Participant blog: These little things

We’ve asked Study Tour participants to write a blog post for our website with a view on the Tour from their perspective. This week, Regie will share her expectations and experiences so far.

At the moment I am sitting in the train back home from a weekend at the boyfriends’ parents’ house. It is the last time I’ve visited them before the study tour. This makes me think about everybody I have to say goodbye to and will miss during the tour. I am lucky that my boyfriend is coming to Brazil for the after trip, so I only have to miss him for three weeks. For the first three weeks Skype is installed and working, so with a bit of Wi-Fi we will still be able to talk. The same goes for my parents. Them I will not see for six whole weeks. I will even miss my mother’s birthday, which is quite important to me. Luckily I will be at home for Christmas, there I can make up for the missed birthday with hopefully a fancy Brazilian present.

Besides all the people, we will also miss some activities, festivities and other little things of life. Like ‘Sint Nicolaas’ and his ‘Zwarte Pieten’! A festivity we will miss because it is not known in the Brazilian culture. However, the ‘pepernoten’ are already in the stores, so we can have a bit of the ‘Sinterklaas’-feeling and perhaps even take some of it with us. There are many little things too miss during the trip. Like sleeping on your own pillow or riding a bike. Little things we might get to appreciate more during the tour. Then we have Christmas, I am lucky to be celebrating these days at home, but we will be in Brazil during the weeks of advent. Since Brazil is a very Christian country, I wonder how different advent is celebrated and how much we might see of it. How strange to speak about Christmas while it is still 12 weeks away!

So, I realise that I have a lot to miss during the six weeks of the study tour and after-tour. But of course, it will be worth it. All the cultural visits in the US and in Brazil will make up for the culture activities and festivities we will miss at home. And all the information, knowledge and interesting facts we will learn from the company visits is something that you will only have the opportunity for once in a lifetime. Through all the informal talks with old study tour participants I realise that these weeks will be weeks to never forget.

So we continue the countdown: less than a thousand hours until we will pack our bags and go!