Food is something that brings the world together. Each culture has its own traditions and favorite foods. As a self proclaimed foodie, I was so excited to try cuisines in the countries they originated in. During my travels, I have discovered and will undoubtedly continue to discover culinary treasures around the globe. I am honored to share with you, My Elephant Tribe, the amazing meals I have enjoyed throughout the world.
Day 30: Brazil
Today marks 1 month. It has been a crazy and amazing journey and I am so grateful and blessed to be living my vision. I hope that through my journey I am able to inspire you to live your best life and see your vision come to life. I cannot wait to see what comes next. Everyday is better than the next. So much more of the world to explore. I am so excited to take you with me and continue to inspire.
The last few days, I have been thinking about Moana. If you haven't seen it, there is no time like the present (below is a spoiler alert). It is probably my current favorite Disney movie. Which is saying a lot because The Lion King has held that title since like 1995. I think that it is so related to life. We all have a deep seeded desire to please others, especially our families. However, sometimes our dreams and our visions are bigger than others can understand, process or fathom. We get to follow our hearts and live our passion and vision. Despite her hesitation, Moana left her home to fulfill her calling of sailing the ocean and return the heart of Te Fiti. Don't let others dictate your future. You have the power to make anything happen. No matter how big your dream is. If it’s to be, it’s up to you. You control your destiny.
For so long, I let external factors dictate how I was living my life. Student loans, society, bills, family members, etc. I did what I thought I was supposed to do. I graduated from grad school and got a job to pay my student loans and other expenses. I felt stuck. I had given my power to things. I had allowed these things to take away my voice. At the end of 2015, I was ready to take my voice back. However, I had no idea what that looked like. I still believed my dreams were too big because society told me so. Who travels the world for at least a year? Not me. I am supposed to get a job and contribute to society. Right? Well, that’s what society kept telling me.
When Kristie Griess called me, I thought, this is it. I am finally going to live my dream. While I loved what I was doing. It wasn't really my dream. I have come to realize in the last month that it was my back up, but life is too short for back ups. Please don't settle. You are worth so much more than settling. You get to have it all. You get to live your vision. Looking back, there was one person that knew I was settling. She never outright said, “you’re settling.” However, her actions said it. For me, I had to realize it on my own. However, I owe SheShe a great debt of gratitude. She knows me better than I know myself sometimes. She tells me what I don't want to hear and for that I am grateful.
Sometimes in this blog, I may say things you aren’t ready to hear, but please don't stop reading. I promise that eventually you will be ready to hear it and you will be grateful. At least that is my hope. I started this blog because I wanted to create a space where others could find inspiration in my journey. What I learn about myself as I travel the world and live my vision. Sometimes, it is a little boring, but other times it will be witty and insightful. Please stick with me, I promise not to disappoint. You have stuck with me this far and I thank you.
Now that I am finally living my true vision, I am going to knock some things off of my bucket list. Seven years ago, I was on a cruise celebrating my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. On that cruise I met Buddy Valastro's, The Cake Boss, mother. I had been a long time viewer of his show and knew exactly who she was. I am amazed at all the cake designs they do. I am not sure how they do it. Again, that is something I am not able to do.
Anyways, I have always wanted to go to Carlo’s Bake Shop and yesterday we learned that there is one in Sao Paulo. So, this morning we got up and went to Carlo’s Bake Shop for breakfast. Granted I still want to go to the original in Hoboken, and I will get there, but I can now say I have eaten Buddy’s carrot cake and it was delicious.
After Carlo’s Bake Shop, we went to mail our post cards. I also tried to mail my mom her gift, but learned that the small trinket I bought for her that cost me about $2 US would cost me about $90 US to ship to her from Brazil. I opted to wait until Argentina to send it to her. Also, in order to ship packages from Brazil you need your passport which I was not carrying with me. So word of warning only ship postcards and letters from Brazil. As we were leaving the post office it started to pour, but we decided to tough it out and head back to the Sao Paulo Cathedral.
We went back to the cathedral because it is probably the most recognizable destination in Sao Paulo and Brian was asked to take a picture in Brazil with a note for someone on Instagram. She was putting together a gift for her boyfriend by asking people to take pictures with notes saying that her love for him was so big that it made it to _____ (insert destination). So we completed that task and called an Uber.
As we waited for the Uber, it began to rain even harder so we took refuge in the doorway of the cathedral. Little did we know that so did some birds and one of them decided to relieve itself on my shirt. Ewwwwww! At first, I was a little mad. However, then I decided to laugh it off. What was I going to do. So, I did what any sane person would do. I went out into the pouring rain and let it wash away. Well, for the most part. Our Uber driver never showed up. He cancelled our trip. We called another Uber and he drove in circles before he found us at the front of the cathedral where we said we were.
As we drove back I began really noticing my surroundings. In a previous entry I talked about appreciating graffiti, but I need to clarify that. There is a difference between graffiti and street art. My affinity is for street art. The buildings and walls, basically every available space in Sao Paulo is covered in tacky meaningless graffiti and tags. It is unnecessary and just plain vandalism. It takes a beautiful city and makes it appear rundown and look more dangerous than it is. The appearance of the city changes and to me that is sad. So in retrospect, I meant to say that I appreciate street art, not graffiti.
The Uber dropped us off at the apartment so we could regroup and change out of our sopping wet clothes. Or for me it meant wash my bird poop shirt. Since it was raining, I decided it was a good time to break out my beautiful new Hunter rain boots. Brian thinks they are silly, but I am in L-O-V-E. Instead of being upset about the rain and hunkering down in the apartment, we grabbed our umbrellas and headed to Parque Independencia.
I loved it. I took the opportunity to tap into my whimsical and childlike side. I jumped in the puddles and played in the rain. I think today may have been my favorite so far. Not only do I love Sao Paulo, the places we visit get better and better, but today I engaged my playful side. A side that I haven't let out for sometime and almost forgot existed. I owe that to the rain in Sao Paulo. We hoped that the rain would stay away, but that wasn’t in the cards and for that I am grateful.
Once we left the park the rain stopped and we headed to see the Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge. When we got there we learned we cannot walk on the bridge, but I love bridges so we had to see it. I think in a past life I was a civil engineer because bridges and highways and overpasses fascinate me and this bridge did not disappoint.
After the bridge we got dinner at Holy Burger. I predicted early this week that we would be back and I think we will probably be back tomorrow before we leave.