Shooting From The Hip

Chevy Chase Travel Blog

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So I don't think of myself as the most spontaneous person, but I'm starting to realize that maybe i am much more spontaneous than I see myself. I've had this "roll with it" attitude towards life for a while now, and it really rules me when I'm out on the open road. I guess the freedom of not having any commitments or responsibilities and just being able to point my car in any random direction and say "I feel like checking this place out" makes me feel very at home with myself (if that makes any sense).

But yeah, returning to the point, tonight I probably made the most significant spontaneous decision of my life. short version: starting mid july i'm going to be living in Brazil for four months.

This happened so suddenly, LITERALLY no one knows it yet except for myself and my mom. not even my dad knows yet (you're probably hearing it before he does :-p).

The Long version
So I got a pretty sweet graduation gift from my family: on top of a decent chunk of cahs, they payed for gas for my drive home (cross country drive #4 bitches! the gift really made the drive possible, given how insane gas prices were this summer), and they also were going to buy tickets for me to fly down to Brazil and go to the beach with my family down there. My friend Ben is going to be in Bolivia during the time I planned to be in Brazil, so we started kicking around ideas of traveling around south america a little.

A couple of days ago, a wrench was thrown into the brazil plan in the form of an opportunity. one of my relatives in Sao Paulo works at a school where I could potentialy teach english. The catches: [1] very little pay [2] Sao Paulo is kind of a shitty city (lots of crime, bad traffic, and not much to do) [3] I would have to kill my previous travel plans.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is totally something I've wanted to do for a while now. I've been thinking about living in Brazil anyway, and teaching english was the main job I had in mind. My friend Mike de la Paz had similar ideas and had told me that after looking, he learned that such jobs were basically non-existent for kids like us, so when Helio called me up I felt like I was being handed a really golden opportunity.

Well, despite how cool this would be, I decided getting a no-money job in a lame city wasn't worth killing my much cooler travel plans.

So tonight, I sat down with my mom to start working out the ticket details (we hadn't done this sooner because I still had to work out some issues with my brazilian passport, but we had to get it done ASAP because this shit was getting pricey). kinda out of nowhere, we decided to extend my stay. I'm going to visit my family as planned, meet up with ben in Rio. then my plans end after he leaves, up until my return flight december fourth.

I intended to buy a ticket to visit brazil for 4 weeks, and ended up commiting myself to live there for four months. beyond the first few weeks, i have not established places to stay or jobs while i'm down there. I might not even be staying in rio de janeiro; for all I know I might end up living in a different city every week. That's the beauty of Brazil: my mom has contacts all over the place! I've got family and friends I can crash with all over the country. Thing is, -I- don't really know anyone there except for some family in Sao Paulo (which is probably not going to be where I spend the bulk of my stay), and I certainly don't know anyone my age.

I've never lived anywhere except home and college. I've traveled outside the country alot, but this is different. This trip is unstructured like one of my drives, but I won't have a car. I'll have some money, but I still don't have a place to stay. I have family, but I still feel like I'm moving to an area where I don't know anyone.

I'm not going to lie, I'm intimidated as hell. Mostly, I think it's just how suddenly this all happened. I'm not concerned, sure Brazil is not the safest place in the world; most of my family has been held up at gun point at least once, and my cousin was even abducted from his car at a red light and held as a security hostage by bank robbers. I really think that this is going to be an incredible experience for me, and that i'm going to have an amazing time. Mainly, I just feel really wierd about committing such a huge block of my life without any real thought.

guess I'll just roll with it

DefDulce says:
After this trip..i think you should write it as a screen play..I am so on the edge of my seat
Posted on: Apr 24, 2008
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Chevy Chase
photo by: fyrefly