The phrase above very loosely translates to “to do all the things.” This is an appropriate title for our trip to Brazil, since our 10 days were dominated by two things: speaking really bad Portugese, and Doing All The Things.
Here’s the thing about trip planning: it’s really easy to sit in the comfort of your air-conditioned American home and say things like, “sure, we could TOTALLY manage 3 Olympic events in different neighborhoods AND moving to new accommodations all in one day!” We really wanted to see and experience as much of Brazil as possible in a relatively short time, so we tried to cram an enormous amount of activity into 9 days. It led to the occasional logistical headache, and a whole lot of us (read: me) being tired, cranky and hangry. But in retrospect, I wouldn’t change a single thing. We got to see and do so much, and got such a wide and honest picture of Brazil. Plus I clearly haven’t learned my lesson, since I’m now midway through planning a trip to India that involves 5 cities in 7 days. But that’s another story…
Here’s our trip in a nutshell.
Feats of Strength: The Rio Olympics
It was just as incredible as one would expect, seeing these athletes compete in the ultimate pinnacle of their sport. There’s really no way to describe it, but I think the energy of the Brazilian people greatly added to the experience as well. They are incredibly active, passionate spectators, even when Brazil isn’t competing! It amped up the energy at every event. Admittedly I cried at 10 out of 10 medal ceremonies, even if I didn’t know a thing about the athletes or teams. It’s just so touching to see someone achieve their ultimate dream in that way.
Acts of Courage: Foz do Iguaçu& Ilha Grande
stamped from the backseat, and 20 minutes later we were in another country! It was almost
laughably easy. We spent the entire day drinking, eating Argetine beef, and watching the Olympics before flying back to Rio. It was one of the best parts of the trip for us both.
All the Gold: The Brazilian People
airbnbs, hoping that local hosts may be able to provide us with restaurant recommendations or guidance. What we ended up getting was 1000 times better. Each of our hosts, all of the volunteers, literally every single Uber driver, and every person we met went out of their way to make sure we loved our time in Rio. The night before our 7AM ride to Ilha Grande, we were out until 1AM with our incredible hosts and their friends – who were
more than happy to invite two random Gringos to a 30th birthday party that night. Dancing, drinking capirinhas, and sharing dating stories in a mix of languages was so worth the early wakeup and nasty hangover.