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Brazil

Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden
Blog, Brazil

I just don’t get plants… or do I?

They’re two things I never do: spending a week in the same town while traveling, and visiting a Botanical Garden. In fact, that’s a lie. There’s a lot of things I never do, such as eating alive octopus. I never do that. (Why in hell, from all the possible examples, is it the alive octopus thing that came out first?!) The reason why I never stay in the same town for a week is just because I feel like I’ll miss something. A part of me focus on productivity and standing still is not an option. Yet, I passed a whole week in Rio de Janeiro in March. The reason why I never visit a Botanical Garden is because I just don’t get plants. I judge them by their colors. Does that make me racist? So I was there, walking in Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, completely wet because of the Waters of March Jobim talked about. I read somewhere that if you run through the rain, you’ll probably be as wet as if you walk. Despite that scientific fact, we pretty much always run. That day, I walked. Plants don’t run. They do micro movements, follow the sun, and grow. They even grow without us noticing! […]

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Rio de Janeiro Travel Tips
Amériques, Brazil, Destinations

8 Things You Need to Know Before Going to Rio de Janeiro

If you like cities, beaches, colorful places and good food, Rio de Janeiro is probably on your travel bucket list. There are some tips you need to know to get around and save money. 1. Call the Bus In Rio de Janeiro, you need to call a bus just like you would do with a taxi. Even if you’re at a bus stop, it won’t pick you up unless you raise your hand and manifest your interest. What I really appreciated during my trip: there’s someone in the bus to give your change back! I don’t know if it’s common in your home town, but in Montreal we never get our change back in a bus. Something I learned because I was with a local: yellow seats are for disabled persons, elderly or pregnant women. It’s not really clear and you need to know that… Locals make fun of it and use to say: « Yellow seats are for old person… or tourists ». Don’t be that tourist. 2. Take the Metro The metro is super clean! Seriously, I would give it a price! I didn’t take it at night, but during the day I felt safe. I recommend to use it. 3. Jaywalk […]

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Fruit market in Rio de Janeiro
Blog, Brazil

Ain’t just beans and rice! – Discover Brazilian cuisine

When I announced my trip to Rio de Janeiro, it was very clear that I wanted to discover Brazilian cuisine. Sometimes, I think the most adventurous expats are the best persons to show us a new culture, because they know what is interesting for foreigners. When people ask me what they should eat in Montreal, I never really know what to say… Sure I wrote a guest post about 6 Delicious Food you Have to Eat When You Visit Quebec, but I had to ask around me to be sure that what I suggested was a good choice of Quebec cuisine. On the other hand, I’d have no problem writing about Portuguese cuisine. Meh… So, when I met Tom, a British expat in Rio de Janeiro, and guide for the Eat Rio Food Tour, I knew he would exactly know what we need to taste while visiting Brazil… and it’s not just beans and rice! Update on July 26th, 2015: Note that the Eat Rio Food Tour is is no longer offered on a regular basis. It can be booked in private with the customer support of RDJ4U. Fruit It’s very cliché to talk about fruit when you think about a southern country, but Brazilians […]

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Live Band in Rio Scenarium
Blog, Brazil

Getting the Carioca vibe and learning Samba in Rio

You know how much I enjoy learning new things. So, it was absolutely impossible for me to go to Rio de Janeiro without trying basic Samba steps. Since I already dance lindy hop, which is also a partnered dance, I must admit I was a little over-confident in my capacity of dancing Samba. Well, you know what? It didn’t help me at all! Ahah! I think there is definitely something different in the constitution of the hips of North Americans versus South Americans. Seriously, how can you people do that? Fortunately, this is why beginner Samba workshops exist and I had the chance to have the very comprehensive and funny Helio, from RDJ4U as a teacher. Getting the vibe My Samba class was just the day after I landed in Rio de Janeiro and I couldn’t say how much of a relief it was to move those feet after more than 12 hours of transportation from Montreal. In a yoga studio of Copacabana, Helio welcomed the group and made sure everybody was comfortable. None of the seven people in the group (Guess who was alone?) had experience in Samba. So, if you plan on doing this activity, no need to worry about […]

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View from Lapa
Blog, Brazil

Don’t fix what’s not broken – First impressions of Rio de Janeiro

It’s been a while since I travelled to South. I don’t know if I was hibernating because of the winter in Montreal, but Rio de Janeiro got me out of my lethargy quite brutally. Getting out of the plane, the air was so thick I could have eaten it. I didn’t remember what it was to inflict 60 degrees of difference to your body in one day. If I was still hibernating after that, the sight of my good friend Igor at the airport sure fixed that. No tropical climate can beat the warm feeling of seeing a friend abroad that you haven’t seen in a while. People are right about traffic in Rio de Janeiro, but it doesn’t beat the one in Los Angeles. The only difference is the perpetual honks and the motorcycles and people passing between cars. Rio is noisy, just as you would expect South America to be. It’s a chaotic blend between Portugal and Central America. It’s broken colorful buildings and occasional azuelos. It’s graffiti everywhere and people sleeping on sidewalks. It’s a ton of fruits markets and juice places. Rio smells either fruits or garbage. Fortunately, more often fruits. Walking on sidewalks is a […]

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Ipanema_beach
Amériques, Brazil, Destinations

Rio de Janeiro: How to stay safe at the beach

Today, I’ve invited someone special on the blog to talk about my next destination: Rio de Janeiro. Last week, a few readers and I had a conversation on Facebook about a big concern regarding a trip to Rio: safety at the beach. As I will travel alone for a part of this trip, and my guide-book couldn’t answer all of my questions, I used my number 1 tip to plan a perfect trip: Ask a local. So, I’m pleased to introduce you to Cristina from My Little Rio Journal! Big round of applause! She kindly accepted to answer all of our questions in a special post, just for us! Aren’t we lucky? Rio de Janeiro – How to Stay Safe at the beach Post by Cristina Landi from My Little Rio Journal   When Annie invited me to write this guest post to reveal some clever advice for travelers coming to Rio about how to enjoy Rio’s beaches safely, I got very excited! Spreading information and smart tips to enjoy a great vacation in Rio, is one of the reasons why I started blogging. I got a little surprised, when talking with her, to know that some travelers just avoid […]

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Rio_landing
Amériques, Brazil, Destinations

Announcing my next destination: Rio de Janeiro!

It’s official, my next flight is booked: I’m going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Woot! I’m completely ecstatic about this next trip. Honestly, I never thought of going to Rio in 2015, but a Brazilian friend of mine invited me so I jumped on the opportunity to discover the  »Marvellous City ». Between the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, I think 2015 is just perfect to slip between two crowds. I already began to make the list of things I want to learn and things I want to discover in Rio. What I want to learn in Rio de Janeiro I always try to learn things from my trips. I like to let the culture pass through me and let a new place makes me grow. It turns out there are few things I want to learn from Rio de Janeiro. 1. Basic Portuguese I must admit I cheat for this one, because I’ve already began to learn some basic Portuguese. Even if I go see a friend, I’ll be alone for a part of the trip while he’ll be doing things on his side, and people have been very clear about it: it’s rare to find […]

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