Monday, June 27, 2016

To travel is to live

Have you ever felt truly happy? The type of happy that only gets portrayed in romantic fiction. Have you ever felt consumed with nothing but joy and contentment? That is the type of happiness I experienced this weekend.
I woke up early Saturday morning fully prepared to spend the next two days sitting on an over populated beach trying not to get sand in uncomfortable places. I had no idea, a very interesting adventure was in store for me. My housemates and I loaded our luggage into the car and hit the road! Two minutes into the 4 and a half hour road trip we realized our rental car did not come with a radio. Forty-five minutes into our car ride, we realized our rental car could not go in reverse. (Picture three girls, at a road stop pushing a car out of a parking space). And 1 hour into our ride, the car’s ABS flashed on and started beeping uncontrollably, even though there was no problem. We drove through dense fog, up an extremely curvy mountain, and onto a ferry to take us to Ilhabela, an island off the coast of Sao Paulo.  (With the ABS alarm sounding randomly the entire time). When we arrived to the island we realized we had another major problem, we had nowhere sleep! We did not know the address to the air bnb we booked and the owner was not answering his phone. We spent the afternoon touring while we waited for the owner to answer us, but when the sun started to set, we knew we had to book another air bnb. Which is how he stumbled upon our new friend, Leandro and his family.
While I and my two American roommates were refreshing up, my Columbian roommate, Mariana was on the phone with the rental car company. Mariana’s native tongue is Spanish, however she understands a little Portuguese. In need of a translator, Mariana called over the first person she saw, Leandro. Leandro was on his way to his friend’s house when Mariana hurriedly explained her situation to him. It turns out Leandro was the nephew of the women whom we were staying with. He quickly took care of our car trouble by arranging for the rental car to be towed and for a taxi to drive us back to Sao Paulo free of charge.
We spent the evening with Leandro and his family. They welcomed us into their home, befriended us, fed us, and gave us a personalized tour of their town. The following day we all went to the beach and when it was time for us to leave Leandro came with us!
Throughout my time with Leandro and his family I felt nothing but pure joy, warmth, and relaxation. These are feelings I forgot I could have dealing with the daily hustle and bustle that comes with being a college student. I have found several moments of bliss this summer, I hope you find the same.

Lizzy,Zahra, Leandro, Mariana, and I all piled into the taxi on our way back to Sao Paulo.

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