My ‘vacation’ & learning how to relax

goddess park statue

You guys, I’m in Brasil! I never took trips growing up, and my family never took vacations or traveled outside of a few trips to visit family. So being able to travel has been a big dream of mine for a long time. This year I’ve taken three trips, which is a ton for me. In January I took myself to L.A. solo, {which was also a big deal} and reunited with an old friend, and now magically, my manfriend loves to travel {and has a lot of miles ~ hello free airfare for the lady friend, score!} so we’ve been to New York and are now in Brasil {Sao Paulo} for about ten days. {YAY!!!}

I’m feeling a lot of different emotions as I wake up in a completely different world, immersed in a new culture {and pretty much unable to communicate with most people}. I naively thought I would magically have phone service {because it’s 2017 and globalization, duh! ~ but nope}, and then felt a little stranded without my magical digital hand genie there to make sure I always knew where I was, check how much something costs, instantly translate at least basic sentences into Portuguese. How would I get around? Do they even make maps on paper anymore? Am I really going to carry around an entire dictionary to try to get by? A lot of uncertainty came up for a minute there. But I pushed all of that aside and just went out and explored, and really, not having phone service has been a much needed break… and has forced me to be exactly where I should be, right here, in the present ~ in Brasil! ~ enjoying this beautiful city and a new experience.

Work has been very busy for November and the end of the year, so of course I didn’t have time to even learn basic Portuguese {which will definitely happen before any future foreign travel, well, not necessarily Portuguese but you get what I’m saying, lol}, things like ~ ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘how much does this cost’, or figure out customs like tipping, and questions like can you drink tap water {in Brasil it’s a no!}… let’s just say the waiter on our first dinner got a pretty huge tip from us. But they didn’t speak any English, and we didn’t speak Portuguese, so we felt pretty thankful that they dove in with us, we figured it out, everyone had amusement and it was delicious so they earned it, lol. And I made the waiter laugh despite a 100% language barrier, talk about validation, ha!

I’m also learning just how big a deal it is to be able to take a break, to be able to have, and enjoy, a vacation. It’s very hard for me to unplug from work, I always have this deep inner drive to be as productive as possible all the time. Which might explain my tendency to overcommit myself and always have 100 things {unsuccessfully} going on all at once… hmmm… Even if I do have a lazy day and don’t get anything done that would be considered productive {what officially counts as productive anyway, and who decides that?!}, I end up feeling horrible, like I wasted the whole day because I didn’t ‘do‘ enough.

In New York we ended up being pretty busy and I wouldn’t say that trip was very relaxing, but there’s so much to do in New York! And there’s so much to see in a whole new country like Brasil! But I think even action packed vacations might want a little down time, but how do you balance it all?

This time around I’m giving myself permission to pack in a ton of activity and sightseeing if that’s what I feel like doing… or to have a lazy day and indulge in a lot of ‘non-doing’, if that’s what I feel like. Our first couple of days were pretty full, so today I’m taking it easy, spending the bulk of my morning writing {which is something that is hard for me to find time for in my regular ~ not on vacation ~ life}, treating myself to a massage, time at the pool with a good book, and a long walk through some new neighborhoods to soak in the Architecture later on… I think I can figure out {and get used to} this vacation thing… just need to keep practicing ;)

old downtown street.jpg



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