Fwd: Independent Travel

Pamela Martinez - Brazil


May 16, 2019

I have always loved to feel independent.

I have been moving from places for a long time now so when I decided to spend 7 months in Brazil I thought it was going to be positive to stay in the same place for a while. I loooved after every seminar the feeling of going “back home”.

But I was CRAVING INDEPENDENT TRAVEL.

I wanted to feel that spark again of days full of discovering and moving around. I met Marco at Rio’s airport and we headed to the hostel. I, as I usually do, started the conversation with the uber driver, who was really open to talking about his beliefs and political views. Many more conversations happened for me before I could understand that it is very easy to go to a bubble in which there are people that think the same as you do, and these travels and conversations are good to have a good reality check. As you might know or not know, Rio de Janeiro is a very exotic city known as well to be one of the most violent cities of the world, with describes itself as a city in the middle of the jungle and also the largest favelas.

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Some people believe that the people that cause the violence in Rio deserve redemption and some people don’t, because they are tired. I believe in human rights but I also understand feeling like people can’t change because they are a product of their environment and sadly, they can’t be saved.

I honestly can’t judge them. Sometimes I feel the same.

Rio gave me a bit of familiarity, the chaotic vibe that didn’t allow me to feel myself, nevertheless I found so beautiful and rich in history, diversity, and culture. Also inequality.

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We arrive on a saturday, ready to go to a Carnaval the rua! Panema waited for us. I did all the touristic things I could have done in Rio whilst when we arrive to Salvador I did not feel as much of a tourist but rather – thank ¡s to the people that hosted us – I felt a bit like home. I got the opportunity to eat northeastern brazilian food, to go to a candomblé ceremony and most importantly got the chance to perceive other religions, culture and beliefs that hopefully, one day, will make me understand in what is my kind of faith and what is the lifestyle I want to have. 

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Some things I integrated from carnaval into my lifestyle:

  1. Use glitter every once in a while (vegan glitter)
  2. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t dance in the middle of the streets
  3. Music is a form of resistance. 

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This experience has made me realize how my perception of travelling has changed. I loved the fact that I was immersed in Brazilian culture enough to understand the language, the jokes, the political satires between each carnaval chant, and I would not have gone to make if I had not spent time living as a Brazilian. Before I thought I wanted to meet as many places as I can, whilst now I appreciate taking my time to understand a culture through eyes of curiosity, from the roots, which definitely involves speaking the language of people’s hearts because there is so much emotional meaning loss in translation.


Pamela Martinez