on the go

While I know it may seem like traveling is exotic and all, I can assure you this is not usually the case. There are so many factors to contend with, most of them being way out of our control. Weather, flight connections, delays, turbulence, crazy taxi drivers, just to name a few. While touring around Brazil, it was a bit of a whirlwind. Every other day was a "travel/free day", but really more like a travel/work/try and get to the next city in one piece day, considering all the flights were connections, except for the last stop to Sao Paulo. Here it is by the numbers:

  • 13 days
  • 12 flights
  • 5 cities
  • 4 hotels, 1 house
  • 1 amazing but pretty exhausting trip

Attempting to enjoy every part of the adventure is a philosophy I have adopted. It's trying at times, but the only way to wholeheartedly embrace every bit of the journey. With long layovers, I was able to get a little creative with the self timer, finish The Affair, and load photos onto my laptop. Traveling is one of the biggest practices in patience. Snapped some pictures along the way.All tray tables should have a handy hole for the cup to fit comfortably in.Of course I feel blessed for these wonderful opportunities. Grateful not only for the wonderful places I get to quickly visit, but really it's all about the amazing people I meet along the way. It almost makes me forget that my fantastic travel companion/translator, Rommel and I almost died in one of the craziest cab rides ever.

“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” – Paul Theroux

Brazil Tour - Part 3 + 4

More Brazil tour stops to highlight. This time, mainly with photos since I have already told you how much fun this whole experience was. For this stop, the class was held at a family owned party/toy store, Big Center Festa, that only recently added a scrapbooking section. The store is huge and just one of many locations. We spent the day in the Barbie room with a wonderful group, and then had a fantastic Italian dinner at Usina de Massas. So good.Right after being picked up from the airport, the wonderful owner of Tela Arte took us straight to the beach. We only walked around for a bit, but it was just enough time to snap some photos and feel refreshed before a delicious dinner. Then the next day it was all work with yet another fantastic group. (How did I get so lucky on this entire trip?!).

Brazil Tour - Londrina

There are 3 more stops after this one to highlight from the whole Brazil tour, hoping to have that done by the end of the month. Londrina was the second stop on this whirlwind trip. As soon as we were picked up from the airport, we went straight to the store, Papel de Papel. After quickly dropping the bags at the hotel, we were off to dinner with the whole crew. We sat outside - the weather was perfect, as was the company. I may have done so much talking that I lost my voice. And indulging in 3 margaritas (they were so delicious!) called for McDonald's drive thru before getting back to the hotel at midnight -thank goodness someone responsible gave us a curfew. And thanks to fantastic Brazilian coffee, the next morning wasn't too bad. We had a fantastic time, as evidenced below.This is where I learned to say cheers in Portuguese - Saude!

Art & Montagem

Though there wasn't too much free time while in Recife, Brazil (see Brazil Tour part 1), I enjoyed hanging out at Ema's amazing home & visiting one of her stores. Besides having amazing design sensibility in her home, she also designs her own line of scrapbooking products, ranging from stickers to punches. And her family rocks. I took full advantage of photographing the more-than-willing jumpers. 

Brazil tour - part 1

Ola from Brazil! If you're following me on Instragram, you may have already noticed the hashtag - #amytaninbrazil. It's pretty straight forward and  seemed like a fitting way of getting everyone's Instas in one place. Also, as it turns out, Facebook seems to reign supreme when it comes to social networking, and these speedy Brazilians leave the events and within hours have posted their photos from the day. Pretty impressive considering I still haven't even posted my wrap up from Germany from a week and half ago. (Will do it soon!) As I venture into the last city of this tour, I thought it would be a good time to share with you some of the first city's highlights. And shed some light on the reality of traveling, and how it can seem glamorous, when in reality, it isn't this way most of the time.

Though I was blessed with smooth flights and fine connections, being on an airplane for over 13+ hours isn't exactly easy. I managed to get a lot of rest on the leg from Miami to San Salvador, so much so that they stewardess kindly let me skip breakfast and at the last moment (with only 20 minutes left), she softly woke me up and handed me some juice and offered me coffee. I was completely dazed for the hour layover in San Salvador, and then took a little nap for the short flight into Recife. Upon landing, I was the first to get into the immigration line for non-residents. Unable to say anything in Portuguese, I waited until the guy waved me ahead to approach the desk, where I stood for at least 10 minutes. He asked me something in Portuguese, to which I said "English?" and he said "No", with a little wave of his hand. Then he pointed to his computer screen and I surmised that he was waiting for the system to turn on. It was after all, only about 9am. As I looked behind me, the line had grown to about 30 people, and he was still helping me. The computer eventually started working and we continued without saying a word to each other. When he handed me back my passport, I said thank you and off I went. Since I didn't have to pick up any bags or claim anything for customs, I simply exited. And then I saw a man holding a sign and smiled and realized that he spoke no English. No worries, I thought to myself, Rommel my travel companion/translator should be arriving in 30 minutes. The driver handed me a note and I was assured by the store owner, Ema, that Rommel would arrive soon and should I need anything to just call her on the driver's cell. We sat down and about 15 minutes later, out of the blue in perfect English, he said to me, "My name is Mario." I laughed and we tried with sign language and all kind of things to communicate for the next 2 hours! Turns out Rommel's flight was delayed and no one really knew what time he was to arrive, etc etc. We killed the time by looking through some photos, I edited some of the South Africa video, and just sitting there. I wasn't hungry or all that tired and we simply tried to make the most of it. Failed attempts to get online and a couple phone calls from Ema later, we decided to take a walk. We went to the food court and looked out the window at the planes. I'm pretty sure at this point, we were both thinking the same thing. We even laughed at ourselves at one point because it always took at least 2 minutes to convey what normally would take 10 seconds. At least we were smiling. Then finally we got the call and Rommel had landed! Only 1 and half hours after he was supposed to, which meant 2 hours of hanging out at the airport after nearly 15 hours of travel. Oye! (That is an expression I have picked up here).

Thankfully, it has all been wonderful since. Here's proof.All's well that ends well, and this was really just the beginning. In case you were wondering, the trucks are from the construction  site of the World Cup stadium, where they are apparently working around the clock. And sadly, I only got close to the pool to take that photo where the water is just teasing me. The location of the 3 classes was the clubhouse, located just steps above the oasis that was beckoning.

The venue was spectacular, but the people even more so. What a fantastic group, I feel truly blessed. 3 ladies even flew in from over 600 kilometers away just for the day! Big hugs to everyone in Recife - the first stop really set an amazing tone for this entire trip. Ema, I am taking you up on that offer to go to the beach (or at least a dip in that pool) next time. Muito obrigada!!