Here’s a big secret: I’ve been dreaming about going to Brazil off and on for the past 3 years.
I can’t wait any longer.
I’m going to Brazil.
Going to Brazil has been one of my main desires ever since I had the idea to start traveling. Everything about it intrigues me– the women, people, the language, the culture, the beaches, the women.
I fondly remember meeting my first Brazilian ever a few years ago. She was an immigrant to the US, but had these magnetic brown eyes and seemed so feminine, so alluring, just altogether different from the girls I was use to meeting.
Ever since then I’ve been wanting to go. It’s been a desire that literally burns in my belly.
There were a couple of things holding me back:
1) The language. I currently don’t speak Portuguese and for a long time I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit the time necessary to learn, especially when Spanish was spoken in so many other countries.
2) The cost. Many years ago, Brazil was a geo-arbitrage haven for travelers from the US. In the past 5-10 years, though, it has grown quite expensive. Sao Paulo and Rio de Jainero are now some of the most expensive cities in the world, and the Brazilian real has strengthened significantly against the dollar over the past 10 years.
3) The distance. Brazil (at least, southern Brazil) is not exactly close to the United States. It’s wayyy down there in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s not a hop across the pond, and flights are not cheap.
However, a few things have converged to make Brazil a dream about to become a reality….
1) After learning a good deal of Spanish, I think I have a much better idea of what will be required to learn Portuguese. I also have a much better idea about what doesn’t work and what is a complete waste of time for me. I have already identified several language-learning programs which I feel are effective for quick acquisition. Now I believe I can learn the language to a highly conversational degree in a matter of months.
2) The Brazilian Real has recently been losing a little ground to the US Dollar. Whereas a year ago, the exchange rate was 1.57 to 1, right now as I write this, it is around 2 to 1. This is a significant difference, and makes Brazil slightly more affordable (inflation in Brazil notwithstanding). It’s an exchange rate that I’m sure will not stay forever, so now is the time to take advantage of it. (You’ve read my post about exchange rates, right? ;))
3) I’ve also saved some money, made a few good investments, sold my car and some other possessions over the past year, so I’ve got a little bit of extra cash to support me.
Traveling through Brazil, of course, is going to be more expensive than, say, Ecuador… But if I can put some boots on the ground, get to know some locals, and establish a base, I’m fairly sure I can get my baseline living costs down, probably even to the $1100-$1400 / month bootstrapper level if I decide to stay in a place for awhile. I’m also going to cut down on nights out (at least initially), which will help me get to that number.
4) Medellin and I are taking some time apart. This is self-explanatory. I miss her a lot, and have a feeling we will get back together again, but right now we are seeing other people…
5) I’m already down here in southern South America, after a rather quick encounter with Asunción.
So, these things have all converged to make it a better practical reality to go to Brazil.
But, having said all this…
I don’t live my life just for practical reality, for goodness sake.
I mean, how boring would life be if you never did what you wanted to do because it wasn’t practical??!!
The fact of the matter is that my life is happening now. I’m not getting any younger. Brazil is there now. I am healthy and breathing now. And I want to go.
Brazil is the wild horse I want to ride, and so I’m going to saddle up and not think twice about it.
Almost everyone I’ve talked to who has been to Brazil raves about it. Several have told me that it significantly changed their lives.
And there is of course the lore of the Brazilian women…
If I go broke, who cares!? At least I will go broke doing something I want to do, going on an adventure I’ve set my heart on.
All of which is to say:
Brazil, baby!!! Booya!!!