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Adventures of a female traveler

Introduction to Brazil Voyage

USA | Saturday, 25 February 2012 | Views [563]

On November 30th, 2012 I attended a friend from work's charity function to raise money for Haiti and for their marathon (26.2 miles) in January 2012. The event was on the rooftop of the Mayfair Hotel in Coconut Grove. There was a DJ, an open bar, and hors d'oeuvres. These things as usual put me in an especially good mood. Which brings me to the charity raffle, I happily buzzed about the auction items and stopped when I saw an American Airlines ticket good for a round-trip ticket to South America to be used and concluded before February 28, 2012. Hmm.. could this be fate?

The wheels in my head started turning. I love to travel. Most people who know me would describe me as a free spirit, rolling-stone, adventurous, and extremely curious to explore all that life has to offer. The other part of the story is, I am a single white woman, I currently have not conquered the task of learning another language, and I don't have a lot of money.

I have done a lot of traveling in the past, much of it in Europe and some of the time I traveled solo. My trips did not always go as planned and I understood all to well the personal risks safety to my safety as a solo female traveler.

I did not want this to stop me. I was also inspired by female travelers who are way more courageous than me. I wanted to interview them. I wanted to build strength in numbers, promote awareness and global change, to empower and inspire women travelers to explore the world safely! To begin this task, I wrote a 25 page in grant while in Graduate School for my Masters in Social Work and Management of Human Services and Community and Social Systems. In this grant I outlined my intentions, the need, my budget, my plan, and trips I planned to take as research. My plan began with attending Carnival in Brazil.

I've wanted to visit Brazil for as long as I can remember. I grew up in the Midwest and during the early part of my lifetime my family was primarily born and raised in the Midwest. My great uncle and grandpa from my mom's family served in World War II. During this time, my Uncle was stationed in Recife, Brazil. My uncle became very close with our now family friends whose father served with my uncle. Our families remained very close all this time. Now there are three generations to this story. My Uncle and his friend. His friend's son and his wife and now their two children. The second generation (I will call him) is the age of my mother. He wanted to practice his English so he kept in contact with my family through letters and later email and facebook. As a child, he visited my family and brought with him fascinating tales from Brazil. I was enchanted and wanted to go someday.

Later in life, my family opened up even further to the Global Community when I dated my first boyfriend who is from Mozambique, Africa. Mozambique was also colonized by Portugal and they also speak Portuguese. Through him I made many close friends that I now consider family who are from Mozambique and Brazil. I wanted to go to Brazil so bad that a few years ago I actually ended a 2 year relationship with a different boyfriend because he went to Brazil (to Carnival in Salvador) without me! Now... it was my turn and no one could stop me!

So, this is where my Brazilian Voyage story begins. I won the ticket in the auction. I committed to going. I did not know who was going to go with me or where I would go or stay. That night I called a friend who works for Delta airlines who flies for free and asked if she would like to join me. She told me she was down! I then messaged a Brazilian friend on facebook who I had met in Michigan and she moved back to Brazil. She said she was planning on going to Carnival anyway and she would love for me to join her. I messaged our family friends and they said they were happy to welcome me to there home!

When I called American Airlines to make the flight arrangements, I found out I was not able to fly directly into Salvador. I asked about Brasilia and they said yes. So this would give me an opportunity to visit and get to know our family friends better and my traveling companions agreed to meet me in Salvador.

And so the story goes....

Tags: brazil, carnival, destiny, fate, female, safety, salvador, security, travel, women

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