I'll admit that Brazil wasn't on my top list of countries to begin new work in...in fact, I was pretty much set to return to Guatemala. I felt that there was more to do with my project on the affects of violence in the country and the past civil war. I still do believe that I need to go back to continue working. Yet, sometimes life just throws these amazing curveballs and somehow it was decided that Brazil is where I'll dedicate the next year or so of my life to working on personal projects and assignments. AND many, many thanks to my colleagues for expediting my journo visa!!! Ive left my comfortable life and friends, my guy George and our dog Reese, in Ocean Beach, San Francisco, put my things in storage and packed two suitcases, my surfboards, camera gear and a computer for a Cidade Maravilhosa, Rio de Janeiro.
Someone help me out with a title for this crazy move.
Ive travelled all of my life since I was a kid. Running to the gate with my family (we were always late) and flying stand-by (since my father worked for an airline), we had the luxury to do a lot of flying and hoteling. Its become second nature (although since 911 its not so fun anymore with obnoxious TSA restrictions). Ive spent many, many months in Mexico, Guatemala, Cambodia and Indonesia. Yet its quite strange to arrive in a foreign country for the first time with no immediate return date. But the motions are the same: find accommodation, find good places to eat, find transportation, get a sim card. I signed up for a language school, although at this point in my life, learning a new language is like learning how to do biophysics. My dear 23-year-old American roommate speaks nearly fluent and fast as if she was born with it in the four months she's been here. One day this year I hope to achieve that but at the very least soon discover when I'm suppose to say "sh" with every word that has "s".
Everyone asks me why. Why Brazil. Honestly, the main reason why is because I've never done it. I've never lived abroad. I should have done it in my 20s but didn't. And now I'm doing it and its incredibly surreal.
Meanwhile, I'll eventually get use to the fast beach breaks, this Miami beach lifestyle, the shhhes, and finding my way through Rio from all the stories that I can't wait to explore and then some. Stay tuned.