5 Things Rio de Janeiro Taught Me about Myself

Have you ever noticed how travelling teaches you a lot about yourself? I had lived a regular kind of life at home; working and eating and breathing and doing all the other kind of stuff which most of us do.

However, it was only when I put on my backpack and set out to explore the world that I ended up finding out a lot about myself and who I really am. A lot of this new knowledge was gained by thinking for hours on long overnight bus journeys or as I lay awake in bed in strange hotel rooms. Having said that, when you go to somewhere as special as Rio de Janeiro you will learn a lot about yourself as well. This is what I found out there.

I Can’t Dance Samba

sambaTo be honest, I didn’t really have a lot of hope for being a master Samba dancer but a part of me maybe thought that being in Rio would help me find the swing which had so far eluded me. Sadly it wasn’t to be. If you go to Rio and Carnival isn’t on then you can go to a Samba school to see them practice and join in with the dances. I tried my best to join in with the swaying dancers but my hips – just like Shakira’s – don’t lie.

I Can’t Handle My Caipirinhas

Hey, I am from Scotland so there is no drink on Earth that can worry me. Right? Wrong. I went out with a few guys from the hostel one night and after about 2 glasses of this potent stuff I thought I could sing Portuguese fluently and then ended up running across a world famous beach with very few clothes on. If you are ever offered a Caipirinha just drink one to be polite and then get away from there as fast as you can.

I Could Easily Get Addicted to Guaraná

guarAnother drink which you will come across in Brazil in called Guaraná. This is an energy drink which is made from some sort of bean which made its way into some UK chocolate bars a few years back. You can buy it in cans but I preferred the natural variety served in cool little lancherias in Rio. These are tiny snack bars which offer refreshing drinks and little bites to eat. This drink is seriously addictive and if you wash one down with a chicken coixinha you are in snack food heaven.

I Can’t Play Football

I used to play football with my work colleagues in the UK. While I was never going to give the Real Madrid scouting network a reason to visit the local pitches I always thought I was decent enough. Then some Brazilian threw me a ball on the beach in Rio. After half an hour of the game I had touched the blooming thing about 3 times and had fallen in the sand enough times for everyone to start to take pity on me. The people who play football in public here are seriously good and you should only join in if you are really confident.

I Love Travelling to Places Like This

I just realised reading this back that it might sound like I had a terrible time in Rio. I fell over, I got wasted and generally made a fool of myself in diverse ways while I was there. However, this is the kind of destination which makes you live life to the full. Some of my greatest travel memories were born here and I have no problem with a few of them being of the slightly embarrassing kind. If you are ever anywhere near this astonishing city I can definitely recommend spending a couple of weeks in Rio, dancing, drinking and living life like never before.

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