Hey peeps! Welcome back to a new post!
I’m back in Orlando after three amazing weeks in beautiful Brazil. For those of you that do not know, I went to take a Brazilian cultural immersion class in Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil for two weeks at Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri or UFVJM (Yes, this is the actual name of the university that I studied, lol! It took me a while to learn it but finally did!). This was my first time traveling to the interior of Brazil and it was a complete change from sunny and beachy Rio, but who’s to say this is a bad thing?! Diamantina is a small, charming colonial town nestled in rocky mountains that transports you back to the 18th century with its numerous cathedrals, wooden buildings and houses. It is a city rich in history and full of natural reserves, like where I took the pictures below. Biribiri State Park is definitely a place for nature lovers, history lovers and curious tourists like me! The park contains a village that was once home to workers in a textile factory and now a tourist attraction. It is surrounded by amazing mountanious views, waterfalls, and rivers. It is definitely worth the trip and I was amazed by its beauty. I took this opportunity to bring color to the mountains and this was the end result. A huge thank you to my former professor and now, lifetime friend, Rebeca Chamorro, for being patient and bringing my vision to life!
Now, you must be wondering: how do you handle traveling on your own? Isn’t it dangerous? I say dangerous is the woman that prefers to spend time traveling by herself first than traveling with company…Read the open letter I wrote to all my solo travelers down below…
Dear Solo Traveler,
I have been in your shoes. I remember the first time I traveled on my own, the first time I went abroad, the first time I was separated from my family for more than a week, the first time I had to rely on my own judgement and decisions. To say I was scared is an understatement; I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to truly experience being on my own, not knowing if I was going to have the experience of a lifetime or a horror story to bring back home. Was I going to be prepared for this new adventure? Was I going to be brave enough to take this leap of faith and trust myself enough to do this on my own?…
As I just got back from my second trip to beautiful Brazil, I tell you that fear is a mere sentiment that YOU have control over, not vice versa. I tell you that living in the unknown opens your eyes and mind to live experiences that will either make you or break you and in the end, they will just be experiences that help you grow. I tell you that as I travel on my own, I get to learn more about my personality, my likes and dislikes, my character, my individuality. I tell you to live in the moment and to cherish your memories deep in your heart.
I tell you that you will become a storyteller and you will have many that will help people understand the importance of traveling and getting to know new cultures. I tell you that you will see how materialistic your life is when you learn to live with basic necessities and actually be okay with it. I tell you that you will be grateful of all the things that are in your life and not take them for granted. I tell you that you will meet people that will leave a big imprint in your life and will help you mold into a greater person. Traveling solo sparks a sense of growth, cultural awareness, and self-trust.
Traveling with other people is a great adventure on its own, but traveling on your own becomes a journey that will be a new learning experience every time you take it and will leave you a desire to learn more and travel more.
Have you ever traveled on your own? If yes, how has it help you grow? If not, how do you think it will help you grow?