I really need to say this, when my exchange began I wasn’t sure how things would move forward. I wasn’t sure how things would go, If I would like them or not.
My first choice wasn’t Taiwan. When I was writing my papers to start my Rotary Youth Exchange I had dreams of going to Europe: France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Finland, and UK. Never crossed through my mind choosing Asia, “Why Asia?” “Too hard, learning Chinese.” “Not as beautiful as Europe” “I want to live the beautiful European lifestyle”. I swear those were not even my thoughts because Asia wasn’t even an option, my hopes were getting France. Time passed and finally I had the countries where I could go, they gave me Brazil and Taiwan.
Even If I didn’t want to recognise it I was a little disappointed, because my dream was going to France and another girl that was in my club got that option. We kind of knew that the options of Brazil and Taiwan were for the kids who were going to have their 18th birthday during the exchange so I knew that was also the reason why I got those countries. Still, my choice was Taiwan, because Brazil was to close to Mexico, and portuguese is so easy to learn, someone told me a Brazilian boy learned spanish in 1 month so I didn’t wan’t my exchange to be so easy. I finally decided for Taiwan, I wasn’t even sure of where it was, what language they talked. I mean I knew their capital because in geography class we learned the capitals of a lot of countries, so I at least I knew something.
The chair of my group called me later that day and told me that she would try to find me an option in Europe. She called me days later telling me I could go to Poland, I wasn’t sure what to chose because I had the option of going to Europe, of having my European lifestyle right there in front of my eyes. In the other side I had the chance of having such a great adventure, of having one year out of the normal, our of my comfort zone, something inside of me already knew I wanted to chose Taiwan. Something inside told me that if I choose Poland I would think during my exchange, “Man, I should have taken Taiwan”, that was my greatest fear, that in the middle of my exchange I would feel regret. I talked with my parents, they told me whatever I choose would be a great experience, then I asked them what they thought would suit me better, and they said Taiwan. Even my brother told me that I should choose Taiwan, and they were right, I am really grateful because even with that they took a little bit of pressure from my decision and made it easier.
You know… I had to face two options, one was choosing what I thought I wanted, this place that I believed was the perfect life. In the other hand I had the unknown, a place at the other side of the world, out of my comfort zone out of what I knew.
You know…I’m so happy that I chose the unknown.