Why we should travel young – by Jeff Goins.

Hello!

I know, long time, no see, right? Yeah, I have been lagging. But hey, give me a break, I moved to California in July and since then it’s all been absolutely crazy! I mean, school started and it is really hard, let me tell you.

But my fingers have been itching and I need to write here. So I found this blog post by this cool guy named Jeff Goins, and I thought I should post it here so 1) all of you know that I am still alive and well and I intend to write here more often, because I still have a lot to tell. and 2) This article, or blog post, or whatever you wanna call it, is pretty amazing and I could relate to it so much, thought it’d be nice to share with everyone. 

I didn’t write this, I simply got it from this site: http://convergemagazine.com/travel-young-5278/

So here it goes. 

 

As I write this, I’m flying. It’s an incredible concept: to be suspended in the air, moving at two hundred miles an hour — while I read a magazine. Amazing, isn’t it?

I woke up at three a.m. this morning. Long before the sun rose, thirty people loaded up three conversion vans and drove two hours to the San Juan airport. Our trip was finished. It was time to go home. But we were changed.

As I sit, waiting for the flight attendant to bring my ginger ale, I’m left wondering why I travel at all. The other night, I was reminded why I do it — why I believe this discipline of travel is worth all the hassle.

I was leading a missions trip in Puerto Rico. After a day of work, as we were driving back to the church where we were staying, one of the young women brought up a question.

“Do you think I should go to graduate school or move to Africa?”

I don’t think she was talking to me. In fact, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t. But that didn’t stop me from offering my opinion.

I told her to travel. Hands down. No excuses. Just go.

She sighed, nodding. “Yeah, but…”

I had heard this excuse before, and I didn’t buy it. I knew the “yeah-but” intimately. I had uttered it many times before. The words seem innocuous enough, but are actually quite fatal.

Yeah, but …

… what about debt?

 

… what about my job?

… what about my boyfriend?

This phrase is lethal. It makes it sound like we have the best of intentions, when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards while sounding noble.

Most people I know who waited to travel the world never did it. Conversely, plenty of people who waited for grad school or a steady job still did those things after they traveled.

It reminded me of Dr. Eisenhautz and the men’s locker room.

Dr. Eisenhautz was a German professor at my college. I didn’t study German, but I was a foreign language student so we knew each other. This explains why he felt the need to strike up a conversation with me at six o’clock one morning.

I was about to start working out, and he had just finished. We were both getting dressed in the locker room. It was, to say the least, a little awkward — two grown men shooting the breeze while taking off their clothes.

“You come here often?” he asked. I could have laughed.

“Um, yeah, I guess,” I said, still wiping the crusted pieces of whatever out of my eyes.

“That’s great,” he said. “Just great.”

I nodded, not really paying attention. He had already had his adrenaline shot; I was still waiting for mine. I somehow uttered that a friend and I had been coming to the gym for a few weeks now, about three times a week.

“Great,” Dr. Eisenhautz repeated. He paused as if to reflect on what he would say next. Then, he just blurted it out. The most profound thing I had heard in my life.

“The habits you form here will be with you for the rest of your life.”

Photos by Geoff Heith

My head jerked up, my eyes got big, and I stared at him, letting the words soak into my half-conscious mind. He nodded, said a gruff goodbye, and left. I was dumbfounded.

The words reverberated in my mind for the rest of the day. Years later, they still haunt me. It’s true — the habits you form early in life will, most likely, be with you for the rest of your existence.

I have seen this fact proven repeatedly. My friends who drank a lot in college drink in larger quantities today. Back then, we called it “partying.” Now, it has a less glamorous name: alcoholism. There are other examples. The guys and girls who slept around back then now have babies and unfaithful marriages. Those with no ambition then are still working the same dead end jobs.

“We are what we repeatedly do,” Aristotle once said. While I don’t want to sound all gloom-and-doom, and I believe your life can turn around at any moment, there is an important lesson here: life is a result of intentional habits. So I decided to do the things that were most important to me first, not last.

After graduating college, I joined a band and traveled across North America for nine months. With six of my peers, I performed at schools, churches, and prisons. We even spent a month in Taiwan on our overseas tour. (We were huge in Taiwan.)

As part of our low-cost travel budget, we usually stayed in people’s homes. Over dinner or in conversation later in the evening, it would almost always come up — the statement I dreaded. As we were conversing about life on the road — the challenges of long days, being cooped up in a van, and always being on the move — some well-intentioned adult would say, “It’s great that you’re doing this … while you’re still young.”

Ouch. Those last words — while you’re still young — stung like a squirt of lemon juice in the eye (a sensation with which I am well acquainted). They reeked of vicarious longing and mid-life regret. I hated hearing that phrase.

I wanted to shout back,

“No, this is NOT great while I’m still young! It’s great for the rest of my life! You don’t understand. This is not just a thing I’m doing to kill time. This is my calling! My life! I don’t want what you have. I will always be an adventurer.”

In a year, I will turn thirty. Now I realize how wrong I was. Regardless of the intent of those words, there was wisdom in them.

As we get older, life can just sort of happen to us. Whatever we end up doing, we often end up with more responsibilities, more burdens, more obligations. This is not always bad. In fact, in many cases it is really good. It means you’re influencing people, leaving a legacy.

Youth is a time of total empowerment. You get to do what you want. As you mature and gain new responsibilities, you have to be very intentional about making sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important. The best way to do that is to make investments in your life so that you can have an effect on who you are in your later years.

I did this by traveling. Not for the sake of being a tourist, but to discover the beauty of life — to remember that I am not complete.

There is nothing like riding a bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge or seeing the Coliseum at sunset. I wish I could paint a picture for you of how incredible the Guatemalan mountains are or what a rush it is to appear on Italian TV. Even the amazing photographs I have of Niagara Falls and the American Midwest countryside do not do these experiences justice. I can’t tell you how beautiful southern Spain is from the vantage point of a train; you have to experience it yourself. The only way you can relate is by seeing them.

While you’re young, you should travel. You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. Spend an afternoon sitting in front of the Michelangelo. Walk the streets of Paris. Climb Kilimanjaro. Hike the Appalachian trail. See the Great Wall of China. Get your heart broken by the “killing fields” of Cambodia. Swim through the Great Barrier Reef. These are the moments that define the rest of your life; they’re the experiences that stick with you forever.

Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you. You will begin to understand that the world is both very large and very small. You will have a newfound respect for pain and suffering, having seen that two-thirds of humanity struggle to simply get a meal each day.

While you’re still young, get cultured. Get to know the world and the magnificent people that fill it. The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it.

You won’t always be young. And life won’t always be just about you. So travel, young person. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion. While you still can.

Do not squander this time. You will never have it again. You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap. The habits you form in this season will stick with you for the rest of your life. So choose those habits wisely.

And if you’re not as young as you’d like (few of us are), travel anyway. It may not be easy or practical, but it’s worth it. Traveling allows you to feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way, like little else can. In other words, it makes you more human.

That’s what it did for me, anyway.

 

 

 

 

Greece…indescribable.

I just spent over 5 minutes trying to come up with a good title for this post. It was pointless. I realized that one does not simply describe a place like Greece. It’s more than amazing, more than just beautiful. Greece is not a country you can describe with a word but with a feeling. With memories. Stories. Maybe some photos, to at least TRY to show what it’s like there. But in the end, what Greece really is…is indescribable. It goes beyond words.
And just to make myself clear…The crisis and everything bad that is going on in Greece at the moment is NOT going to be a part of my posts. Because I want to speak of what I experienced there and I will not go into any political matters, at least not as first anyways, simply because I want to talk about the MAGIC….and not about how the magic is fading.

 

Let’s begin, shall we!?

 

I was still living in the US when my mother told me there would be a big speech pathology convention and that it would be in Greece. She talked about bringing me with her since I would be back in Brazil by the time of the convention. We were skyping and looking at pictures and that was probably the first time I had researched anything about the country. It’s not that I didn’t like it or weren’t interested by it, I just hadn’t had the chance to stop and think about Greece, before.

No need to say I was mesmerized by all the photos. Greece is so full of history, it’s a big walking museum if you ask me.
Obviously I had studied about it in history classes and philosophy in school but looking at the pictures of Athens and the Greek Islands, I just couldn’t help but be excited to see all that the books didn’t show me.

My mom and I took a flight to Rio de Janeiro where we met her friend Deborah–who lives there– and then the three of us proceeded to Madrid, Spain. That’s a story for later, haha. But we did spend the day there, since our flight to Athens was only later that night.
When we got to Athens, it was night and it was extremely warm. We would only stay there for one night before going to Santorini and then Mykonos, then we’d go back to Athens for the convention. It was a business trip but how could we NOT go meet those amazing islands that look a lot more like paradise than anything else, really.

Our night in Athens was full of laughs and funny happenings. We found a hotel to stay in that was not exactly the most luxurious place on Earth. It was far from it, honestly. But we thought ” hey, it’s just one night, why not!?”.
To be fair, the hotel was not all that bad. Besides the fact that the elevator could only fit 2 people and maybe a carry on, we were in Athens and could not let anything bother us. At least that’s what I kept telling myself.

You see, the thing about me is that I am the greatest person to travel with. I am, really. I don’t care where I’m going to sleep, what I am going to eat….I would camp, sleep on the floor, sleep on a hard bed…I won’t complain about food because I eat everything and anything. I am down with anything. So I was okay with the hotel we stayed in. It probably had half a star, if that. So when my mom and Deborah went out to buy some snacks, I decided to shower. The showers in Greece, like a lot of other European countries, aren’t the ones on the top, it’s just some sort of douche…
That was not the problem. The problem (if I can really call it a ‘problem’) was that there was no hot water. It was probably 30+•C there so I was absolutely ok with it. I love my warm showers but I took a deep breath and turned on the freezing cold water. My mom and her friend weren’t so down with that, haha, so they called the guy in the reception. I guess he fixed it…
While my mom was taking her shower, me and Deborah were chatting and opening the things we bought in the free shop at the airport.
That’s when Deborah looked at me with some sort of scare on her face and told me calmly: ”Luah….don’t freak out but there is a cockroach right there.” I didn’t exactly freak out, I found the whole situation funny. I knew my mom would have a heart-attack! So we had to take care of it before she got out of the bathroom. When Deborah got my UGG (my furry boot) to kill the poor bug, we heard the bathroom door and we both screamed: DO NOT GET OUT OF THERE.
She peaked outside to see what the heck was going on and realized it was something she wouldn’t love. haha  The damn cockroach was under my mom’s shoe, of course haha. We killed it and everything was okay. But sleeping in that room after knowing what had just happened, was a bit scary. I mean, I don’t get scared by bugs but I don’t exactly want to eat them in my sleep.
I don’t think I ate any bugs at night, and early in the next morning we went back to the airport to go to Santorini.
I had no idea that I was about to discover the most amazing place ever, the place I now consider to be my favorite on earth.

Santorini, GREECE

 

Apologies!

I know I’ve been MIA lately but I promise I will write this week ASAP! Not only am I lazy, but also, I have been full of things to do/think about lately. No excuse, I know!

Next post: GREECE! :)

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Let’s talk about Brazil.

Yes, why not?

I do want to talk about the places I have been to, other countries etc, but Brazil is pretty big and, honestly, quite awesome, so why not talk about the places I have visited HERE?

I will first talk about Bahia. Bahia is a state here in Brazil, it is located on the northeastern part of the country and the state is known for several different factors. The word ‘Bahia’ roughly translated means simply ‘Bay’. The state of Bahia is a tropical place with amazing beaches and cool places to visit, a bunch of things to do from Carnaval to snorkling and diving.

Important : Bahia has some extremely dangerous and violent cities but I chose to overlook that in my post. I wanna focus on all the good parts.

One of the best known cities in Bahia is probably Salvador. They have one of the biggest Carnaval celebrations and well known places like o Pelourinho.
Some famous people are from Bahia: Ivete Sangalo, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso etc. So obviously, Bahia is full of music, dancing and happiness. Bahia is samba, axé (brazilian music-dance style) and capoeira.

They have the greatest and most distinctive African imprint.
Bahia is full of traditions, customs, religions. (Wikipedia: These include the Yoruba-derived religious system of Candomblé, the martial art of capoeira, African-derived music such as samba (especially samba’s Bahian precursor samba-de-roda), afoxé, and axé, and a cuisine with strong links to western Africa.)

But around here, Bahia is mostly known for the way that all the Baianos (people from Bahia) live. They are calm, relaxed, happy. Some people tend to mistake that for LAZINESS, and I think that’s absurd. Once you get to know people there, you see they work hard, sometimes even harder than you might imagine. It’s a bit like the concept Americans have with Mexicans. Some insist on saying they are lazy when in reality, they work extremely hard everyday.
Baianos can bring joy to every place they set their foot in. They are just joyful people like that.
I mean, a place with a warm weather almost all year long, amazing people, traditions, dancing and music, AMAZING food, by the way…how could you NOT be happy?

The thing about Bahia is that it might not be a perfect place, but it helps if you smile. I’ve always thought that was the most amazing trait about all Brazilians. Starting in Bahia, I guess.

So, last year, I went to a place called Praia do Forte. It is located about 50 km from Salvador. You should Google it if you want more info about it, because the address I linked it to, is Portuguese only.

Praia do Forte is just amazing. There are little shops you can buy things from. It goes from ceramics and hand made things to 100% cotton made dresses and expensive clothes. A lot to choose from.
They have natural pools. Gorgeous beaches. And a lot of good hotels to stay at.
Besides, you can just lay back and relax, drink some caipirinhas and eat some acarajé.

The ladies who cook the typical foods in Bahia, wear this very specific set of clothing.

Baianas

I enjoyed my stay at Praia do Forte quite a lot. It was only a bit over a week but i felt oh-so relaxed, that i decided I would not stay away from Bahia too long.

So THIS year, I went to Itacaré.
Itacaré is a city about 1 and a half hours from Ilhéus.

When I thought that Praia do Forte was the best thing ever, I went to Itacaré. And don’t take me wrong, Praia do Forte is BEAUTIFUL, but I think I have to admit that I liked Itacaré that much more.

I stayed at a Eco Resort (Itacaré Eco Resort site). It was such a pleasant stay. When we (me and my mom, who I love traveling with, btw…) got there, we were welcomed with two coconut waters served in the coconut, as it is very common here.

The people who worked there were so well trained to attend all the guests needs, they were so nice, so talkative, happy, fun. Since day one, we felt at home. I am not exaggerating.

In Itacaré, there are a whole lot of things to do. There was this big surfing championship. There a lot of different beaches, and one is more beautiful than the next.
In one of the beaches we went to, we did this thing called Arvorismo, which I believe is called Adventure park, in English.

Anyways, at the end of it, there was a zip-line that passes right above the beach of Ribeira. It is the best feeling in the World, I think.
Unfortunately, I did not take my camera with me, so I had to look up a video on Youtube. So here it is:

This is NOT my video.

Anyways. The adventure park thing had 27 steps and it was very exhausting but so much fun at the same time. And having that zip line at the end of it all, it just makes it that much more worth the effort.

Then, there was this beach called Tiririca. That was probably my favorite beach because there was a skate ramp, a bunch of surfers, hostels, and kids (and adults, too) playing on a slack line. It was an amazing atmosphere. The water was warm, and calm. Everyone was just chilling on the sand, watching surfers, doing their thing… I think I would probably live there. I’m serious. I wanna raise a kid there. hahaha.

Praia da Tiririca 1 - The skate ramp and the beach behind. AMAZING!!!!! <3

At the hotel I stayed at, there was also this private beach. I surfed there. But with a longboard, whatever… It was fun though. They have waiters who bring you food on the beach, they have activities like yoga classes, surf lessons etc.

The downtown of Itacaré was very fun. They had a lot of little shops with local products, clothing, necklaces, ceramics. Good restaurants and bars. Happy people. Of course, happy people.

Itacaré is best known for Cocoa. So, they have everything made of cocoa, from chocolate, to jam and coffee.

There is so much more I can say about Itacaré, but I will just leave you with some pictures, and tell you to VISIT this beautiful place if you ever come to Brazil. It is SO worth it and you will not regret it.

The private beach at Itacaré Eco Resort

me and the surf teacher from the hotelIndio pataxó -

Pineapple cocktail and a sort of ''small' crab meat dish. (Casquinha de Siri) by the pool. PARADISE.

Cocoa! Delicious!!!!!

Aside

San Fran!

The Expendables – Sacrifice

This is the song that makes me think of my life in California. I used to walk on the beach listening to this, for hours!

Video

MAKE YOUR BUCKET LIST DREAMS A REALITY

MAKE YOUR BUCKET LIST DREAMS A REALITY.

 

Go read about it!

Great idea!

 

Making drinks is an art!

LA FAMILLE .

In August 2011 I decided to go to Paris by myself. I had gotten some money from my grandma and all I could possibly want to spend it with was traveling.

I will talk more about this travel later on, about Couchsurfing etc.

I went to this bar with a couple of friends, close to where I was staying at. We walked up a big hill after we had already spent all day walking around…I was almost tired when my friend pointed to a black door and said ”This is it!”. At first, I’ll admit, I didn’t think it would be anything really special…but it’s just one of those places….kind of like, I don’t know, Narnia???

This one guy, Houcine, he’s behind the counter, and at first you think he’s making just a normal cocktail, but if you look carefully you’ll see so many different ”ingredients” like liquid nitrogen, tiny bowls filled with candy and chocolate, basil leaves….for a drink?

Yes.

I decided to get a Mojito. But it was a basil mango mojito.

I think that the fact that Houcine puts so much effort into this one cup of mojito (or any other amazing drink), is what makes it special. And honestly, absolutely delicious. The bar is called La Famille and it has a calm, fun environment; A great place to go with friends, spend a few hours trying all kinds of cocktails Houcine majestically creates.

The best part is that he is just the nicest guy, he goes up to your table and asks if everything is good ( modesty, huh!), suggests you try this drink, or that one…and he is always smiling.

On the way out, there were two things that called my attention:

1. Houcine offers a tiny little shot of  some sort of icee drink with that candy that explodes in your mouth, and it’s so much fun. (By then, everyone was drunk and it was more fun than it would normally be, I’m guessing…)

2. The small arcade Pac-Man machine. They say you’re supposed to drink at least 3 cocktails before playing it. You have three shots… I’m not sure what you get if you win because i obviously did not. haha

It was a great experience. Besides, you get to hear all that french and I don’t know about you, but it just makes me so happy…. it’s so…sexy. Haha

This is the address and phone, in case you are planning on going to Paris soon. It’s a MUST do.

Seriously.

41 Rue Des Trois Frères

Paris, Ile-de-France

(14) 252-1112

Aside

La même lune.

”La même lune” significa ”A mesma lua” em Francês.

Eu resolvi colocar esse nome porque uma das coisas que mais me acalma, é saber que por mais que eu esteja longe de certas pessoas e a distância seja enorme. Eu  posso estar viajando o mundo e as pessoas que eu amo estão km de distância….nós estamos todos debaixo da mesma Lua. Temos todos algo em comum, e aí parece que por maior que nosso planeta seja, ele fica pequenininho.

Esse primeiro post é só pra explicar o nome do blog :)

Eu normalmente vou escrever em Inglês, mas de vez em quando eu vou colocar a tradução pro Português também :)

”La même lune” means” The Same Moon” in French.

I decided to name my blog that because one of the things that calms me the most is knowing that while I am far from certain people , and the distance  is huge…while I am out there travelling the world and the people I love are miles away….. we are all under the same moon . We all have something in common, and as big as our planet is, sometimes it seems so small. 


This first post is just to explain the name of the blog :)

Usually, I’ll write in English but there will be times when I will have to translate it to Portuguese. :)