City of Sensuality
I went to Rio Di Janeiro in November for a wedding and experienced first hand all of the hospitality, delicious food, and stunning views Brazil had to offer. I went hiking at 4 am after clubbing (yolo?), tasted the best steak ever, enjoyed (okay, maybe over enjoyed) caipirinha's on Copacabana beach and most of all, connected with brilliant, kind and passionate people who are proud to be Brazilian.
It was my first time traveling to a city where I didn't speak the language. I was faced with the daunting task of exploring on my own in a completely new city, and to my surprise, I was more coward than I'd thought! Sure, I'd traveled lots, but mainly to places that were majority English or Spanish speaking. While Portuguese bears some resemblance to Spanish, I quickly realized it was not enough to have a full conversation and comfortably venture out into the city alone. Though I didn't do much exploring outside of family time during my first visit, I am keen on going back (hopefully during Carnival) to flex some new Portuguese skills and put my solo travel confidence to use.
Despite the language barrier, Brazil spoke volumes in its sensual energy. Brazilians possess a rare and powerful reverence and appreciation of the human spirit that seeps into all aspects of life. The sensuality of Rio is palpable in everyday interactions, from a small family fully enjoying live music and ice cold beers over dinner to the parade of glistening brown bodies congregating on Copacabana beach soaking up sun and basking in the quality of the moment.
The Copacabana beach experience cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world, issa vibe. All body shapes and sizes are flaunted with pride and a distinct level of IDGAF/carefree attitude. Drinks are flowing, the sun is blazing, and there is an abundance of brown skin to go around. I learned quickly that any bikini bottoms that don't flaunt ass are too conservative and immediately signal to locals that you're a tourist. I'm prepped for next time!