It wasn’t until I crawled over the disheveled Brazilian man a slid down into my window seat that I was able to contemplate the journey ahead.
Between all the errands, goodbyes and last minute essentials, I never allow myself time to get too excited before a trip.
As the plane took flight my mind began its own bumpy ascent towards reality.
I’m moving to Brazil. I don’t know Portuguese. I don’t know anyone. I have no plan.
By the time we were free to move about the cabin, I was paralyzed with uncertainty.
Thankfully, the in-flight movie selection and free red wine allowed me to relax a bit before eventually dosing off and leaving the world I knew behind.
Morning came and my eyes opened to the site of lush green mountains and vast favelas as we descended into Rio de Janeiro.
I could feel the summer heat right away, but luckily an easy pass through customs and onto an air-conditioned public bus made the process bearable.
It took about an hour from the airport to my hostel in Ipanema, as we passed through central Rio and the beaches of Copacabana along the way.
The incredible economic and social contrasts were on display from start to finish.
I dropped my bag at the Ipanema Beach House and wasted no time in making my way to the beach.
Beautiful people, ridiculous views and an amazing energy… this place is f’ing paradise.
I grabbed a beach chair and fresh coconut from one of the many beachside stands and found a free spot amongst the crowd.
As the bright Brazilian sun began to thaw my frozen New York body, I took a big sip of my coconut water and my mind said… “don’t worry, I’ll figure things out.”
Rio Airport Bus Transfer Info – How to take the bus from Galeão Airport to Copacabana