Blog Archives

On waking in Buenos Aires


It’s about the third day of travel when it sets in…

It’s 8 in the morning, and your body is tangled in the sheets. It’s hot, humid and your body is covered in a fine sheen of sweat. The fan above circles noisily and lazily, providing a small sense of relief from the heat.

Before that moment when your eyes open, the heat and sweat can be an annoyance, until you open your ears and hear it…

…the sounds of a city vastly different from your own. Dogs are barking while a man shouts at his wife or girlfriend from the street below to open the door. An accordion is playing above the sounds of broken Spanish phrases and the shuffle of buses on cobbled streets all merge and dance around your eyes.

That’s when it sets in… the deep realisation that you have nothing that you have to do, nowhere that you have to go, no one that you have to see. It´s relaxing to realise you are the master of all the choices that the day will place in front of you.

Check out my photos online at the Argentina gallery

On Visas and Passports


Travel only really works when you have travel documents that are up to the task.

And as it turns out, my passport was not quite up to the task of letting me into Brazil – yet… They needed to have six months validity on the passport, which there was, when I applied for the visa. However, the validity needs to be from the date you enter the country, not the date you apply for the visa. (Would have been good to have that in the notes section online somewhere!)

Anyway, after a few frantic calls and a trip or two down to the Australian Passport office in Sydney, I’ve been able to get myself a passport that is up to the task of some good old fashioned Aussie backpackery.

So hopefully the Brazilian visa will be not too far behind and the trip can commence as planned!

For those Aussies wanting to travel to Brazil, you will need an entry visa. Tourist visas cost around $50 and are available through the Brazilian consulate. 

Here’s the details

Preparing for the adventure


So it’s my final few weeks in Sydney.

There are a lot of changes coming up for the Brazilianaire these next few months… New job, new place to live and of course, the new travel adventures.

While I’m traveling, I wanted to be able to keep my friends, family and readers up to date with where I’m at and what I’m up to… but keeping it as simple as I can.

My site homepage will be updated on January 20 to include a new homepage that will show you the latest blog updates, latest tweets, photos and where I’ll be.

I didn’t want to take a computer with me when I was travelling, so I opted for an approach which would let me publish everything beforehand and update it with a simple email as I go.

iWeb, Apple’s web software created the pages for the site.

Location updates come through Plazes, and the widget that will appear on my homepage.

Blog updates come through from Posterous, a blogging platform that lets you update easily by sending emails from your standard addresses direct to your blog as posts. Posterous also lets me update Facebook and Twitter automatically.

Photo and video updates are done through Apple’s MobileMe galleries, which have been pre-published online so I will just upload direct to those…

Anyone using the twitter hashtag #brazilianaire can join in the conversation online and will appear in the homepage tweet timeline.

Widgetbox has provided a few widgets for me to easily share the blogs, location and photo updates.

Hopefully all the above will make it easy as to update the site while I’m travelling around.

Solo Travel

Hanging with the Chilenos in Santiago

Hanging with the Chilenos in Santiago

I’m such a tourist…

Have you ever walked around Sydney and seen the multicultural mix from everywhere? I’ve always loved the differences and unique perspective that each culture brings. But it also goes without saying that tourists always look like, well, tourists. With their daggy clothes or the Australiana paraphernalia draping from their necks down to the camera bag bulging with maps and local tourist guides. You know what I’m talking about, I’m sure…

Well now I am the one that is wearing the daggy clothes, draping Brazilian paraphernalia wherever I can and ordering food in a weird accent with little success in making yourself understood and ending up eating whatever they happen to bring. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who has just learnt a little English? Think of your reaction, the different things you said and did, and now put those characteristics into someone else who is trying to talk with you. It’s pretty weird being on the other side of it!

Some people say I have been brave to come here on my own. I don’t think so. Brave is the Brazilian girl who I met last year in Sydney. Renata spoke no English before she came, was traveling alone and was in Australia for around six months. She overheard me talking with my tutor Rafael at Sydney Tower. When we all went to eat something afterwards, she didn’t accept my offer to translate when ordering, she just jumped in line and used symbols and what little English she had learned to order her meal.

Most travelers will travel in groups or as families and have some connections at their destination, such as work organized contacts or relatives. But to travel alone is to rely on yourself completely. If you feel tired during transit there is no nap for you while someone watches your things for you. There’s you and no one else.

When you arrive at an airport, there’s no one to pick you up, to meet you or to help you get to your hotel. Actually, that’s not entirely true, there’s plenty of people willing to help you get to your hotel for four times the price!

From the two airports I have now arrived at, I realize that I shouldn’t grab the first option that comes my way. It’s usually quite heavily priced, and through my lack of understanding of the new exchange rate, I’m probably being ripped off completely.

In Santiago, the first price was 10,000 pesos for my taxi. I later learnt there is either a bus or an airport shuttle that I can order for around 2,500 pesos.

In Rio, the guy wanted me to pay 160 Reais, I knew the price was nowhere near that much for a taxi to my hostel and so talked him down to 50 Reais (which was still above the normal 40 Reais price)

Solo travel has its rewards at the same time… It keeps you focused and challenges your personal limits. You know that you and you alone can walk into a new situation and walk out the other side of it without too many worries.

You are changed as a person because your experiences only make you stronger if you don’t let them beat you, and also you have a better understanding about the different types of people that exist in this planet of ours.