Monday, October 16, 2006
I am in to process of accepting my status as an international vagabond. In order to develop this realization, I have decided to start a blog to focus my thoughts, reflect, and hear what others have in response, advice or anything else who are interested, have experienced or dream of doing the same. In Portuguese the word vagabundo, or vagabond, is often used as playful insult amongst friends. I discovered this as I was drinking until dawn with my host brother and his friends at our neighbors graduation party. The Johnny Walker Red Label had broken the ice and the awkwardness of a gringo at the party had worn off and we the group of lifetime friends had included me in their circle. They were all about the same age as me, in school or about to graduate, motivated, young and ready to party and give each other a hard time. It seems that in every group of friends there are the typical archetypes: the comedian, the serious intelligent one, the shy or silent leader type, the busy or nervous one, the player and the outright crazy. At least some form of this dynamic will almost always exist amongst a group of friends that has grown up in a small town and has known each other since birth. As the night wears on, the etiquette of a formal graduation party shifts to debauchery, and the crazy one starts calling the intelligent one names--but the silent intelligent one has had as much whisky and has become as witty as the rest and asks me how to call his friend a vagabundo in English. Being an international vagabond is difficult, much more than I expected. I set off to Brasil again to find paradise and stay there forever. After a little bit of searching and some luck, I came across what seemed to be a pretty sweet deal. I was going to rent a pousada, or bed and breakfast, on the beach which included a restaurant and potential for a beachfront bar. The place is located in an up and coming tourist destination, although access is a little tricky. The beach was voted 6th prettiest in Brasil, so the tourist boom would it hard this year. The pousada has 20 rooms, all run down and in need of some love. It was going to be hard work, and I was ready for it. However, it is located 4 km from the nearest village, basically secluded on a semi-deserted beach. This may sound like paradise to some, and for me I thought it was, until I had to make the decision to live there for at least 2 years. A long story short is that this place encompassed everything I had dreamed of. I had been endlessly telling my friends that I was going to start my International Community of Awesomeness (another failed blog), basically a place for people to come and go, experience nature, beauty, culture and the world. Forget everything that exists in our busy lives and thrive in paradise. The infrastructure and opportunity to live my dream was there, but as I discovered the timing may not have been right. As I eagerly contacted my family, friends and loved ones, they began to tell me to look into my heart to see if this was the right decision. At first it was yes, then no, then maybe. We began to take the necessary steps in order to get everything done in order to be a legally run business. There are many boundaries to cross in order to become such an expatriate and is quite difficult. I did not imagine everything on my idealistic trip to escape the world and never come back. I ultimately listened to my heart and it told me that I was taking on too much responsibility too fast, and decided not to go through with the deal. Thus I spent the rest of my time looking into how to actually purchase real estate abroad and in Brasil, and how one might succeed at doing so. All in all, I have found myself back in the states, wiser on the issues and bureaucracy that goes in to all of the above, but am crashing on couches, counting my pennies and searching for something, anything, anywhere. I have come to realize how hard life can be without a home. I was able to save money by living with families and friends, eat their food and see how they live. However, it is always difficult being the burden of someone else, even if they love and care for you and want you to be there. I have been waiting so long to be entirely free, that is to say that my biggest goal in life was to graduate college so that if living in paradise backfired, I would have something to fall back on. Now, I have come to realize that I may need to fall back on that much quicker than I had originally hoped for. Thus I dedicate this blog and sting of free thought to everyone, everywhere around the world or at home, to express their thoughts and experiences.