Life of a Mochileira: Sem Conhecidos

May 13, 2014

in Academic Year 2013-2014, Brazil, Central/South America, Monica Murphy

I am amazed by people. It’s just that simple. People put me in awe. Sometimes the awe is a shock of horror, like….rrrreally? or maybe it’s like, you are doido demais! or maybe it’s like i wanna be you. No matter what the reaction is, it’s usually awe. When traveling, you tend to meet um monte de gente, especially without friends or family because you aren’t “restricted”, you’re almost forced to socialize with others because senão, well then i guess that’s just me in the corner over there talking to myself…

Traveling is something that helps you step outside of your comfort zone and learn about yourself through your experiences and others’. It’s amazing what some people do in this world, their backgrounds, their travels, their origins. For instance, we met a guy from Germany (who i decided is one of my future husbands), who had started traveling in Alaska, and ten months later, we meet him in Salvador, the night before he returns to Germany.

And, you know, I simply love South America. There’s just something about it that is so warm, which probably has to do with the climate, but i would also say the receptivity of people here. Even those who travel to South America seem to be really open to new friendships.

Anyway, through my adventurous week in Salvador, i discovered that traveling alone doesn’t really exist unless you’re that guy from Into the wild, then yeah that would be traveling alone. Otherwise, i would call it traveling without people you know, the difference is that yeah, you’re “alone” but you are constantly surrounded by people, it’s inevitável.

So, my week in Salvador lead me to many chances to meet people from all over. It was so wonderful. I met people from Denmark, Italy, Uruguay, México, Brazil of course, England, and the U.S. among others. Here’s a first: all the Americans at the hostel could speak Portuguese, yeah Amurrrrica, see we learn languages.

Before traveling to Salvador, I hated the idea of traveling “sozinha” because i thought it was selfish-i was also scared. I thought it was selfish to travel on your own, have all these experiences all to yourself, but it’s just not like that. You’re either meeting locals or other foreigners, mk?

As for where to stay when travelling, i recommend Couch Surfing or Hostels because they are places that bring various types of people together. They create positive environments at the ready to change lives by exchanging experiences, ideas, and philosophies. That’s what I got to do in Salvador. I got to chat with the other Americans and share our experiences abroad in Brazil specific to our region, we got to connect on things we found funny, positive about Brazil, and why we love this country so much. I managed to have a conversation with a madre italiana despite the fact that i couldn’t speak Italian, and she couldn’t speak Portuguese/Spanish/English. But hey, it was so cool just to conseguir comunicar ideas like, “you’re so nice! Have you ever traveled to other countries, and when do you go back to Italy? And you have a nice smile!”

Coming to Brazil alone, going to Salvador alone, and even the experiences shared with other intercambistas and Brazilians in foreign places have all given me the opportunity to constantly change my understanding of the world and people. I hope to do it again some time.

And i guess i gotta throw in some photos, hein (i really don’t know if i use this brazilian slang correctly)?

Pelourinho!!

Pelourinho!!

trying out my capoeira skills

trying out my capoeira skills

Oh, and may i recommend planning your trip ahead of time, sem conhecidos ou com? It may help you save money/actually go to really cool places instead of spending five days straight in a colonial square during a police strike.

 

 

 

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