I’ve spent most of the last three years in Brazil and consider it my home away from home. During this time I made the occasional trip to somewhere else, but I always came back to Brazil before too long.
Today I’m leaving Brazil again, but without the intention of immediately returning. I’m heading off to Eastern Europe and am not sure when I’ll be back in Brazil. Maybe early next year in time for Carnaval. Maybe after. Who knows.
When my Brazilian friends heard that I was leaving Brazil, they all assumed I was going back home. In their vision of the world, the next logical place that I would go other than Brazil is back home.
Explaining where I’m going or why isn’t easy to explain, and requires first an explanation of why I spent so much time in Brazil in the first place.
The Spiritual Wealth of Brazilians
Four years ago I left the US in search of something abroad. I had the sense that there was something out there that I needed to find. I didn’t know exactly what I was searching for when I began, but I got closer to finding it as I went along.
When I arrived in Brazil it felt like I found what I was looking for. There was just something special about Brazil and Brazilians that pulled me in. It seemed as if Brazilians had figured out some secret about life that the rest of the world hadn’t, and I was determined to figure out what it was.
I observed that this secret was held by almost every Brazilian that I met. Trying to figure out the best way that I could take advantage of this secret myself I came to the conclusion that the only way was to learn Portuguese and immerse myself in Brazilian culture.
As I grew my knowledge of language and culture I was able to vibrate on the same frequency of Brazilians, enter into the common mindset and start discovering the Brazilian secrets of life.
Brazilians are masters of squeezing as much as they can out of their experience of life. They might not have a lot of material wealth, but they make good use of what they have. It’s hard for a foreigner to enter into a pagode circle for the first time and not come away feeling like they’ve been missing out on something their whole life.
Materially Brazilians enjoy a lower standard of living than many other places in the world, but they enjoy a first class spiritual standard of living that is hard to top. While Brazil’s government sets a horrible example of how to run a country, the Brazilian set a good example for how to live in spite of harsh conditions.
I value spiritual growth over material wealth and my time in Brazil made me infinitely richer. Through developing a mediation practice and participating in Ayahuasca ceremonies I was able to find answers to spiritual questions that had been eluding me.
While I’ve grown a lot spiritually while in Brazil, there are other ways that I still need to grow. I’m going to Europe to learn from teachers who can help fill in the gaps and show me other paths forward.
How the Rest of the World Fits in
As I’ve been preparing to leave Brazil I’ve been reflecting on the question of Brazil’s importance in the world. It’s easy to get confused by this question if you watching Brazil acting on the world stage.
Brazil is known for all the wrong things. Ask people about Brazil and they will probably mention football, corruption and sexy girls. Brazil has these things, but it’s not what it should be known for.
Brazil should be known for it’s people, for their spirituality and their way of life.
There are two ways that people can learn the truth about Brazil. They can either go straight to the source or get a hint of what they’re missing from Brazilians they meet abroad.
Both of these situations need to occur so that Brazilianness can be spread to the far corners of the globe. What Brazil has in abundance needs to be shared with the rest of the world and soon. I’d go as far as to say that we could have world peace almost overnight if everybody in conflict regions spent a few weeks in Brazil.
This vision of Brazil is not commonly held, and it will take some time before the majority starts to catch on. Amazing things will happen when they do.
What’s going to happen with this site?
There is a lot that needs to be said about Brazil from a foreigners perspective. It’s still incredibly difficult for foreigners to relocate there and I haven’t done enough to make this task easier. While most difficulties can be overcome by speaking better Portuguese and making more friends, there are still specific questions that seem to cause trouble.
Just because I’m leaving Brazil doesn’t mean I’m leaving this site. Brazil is too important to the world to keep quiet about it for too long.
Going forward I’ll continue to write about questions of language and culture. Being a beginner in a European country will allow me to regain some of the empathy I lost for those who are just starting out.
There are few documented success scripts for foreigners in Brazil, and by sharing stories we can help accelerate the path to success for other foreigners.
If you’ve got a story you’d like to share about cultural adaptation, learning Portuguese or getting a job in Brazil, I’d love to share it on this site so that other Brazilian Gringos can benefit from your experience. Send me an email if you’ve got an idea.
That’s all for now. Até mais.