What on earth have I been doing for the last month?
Good question… here’s a quick breakdown:
Early August: My friend Pat from the Marine Corps visited me in Hanoi. We explored the city, did a three day party cruise on Halong Bay, and visited the beautiful mountains around Sapa. During this trip with him, I became painfully aware that I wasn’t full appreciating everything anymore. My senses were dulled because of constant exposure to amazing things. I also felt like I wanted to do something “productive” and stay put for a while.
So….. we spent some time pondering over how I could spend my next few months. I had a few objectives:
- Stay in one particular place for an extended amount of time
- Learn something in that location. Specifically, learn something that is famous in that particular country or location.
- Become conversationally fluent in the language (understand 80% of TV, be able to converse with people about everday things)
After some serious thinking, I identified somewhere that seemed to meet all of the criteria. I decided to move to Brazil. Specifically, I decided to move to Rio de Janeiro. Why Rio?
- Rio is beautiful! The Brazilian people are some of the nicest people in the world! They have futebol, Brazilian jiu jitsu, bossa nova, beaches, and Brazilian women. What’s not to like?!?!?
- This is where you go if you want to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Period.
- Portuguese is a beautiful language and would be fun to learn.
Mid August: From Hanoi, I sorted my way through a Brazilian Visa (expensive for Americans) and managed to procure a flight with frequent flier miles, though the flight departed from Bangkok. As soon as I got my visa, I made my way down to Bangkok to wait around for a week before my flight.
What did I do in Bangkok?
I spent my days eating amazing food, wandering the streets, and taking a week’s worth of Muay Thai classes that completely kicked my ass. It was nice to take a break from the constant moving around and just sit back and relax in the Big Mango. I also procured a couple of Portuguese-learning resources on my IPad.
Late August: I flew to Rio! Once in the city, I secured an excellent apartment off of AirBnB and settled into a routine. Most importantly, I found an excellent jiu jitsu gym to train at. I am training under Maestre Ricardo De La Riva, one of the best known names in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Training under Maestre De La Riva was a dream of mine, and his gym is conveniently located two blocks from my apartment in Copacabana.
That brings me to now. I finally feel comfortable in this new location, and I plan to continue to blog again. It will probably be a bit different from before, as I don’t plan on switching locations constantly. I will also probably blog about my language progress, because this is a big focus of mine while I’m here.
More to come. I’m back!