I left Brazil bronzed and baffled, sunkissed and full of stories, slightly heart-broken , certainly more broke than ever before, about 100 caipirinhas too many, a beach-bum, an acai, coconut and euro shorts addict, I’ve embraced my afro, wear nothing but havaianas, can feel the samba music inside (dancing is still another story) and have one hell of a desire to remain in Rio as a wannabe Carioca forever!!
See, I am a Carioca…I even have the T-shirt!
To be honest, I am feeling very empty leaving this time, perhaps the first time on my travels. Rio stole my heart the first day I arrived, 2 days later on top of Pedra de Gavea I fell in love with it, and Its taken 5 weeks to get me to move on! I feel a bit lost, definitely confused, heart-broken, yet enriched and smiling from the inside…I feel like I am facing some very harsh realities of myself thanks to some of the experiences Brazil sent my way. I have opened the flood gates whilst I was here and haven’t seemed to get them sealed again. I’ve opened my heart, exposed my vulnerabilities, I felt security wrap its arms around me, I felt safe, I sat on top of the world (twice) and felt fresh air, the nature, the love of Rio ENERGIZE me! I felt my heart melt with love, with happiness and then I felt it wash away with the changing tide as a tear streamed down my face. I saw the sun rise on new beginnings and the sun set on past ideals.
I couldn’t bring myself to leave, yet I could still see so much of my journey ahead. I couldn’t help but think that perhaps this is where my journey was meant to take me or extended time in Rio was part of the grand plan, rather. I toyed with the idea of staying, finding work, studying the language, seeing how a life here would take shape. But I struggled to see if it was all for the right reasons, if this was actually the time. Confronted with choices and emotions foreign to me, my mind and heart boggled, and yet I felt so at ease in the arms of Rio…
In the end, I again set off, without a plan, lost and confused, on my journey “as Liz Gilbert calls it, my “truth seeking journey,” with the belief in ‘the physics of the quest,’ that the “truth will not be withheld from [me.]” For this is just what the journey is all about, exploring this rich and inspiring continent, evolving with the culture, whilst peeling back the layers of Jess Jones…
Now I find myself in Bolivia, the 7th country of this journey, yes I am moving very slow. In fact, in two months in Brazil I barely even scratched the surface of the massive country it is. For the first time in my travels I just set up shop and LOVED IT! After a week in Florianopolis, 2 ½ weeks in Salvador, and nearly 5 weeks in Rio, I have racked up some amazing stories, stunning photos, incredible connections and an undying love for Brazil an YES, for Brazilians! The rest of Brazil will be left to next time, and I assure you, there WILL be a next time!
Please excuse the sappiness of this post. Sometimes I can’t bring myself to write about the stories and experiences untilI write about the feelings and I think it gives you a better connection to my experiences. So please, stay tuned for the up coming posts on some of my Brazilian experiences like Carnaval Salvador, Pedra de Gavea, What I’ve learned from Brazil…and more!
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