One of Casa Bromélia's favorite guests was a man from San Francisco, California. His dream vacation was to visit Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. Recently, he had experienced a lot of pain in his personal life and was needing a dose of tropical energy to rejuvenate and heal.
Hunter, came to Rio de Janeiro with an open heart and a thousand questions. Most visitors to Brazil approach their picture perfect postcard trip with joy and trepidation. The media paints such a negative image of this iconic urban beach town that those who dare step onto its coconut covered canvas arrive fearful and overwhelmed. The majority doesn't speak English, the city is sometimes unorganized and is counter-intuitive. This however, does not need to prevent anyone from stepping onto the page of the real Rio de Janeiro.
Together we headed straight to a Brazilian café where we got lost in exchanging stories. The next ten days unfolded with us visiting the in’s, the out’s and the in-between’s of this raw city. We walked the markets in Rocinha Favela, made local friends, ate at local beach restaurants on hidden beaches, rode motorcycles through downtown, and danced samba all night at Carnival. By the end of his stay, we both felt a little more alive swimming in the good energy that exploring this warm country brings. Brazil and I were able to take care of him to support his journey and melt away the anxiety associated with the unknown of the largest country in South America. With both the personal space to reflect and a local friend to share and explore with, being on the road created the internal shift this traveler was deserving.
I'm a California native who has been traveling/living abroad for 15 years. I created Casa Bromélia because when I first voyaged to Brazil, I fell in the love with the land but felt lost and confused. The Casa gives you tools to build your own vibrant and special Brazilian stories. They will be real. They will be local. But they will not be your random tourist anecdote. They will be unique. And the best part is you do not have to speak Portuguese nor know anyone, but leave feeling like you have lived there for years.