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Visiting Brazil | The First Cultural Shock of South America

Visiting Brazil for me will never be just Brazil. It will be the beginning of my 8-month solo backpacking trip through South America. And so it was maybe a bit unfair because there was a lot of adjusting during my few weeks of travelling through Brazil.

The whole month of September, I will share 30 stories with you. One story each day. You will find out how I travelled, what countries I called home and how many times I repeated a travel in the same place. But most importantly, you will get to know my comfort zone stories. Would you share yours?

It all started with an overbooked flight that ended up with me staying in a 4-star hotel for free with three meals included, in New York City. Quite an accommodation! And then flying straight to Rio de Janeiro. I had a flight through Bogota, but they put me on a direct flight. So who am I to complain, right? And of course, the cultural shock hit me soon after. If you remember when I talked about Tunisia, I met two of my friends I used to live/work with. Such an amazing experience to meet friends you haven’t seen in five years.

Rio de Janeiro was a difficult place to navigate because I was told almost all the time that every space I wanna go to is dangerous. Again, coming from my side of the world, I’ve learned to listen to my intuition when things are dangerous. So it was very confusing to me when I didn’t feel in danger but I was told I should feel like that. But the heat and humidity hit me like a hammer. My hair was already getting a life of its own.

I managed to see the famous Cristo Redentor//Christ the Redeemer, the amazingly beautiful Escadaria Selarón//Selaron Staircase and I tried açaí ice cream for the first time. My favourite day was when I went by myself to explore Pão de Açúcar//Sugarloaf Mountain and then I walked all the way through Copacabana Beach. Can you believe I still haven’t edited the videos from that day?! Yeah, me too.

Anyway, after those two weeks, I travelled to São Paulo (which I actually loved more than Rio) and things started to get more normal. And that was when I visited the other friend. We visited Batman’s Alley and we spent quite a few hours on Paulista Avenue. For a few hours, all cars were removed once a week and events of all colours and types were happening. I’ve seen a lot of dancing and performers, like capoeira and tango. I really loved it.

Oh, also, I met Finn Mertens and guess what? I have watched literally 0 episodes of Adventure Time. But I went along with it, why not? Unfortunately, I have lost most of my footage because, (yes! again) I lost my GoPro when in Uruguay. More about that next time. My plans of visiting Brazil during the South American trip were to return, but unfortunately, it just didn’t work out.

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