Bye 2019! Welcome, 2020!

A lot of my break was playing Hollow Knight under the duvet… It’s Winter!

New Year’s (or reveillon, as we would say in Brazil) for me is always a time for reflection. I think about what was great and what could have been better in the last year and make plans for the next one. I usually celebrate with my friends or family, and this year was no different. In this post, I am going to write about my Winter break, my new year’s celebration and how these things are different in here compared to Brazil.

2019 was a great year to start a new chapter of my life journey. It’s the year that I finished my Master’s studies and started my PhD here at Surrey. Besides many challenges of this new period, it has already been incredible for my learning, my work and my personal development. I am more certain now about what I want to do in my life than I was one year ago, and I think this is brilliant! I had to say goodbye to some incredible people who came back to their countries in 2019 but I also met some amazing people so far here at Surrey!

Two of these are Paola and Vlad, fellow PhD students in Sociology, although in more advanced stages than mine. Paola was the host of the Christmas dinner I wrote about last week. She’s very special – and she reads my blog! <3 She also invited us (my boyfriend, me and Vlad) over to her house for the new year’s celebration. We drank some wine, ate some pasta, listened to some tunes that Vlad and I chose (I’m usually the DJ in these events, this time I had a contender!) and talked for hours. Just before midnight, we went to her backyard to see and hear some fireworks and cheer for the arrival of the new year!

I must admit that New Year’s in here is not as exciting as it was back home. First and most important because it’s Winter – as I said in my previous post about Christmas, Brazil is in the Southern Hemisphere and the seasons are the opposite. The weather is always warm in December and January and millions of Brazilians and tourists go every year to Copacabana or Ipanema beach to see the fireworks. We can also spend hours before or after midnight drinking or talking with our friends because the temperature is lovely – sometimes it’s actually too hot even during the night. It is very common to wear white clothes in Brazil in New Year’s, it’s a tradition that came through African religious influences in my country.

Here, celebrations are usually indoors, and you don’t see as many people wandering around during the night. They also do not care that much about the colour of their clothes, as long as it’s fancy – I saw a few places advertising new year’s parties with dress codes in this country, which is something we would rarely do in Rio! Here we decided to chill and enjoy our own companies this year. Even though we drank and talked for quite a few hours, it does not seem like heavy partying I usually did back home! But it was also great to relax and spend time with these lovely people.

Besides the new year’s celebration itself, in the last couple of weeks, I have been spending a lot of time indoors watching films and series and playing Hollow Knight. This is a really interesting adventure video game where you control a silent knight while you explore a world full of darkness, dreams and strange creatures. Vlad was the one who introduced me to it. We both enjoy video games with involving soundtracks, art, and design, so he showed me this one. I have been completely absorbed by it! It is wonderful to have some break, but hopefully, it won’t distract me too much from my responsibilities in 2020. I’ve got tons of stuff to work on this year.

Thanks for reading!