I’m going to São Paulo, Brazil.
In passing, my friend Brett asked if I wanted to accompany him to São Paulo, and I said yes. I may have mentioned it before, but it’s been my dream to travel, especially to other countries. Aside from the Philippines when I was 4 and my most recent trips to Tokyo and Montreal, I’ve never really been outside of the United States. Like Japan, going to South America could potentially be a life-changing experience: a new culture, different architecture styles and the energy of a different environment, great food I’ve never had before, and that thrilling feeling of unfamiliarity. To stray away from one’s routine and the conventional surroundings you’re used to everyday — that’s what I want. As far as my work schedule goes, I figured by the time he and his friend Clayton would be going to Brazil, I’d be essentially done with all the major projects I have for work and freelance, and I can start using my vacation days for 2016. Luckily, the travel dates also coincide with Spring Break, where all the students are off for a week and us employees have a long, 4-day weekend.
So, with the stars aligned and funds in check, I bought a roundtrip ticket last week for $499.
I know I’m outwardly suppressing my enthusiasm over this trip (Brett explicitly said, “show some fucking interest in life and the world”), but I am genuinely excited to go. I’ve been reading up on places to visit and trying to learn basic Portuguese on YouTube. I’ve been staring at my passport, anticipating getting a second stamp aside from Japan’s. Hell, I’ve been trying to lose a little more weight so I can have that Brazilian-ready body. And don’t worry, Mom and Dad — I won’t get the Zika Virus, although I’m certain that’d make for an interesting story.
After all the hard work with launching my job’s new website and the endless hours that ate into 2015’s vacation days, I’m ready to go out, see the world, and relax.