The rest of the world can learn a lot from the way Brazilians live.
In the short time I’ve been here I’ve noticed I’ve been living a healthier and happier life.
So what am I doing here to live a better life?
I’m surrounding myself with happy people.
Brazilian alegria de viver has been contagious since I’ve arrived.
Even in a city as a big as Rio I’m often greeted with smiles, “bom dia”s and ridiculous amounts of patience for my weak a** Portuñol.
Brazilians are some of the friendliest and most compassionate people I think I’ll ever meet. Just when I announced my arrival literally EVERY BRAZILIAN I’VE EVER MET IN MY ENTIRE LIFE made sure to write me to offer help, a place to stay or just tell me I was bem-vinda!
I ask a woman for directions to the metro and she passes her house and walks me all the way there talking about some distant relative who lives in Boston. When we part I give my most enthusiastic “Muito obrigada!” and the woman gives me a double kiss and tells me “Welcome to Brazil” in English.
A ride around the city’s lagoon on my rollerblades a small group taking pictures notices my nervousness at the top of a hill. They say a few words of encouragement and then make a big deal of cheering for me when I successfully don’t fall flat on my face speeding down the hill.
This warmth. These smiles. This happiness. It’s infecting me.
I’m learning new styles of music and listening to them live.
You really just can’t escape the music here. In the month I’ve been living in Rio I’ve been to a handful of free concerts on the beach and numerous restaurants or bars that had a live singer or band.
Take the party to Lapa and you will undoubtedly see some guys banging out tunes on some drums amongst other street music performers.
No wonder these people are such good dancers! Music surrounds them!
I’m finding the time to relax and soak up some vitamin D.
With a beach located right at the steps of the city, I’m able to run down in my canga between classes for some chill out time na praia.
I’m eating fresh produce and using exercise for fun(!) .
Ok so the salgados and sweet pastries are delish (and super naughty), but fruits and veggies are boundless here.
I’ve been throwing it down in the kitchen with all this fresh (and cheap!) produce.
Don’t not even get me started on how much I live for açaí! You know, the amazing superfruit, a small purple berry, that grows in the Eastern Amazon region in Northern Brazil.
And not only am I eating healthier and fresher, but exercise has become a way of fun and entertainment.
I didn’t partake in this soccer juggling, but it sure was some drool worthy entertainment.
If water sports aren’t your thing you can try running, skating, biking …(samba-ing?) down the world famous beachfront calçadão.
And if you’re tired of the beach, why not head to the city’s very own lagoon for a lap around the 7.5 km course?
I tried with my rollerblades! …and haven’t really been able to try since 😛
If it’s a hike you’re after, there are a million trails and amazing places to enjoy the beautiful nature that surrounds this city. Which brings me to my next point…
I’m not suffocating in a concrete jungle.
One of God’s many gifts to Brazil encompasses us here in Rio. It’s no wonder Rio is called the cidade maravilhosa, or wonderful city.
I’ve already been on three different hikes since I’ve arrived.
Two of which had monkey sightings!
With so much natural beauty, music and lively people, Brazil gives you no excuse to not live a boa vida.
I can only hope that Brazil will continue to hold this charmed place in my eyes. In just the two months I’ve been here I’d have to say I’ve already learned so many lessons about living happily, healthily and well.
…so who’s coming to visit first?