Saturday, June 27, 2015

Serendipitous Traveler!

What a blessing it is to be in Brazil right now- to have learned so many amazing lessons and embark on such an awesome journey! The time here in Belém is just flying by so quickly, and I hate to think that the experience will only be temporary. Nevertheless, I have grown so much personally and believe that there is still so much more that this country has to offer me.

The one thing that won my heart here is the kindness and generosity of the Belém residents. You could literally meet someone today, then go to the beach and drink a beer with that person the next. You never know who you will befriend here, and that’s what has made this summer so exciting and eventful for me. I have met so many incredible people that are eager to spend time together, learn about our lives and share their stories with us.

Just this past week Erika and I traveled to São Luís, the capitol and largest city of the Brazilian state of Maranhão, with our friend Aline and her family.  It was a 17-hour bus trip filled with lively music, singing and dancing. While in São Luís, we attended a folkloric festival specific to the northeast region of Brazil called Bumba-Meu-Boi where a handful of groups retell a historic, theatrical Brazilian tale. The dramatic costumes, music, and dance made the night so remarkable! We spent the rest of the week enjoying the beautiful beaches and eating delicious regional foods. We even attended a reggaeton party where Erika and I met some Afro-Brazilians who taught us how to dance!  

Towards the end of the week, we got together with a few people through CouchSurfing and toured the old city.  While talking to one of the girls, I was shocked to learn that she recently gave up her job and entire life in Spain to move to Brazil. She had plans to travel the country, learn the language and simply live for the moment. She continued to say that the personal freedom that she received was much greater than any material possession she gave away. Although I’m sure none of us have given up any of belongings, her words led me to believe that this ideal is true.  Although we will be coming back to the states soon, I’m sure that I am not the only one who feels like I am gaining much more that I could have ever imagined- simply by stepping out of my comfort zone and integrating my life into Brazilian culture.

I hope everyone's experience is just as fabulous! Tchau ladies <3

Praça dos Pescadores- São Luís, MA 
 Playing with the Parrot at our pousada
 Relaxing at the beach!
 Shopping at the markets in São Luís

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