in Rio,
  • experienced the largest waterfalls in the world
  • been between three countries at once
  • got a piercing I love
  • discovered my passion for teaching and got an idea about my future career plans
  • embraced a different language and culture so much that I blogTO-ed Brazilian places in Toronto
  • learned how good it feels to pay for my own trip by working hard
  • been to my first church wedding
  • gotten over my fear of tanning and eating meat
  • been in a newspaper and gotten interviewed for a Youtube Video
  • taken a motor-taxi (yeah, that’s a thing here)
  • kept up my gym routine…even miles away
  • learned to cook the basics and do my own laundry
  • appreciated my life and my own city so much more
  • made international relationships no borders could weaken

I have started writing goodbye letters and packing and I don’t want to. Our students hand wrote us goodbye letters and let’s just say you can take a girl out of Canada, but you can’t take Niagra Falls out of the girl’s eyes. It got messy, to keep it short.

For the last part of my trip, I’m going to spend a weekend in Saõ Paulo before my flight back to the 6ix on Monday, just in time for university to start again. #yay

xoxoxo,

A really tanned Zahra

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