UBERLANDIA, SAO PAULO, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – January 11th to February 1st, 2015
Every time I transitioned somewhere new on my world tour, I would always feel an internal pang of fear, a “What the hell am I doing?!?” sort of feeling as the mind attempted to make sense of this grandiose adventure through old paradigms of understanding life. Part of this was probably a natural response to being in any new situation, and, in truth, is likely helpful to us. This response calls for us to be discerning of a new environment and of new people as a gauge of our personal safety.
In a strange way, I enjoyed feeling this every time I visited a new country because with it came a realization that the response itself is not something to be transcended. Perhaps one’s identification with the feeling could stand to be dissolved, but the feeling itself is simply something to observe. One doesn’t need to let it have any limiting effect on how one continues forward.
And there was no greater opportunity to practice this observational approach than on my travels from Spain to Brazil.
When I had booked my tickets from London to Spain, I didn’t yet known if I’d be traveling to other countries around Europe. But, I needed to book my flight to Brazil immediately, as I ended up getting my Brazilian Visa in London and needed to show my trip itinerary. Not knowing from where I would be flying was a sticking point in this matter, so I arbitrarily chose to fly to Brazil from London – meaning I would have to return to London after Spain to continue forward for my next leg of the journey. This seemed like an okay plan since flights between European countries are quite inexpensive.
Because of this decision, my entire travel time to Brazil ended up being about 48 hours. It went something like this:
Barcelona to London
– 7 hour layover –
London to Addis Ababa
– 4 hour layover –
Addis Ababa to Lome
– 2 hour stopover –
Lome to Sao Paulo
Overnight bus from:
Sao Paulo to Uberlandia
I arrived to meet my dear friend and fellow tap dancer, Melissa Tannus, in her home town of Uberlandia at about 6am. I felt like I was sleepwalking my way off the bus to find her. In truth, it turned out that in doing so, I walked right past her in the lobby – neither of us seeing each other – and proceeded to stand on the curb waiting for her for about 30 minutes! Oh, travel delirium…
Notables about my Brazilian Experience?
(1) Fresh Coconuts Everywhere (Obvious)
(2) Sunshine + Beach (Also obvious)
(3) So Many Tap Dancers (really!)
(4) Amazing Street Art
(5) Ridiculous Sunsets
(6) Great times filming dancers and musicians for Music of Humankind
Lastly, something random. I may have been born with some of the world’s most sensitive skin. But, something about Brazil – and Rio specifically – made my skin and whole body SO happy. Hmm… food for thought. I would love to return again soon.
Onto the Next: Canada
Thanks for Reading!