Monday, March 12, 2012

Spontaneous Tourism Experiences in Brazil

I recently spent two weeks traveling along the coast of Brazil with 6 friends in a motor home. Since working and traveling through Australia, while living in a van, this has been my most favorite way to experience a  country. I find that this mode of travel allows you to experience a community, a city and a country differently and a bit more intimately. It allows you to get closer to the people and their culture, providing opportunities for those exciting, spontaneous experiences of a trip that end up defining your memories.

So Brazil was everything I had hoped for and more - beautiful beaches, beautiful people and a rich and vibrant culture. Our trip was planned during Carnival - so we got to see Brazil during its most famous festival.

Our motor home 'family' consisted of  5 Canadians and 2 Argentinians, with no to little travel experience in Brazil - definitely making this trip about the journey and not the destination. One of my most memorable experiences from Brazil was our first day and night. We set out from the Sao Paulo airport in the afternoon with the hopes of ending up by the ocean for the first night. If you've ever been to Sao Paulo, you will appreciate the fact that it took a very long time just to get out of the city. The immensity of Sao Paulo is amazing. Add to the mix getting lost a couple of times, needless to say we didn't end up by the ocean.
 Before we knew it, it was close to midnight, we hadn't eaten dinner and we had no idea where we were. We were driving slowly in a small community when we stopped to ask a family sitting on their porch for directions to the closest restaurant. They advised us that the road ahead was unsafe for night time travel and it would be a while before we reached a restaurant. Weighing our options, we decided it was best to pull over for the night. Luckily our driver, Maxi from Argentina spoke some Portuguese and asked the family if they had any food to sell us. After a few minutes of discussion amongst the family, they invited us into their home for some food. The mom cooked us a full meal consisting of rice, beans, chicken and egg, at midnight!!! It was amazing. After that, they let us park in their driveway for the night. In the morning, we woke up , when they again invited us into their home for breakfast.

This is just one of my spontaneous tourism experiences in Brazil, but one of my fondest as it showed the true hospitality and warmth of the Brazilian people. It allowed a group of travelers to be welcomed to the country in the most unplanned way. This experience set the tone for the trip, making my Brazil experience unforgettable.

If you've ever experienced this kind of spontaneous moments while traveling, I would love to hear from you. Email me at

- Jessica Braun

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