Step outside your comfort zone...

I have traveled alone before in the states but never to another country. I had mixed emotions going into this adventure to South America. I knew there would be language and cultural differences. I got lots of advice and warnings from friends and family which were helpful but also sometimes made me even more anxious. I worried that I would be crippled and held captive by my fear of Brasil, but instead I felt more free than ever! I tried to ignore the fear and focus on my excitement and goals. Much to my happiness and surprise, it turned out better than I could have ever have imagined.

What I loved most was meeting new people. Every day I met someone interesting or amusing. I had long philosophical conversations or sometimes laughed so hard it hurt. Everyone had an interesting story about their life choices and what brought them to South America. Most of them were fed up with conventional society and broke free to find happiness. There were inspiring and epic tales of survival and self discovery.

I also loved hanging out with the Cariocas and learning about the Brazilian culture in Rio. I found their outlooks and values to be refreshing. I met a few other Brazilians from the north and some from the south. No matter where they were from Brazilians are some of the nicest people I've ever met.

Traveling alone allowed me to have experiences I don't think I would have had traveling with a bunch of friends. I could decide what I wanted to do each day and wasn't forced to adjust to anyone Else's schedule or worry about their feelings. I could do whatever I wanted and those who wanted to come along did. I was free to change my mind to do as I pleased. It was a liberating experience for me. I was the happiest I've been in a long time.

This trip has made me realize how important it is to go out and see the world through a new pair of eyes. It might not be for everyone, but I think sometimes you have to take a step outside your comfort zone to know who you really are and what you want out of life!


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