One of the best parts of traveling is returning home. Why, you may ask? How can that be true?
Well, think about it. When you get back, you can tell others of your adventures. They can live vicariously through your best travel story.
Well, mine happens to be when I traveled to the self-proclaimed “Marvelous City,” Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was unbelievable. It’s nice to travel abroad and avoid the worst states to get caught speeding. I would highly recommend you make plans right now to get down to Rio sometime soon, perhaps for Carnival, which always occurs 40 days before Easter.
Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Here is what I recommend you do in Rio, a truly intoxicating environment.
Learn to Samba
Brazil is the land of samba, the music and dance form that is the highlight of the annual Carnival celebration.
When in Rio, you should avail yourself of the opportunity to attend the practices of a samba school. These are the places where the groups that compete for the much sought-after Carnival parade championship prepare their routines.
You will get to witness first hand just how they proceed from choosing a theme, deciding on the song and developing the routine they will perform along the parade route.
Visit the Beach
The South Zone (Zona Sul) of the city includes the beach areas known as Copacabana and Ipanema. Here, you can enjoy sitting in the sand catching some sun while admiring the amazing view of the mountains that sit just beyond the neighborhoods.
If lucky, perhaps you will be able to see the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, over 2,300-feet above the city.
Along the beach, ride a bike or walk and forget about how long will it take you to get to work. You are on vacation! You will notice lifeguard posts (postos) strategically placed, each with a number on the side. Locals use the numbers as a kind of address system. Posto 1 is where many Americans hang out. Meanwhile, Post 9, in Ipanema, is where the good-looking, chic people go to see and be seen.
Unfortunately, Brazil does not necessarily have a unique cuisine similar to that found in other places you might visit, such as Italy or France. However, Brazilians are very fond of meat and when they cook it they do so in a BBQ style, known as churrasco. Smoky, charcoal grills are preferred.
People cook a lot of food. They keep bringing you meat until you have to literally beg them to stop.
Rent a Vehicle
Daily travel by bus can be difficult. Likewise, the metro (subway), though faster, can prove expensive. Plus, getting off the line and walking can be unsafe.
So, you will probably want to rent a car. If you do, then you might also need to get an international driving license to ensure no problems with the police.
In general, your home license should be sufficient. Nevertheless, you could run into an officer who, unfamiliar with the regulations, could give you a tough time. An international license circumvents this problem.
Likewise, you should get some additional auto insurance coverage in case of an accident. People in Rio tend to drive very fast and are known for making erratic turns with little warning. Perhaps this explains why Brazilian drivers perform so well in motor sports. They have lots of practice!
Get Away to an Exotic Land
The trip to Rio de Janeiro was by far my most memorable vacation experience. Now, it is time for you to make plans to get to Brazil yourself. The best place to start is by contacting a reputable travel agent.