72 Hours in Rio. Part 1

 

I rang the doorbell.

“Open up, it’s me, Joana, I’m going up”. That’s all I needed to say. The flashback moment in my head, I was 16 again and had just forgotten my house keys. They know my voice. They know who it’s me, I don’t need much more information besides my first name.

These people raised me, helped me to shape myself into who I’m today, and are the most basic foundations of my existence. People say it takes a village to raise a kid. My neighbors in that building were from that village and played the part of a family I didn’t have during my teenage/early 20’s.

They were like an extended family to be exact. They knew how hard my mom worked and they saw how much of a dreamer I was. So after nine years of living abroad, I rang the doorbell like it’s 2002 again.

 Rio is home. It’s where I grew up, where I have all my friends, where I know the streets like the palm of my hand.

The city where I know how to place the purse close to my body and be vigilant, to whoever is crossing the street. Growing up in Rio, a 7 million population city and the second biggest city in Brazil, I developed a sense of danger.

Sometimes, those street kid thieves come around, out of nowhere, just slapping the flip flops against the pavement, and you know you need to move faster. This time, I took Josh to see the city, after multiple times in Vitoria, meet my friends and the place I grew up. We only had three days and this is what we’re able to see and do 

Day 01 – The arrival 

 Josh, me, and my mom arrived at Santos Dumont airport. Which is the domestic airport and centrally located. As soon as you get out of the arrivals, you would see a lot of taxi drivers, ready to give you the wrong information about Uber, because they hate each other, and snatch on each other’s business.

I should have known better than to ask one of the taxi drivers about Uber. The guy who informed us about Uber sent us in the wrong direction. Lucky for us, a lady heard us and told us to go to the other side. When you leave Arrivals, go to your left, to the Uber lounge, located at the mall, inside the airport. 

After we checked in at the hotel, we all went to meet one of my best friends at the mall to have lunch. All my history in Rio is connected to the mall. The mall where I got my first job, at the movie theater, where I had my first boyfriend, where I broke up with my first boyfriend. Where I was taken to have a nice date/dinner, that it wasn’t at the food court. A real restaurant, with someone serving me? Hooray! This time around, we ate at the food court with our friends. 

After lunch, we moved along to the building where I lived for 10 years. Going up those stairs, where I manifested all I have today, was priceless. It was like the 35 years old was meeting the 16 years old me and screaming “WE DID IT!”  

I guess all the emotions took away my hungriness. Josh ate, my mom ate. I couldn’t do it. 

Day 1.2 – Girl from Rio 

 Our dearest friend invited us to have breakfast at a coffee shop inside of a supermarket. It’s very popular in Brazil to have a buffet-style restaurant where they charge your food by weight. For example, 1kg of food on your plate, would cost you around $19,00 reais.

I don’t know anyone who would ever put a kilo of food on the plate unless you fill up with coxinhas and pie. It is never the case. I’d asked the lady at the counter if it was brewed coffee. My friend was quick to make fun of me, saying that brewed coffee was only at home. They have expresso, and the brewed coffee does not refill, like in America.

Of course, it’s Brazilian coffee and you don’t need it. After breakfast, we took part ways. My mom went downtown with her friend, and we went to Copacabana. 

Again, my mind filled with memories, I showed Josh the way I used to take to go to school. He asked me if it was normal for you to study in one neighborhood and live in a different one. I have never thought about that, but I guess it’s normal.

We learn very early on how to take the bus by ourselves and move around the city freely. What I mean by that is, I used to escape school a lot. I was never good with rules. 

The school gates were open. Now it has a big blue gate, that doesn’t allow anyone to see from the outside. Whatever is inside, it’s a mystery. I pushed the gate and walked in. It still looks the same, while I made my way in, I heard voices in my head, coming from that time. 

“You are going to fail again, and you never going to leave this place”

That teacher was right. I would never leave that place. It would be part of me for the rest of my life. Everything I lived while I was there, all the emotions, all the crying, all the D’s and F’s, prepared me for who I’m today, but regardless of what she said, I’m not a failure.

2002.

The fact I could go back there, as an adult and be proud of what I’m now, makes me a winner. Walking around the patio and the iconic 2001 rock we all took a picture of it, thinking about that time I stood in line to get bread, and one of my friends saying that it was his 12th time in line, the poor kid was hungry.  

We walked around Copacabana, had an Acai for lunch, and headed back for the hotel. I was planning to go to Urca and see the Sugar Loaf, but I got overwhelmed. At night, we met with my best friend for a beer in one of the bars in Botafogo.

Botafogo its is very gentrified now, with a lot of fancy bars and expensive appetizers. Again, I just wanted fries and a beer. Out of nowhere, we heard a lady running and screaming on the street that a thief stole her purse.

 We all got up from our chairs and sat back down “She should be paying attention” It is that normal and people always blame the victim. Hooray, Josh had seen his first robbery in Rio! It’s like the baptism of the city.  

Day 02- For Christ Redeemer

 

Note to self: Need to improve my Photoshop Skills

The day was cloudy but it was the only chance we would have to go up to see the Christ Redeemer. We moved on with our plans anyway. It was very quiet, and about 17 dollars per person to go up with the train. We took some photos at the entrance and board.

To get up is about 15 minutes and it’s a beautiful way up, surrounded by the national forest. Once you get there, you have stairs walk up to, we should have taken the escalator, but never mind. 

The last time I was there was about 16 years ago, and It was also cloudy. The major difference now is the influencers and the influencer’s photographers. It’s a very crowded place and if you see a picture of someone at the Christ Redeemer and it’s empty, it’s a lie.

She either slept there or used an app to delete everyone. Oh! And there are also the Hoes, who dress up nicely because they think they are going to get proposed by their gringos. I lost my chance. 

Josh told me he was never so scared of someone driving like that Uber driver was. One of the first things you realize in Rio is how reckless everyone drives. After the Christ Redeemer, we went to the mall. Where I could show him, where I used to spend hours walking around with my friends.

He asked us where we were going to have lunch. Without thinking I took him to the same place I used to always go and he said “That’s just cheese bread. Let’s find somewhere else”. Sorry, my bad. 

Stay Tune for part 2!

Stay Healthy,

XXX

JS Snellenberger

Back to Basis to where I’m not an immigrant

Every night, before I put myself to sleep, I thought about that place. The streets, the people, my former teachers. I Imagined myself walking around and going back to the stores I once couldn’t afford to buy anything.

In my mind, there was always a sense of victory, if I could go back, and show everyone the new me. I would do it in style. I will never forget the day that a boy from my school, look at me and say “If you want to be beautiful, you have to be born again”.

15 year old me, heavily bullied by schoolmates.

My only plan was to leave that place.

I haven’t thought about having a career, money, or any type of what is considered “success” in the eyes of society. I just wanted to leave and the rest I could figure later.

And I left.

After many years of living in the States, I’m now married, and with the life, I built to myself, a life based on a day by day achievements. I didn’t get rich, and it’s not a life based on what money could buy if I worked 70 hours a week.

I learned fast that nothing of that “hard work” matters if you are not happy with what you are doing. Eventually, you end up sick and depress, with a house full of stuff you don’t need. Stuff you bought to fill spaces that were missing in your life.

I live in a 1 bedroom apartment while working part-time and I’m still able to travel internationally two times a year. Ask me how. I would probably don’t know the answer.

Back to Basis.

On this last trip, I decided to take a few days from Vitoria, where my mom lives, and back to Rio de Janeiro. The jungle that raised me, that made me who I’m today.

It was the most eye-opening trip of my life. At the end of the trip, I was emotionally exhausted, but it was all worth it. Seeing my friends, and receive a long hug, that hug you receive from friends who have known you your entire life. It hits you differently. When friends that you consider family: “That’s Joana, I know her how she is” It brings you back to the ground.

Living in the United States for the past nine years, part of me lacks having my references. What I mean by that is, having people actively participate in my stories, or create new ones.

I have friends who can tell my stories for me. Because they were there.

In Rio, If I’m telling a story, it’s guarantee a friend will add to it, sometimes is nonsense, but still participates. If I have to tell a story here in the States, first they will not get any of my references, and second, they will not listen because it’s not interesting to them.

I do have friends here, but they are always too busy in their chaos to have time to hang out. Here in the States, time is money. In my country, we have no money, It is what it is, so we just hang out freestyle.

While walking around those streets, I saw my younger self, the one who used to be brave. The me that was not always in the shadows, afraid of getting yelled at “go back to your country” and then I realized what it was.

My country, my culture, my language. 

Brasil is my country, my language, my culture. Something I will never have in the States. The United States, feels like a borrowed beautiful dress, that I want to, but it doesn’t fit me. Almost like Cinderella’s shoes, that I somehow made it fit. It hurts, it’s never going to be comfortable, but I still insist on wearing it.

I went on a crusade of places I wanted to show my husband. My school, the building I used to live in, the mall I used to hang out at, the Chinese food parlor I used to take my broken ass to eat after school. It was so cheap, I used to question where the meat was coming from. The tale of the pigeon sandwich. I will write about this some other day.

We had three days filled with emotions, trying to find cheap places to eat because after all, I still consider myself a local and refuse to pay more because I have a gringo by my side. I did pay for overpriced pizza at the mall, but it was one time, and I was ok with that.

My mom was there too and, it was priceless to be able to see her coming back to our place. I have to dedicate an entire post about what to do in Rio, in 3 days. There is a lot I want to say.

I have a place in this world. 

Going back to Rio made me realize, that yes, I have a place in this world. A place where I don’t need to worry about making mistakes and be deported, or feeling unwanted like I don’t belong. A place where I have friends and family. Part of me got back to the United States with a less worrying feeling. If anything happened, I would have a place that I used to call home.

I missed the feeling from when I used to run those streets. Rio is the only place on earth that if I don’t have a phone or if my phone dies I can still go around, and get to places. No questions asked.

There is no way it will not take me another nine years to come back. In the next post, I’m going to write about my 72 hours in Rio and all the cool stuff we were able to do.

Stay tuned, stay safe, and be healthy.

And keep living out loud too!

Is she too old for that TikTok mess?

 

TikTok has been around as a successful platform for about two years. At least for my knowledge. At first, it was a platform for dancing teenagers and voiceovers, now everyone has space on it. It took me forever to get into it, as I was very resistant to the idea of dancing or doing some funny stuff. I’m not very shy, but in all honesty, I think I’m.

The platform of instant Pandemic celebrities

The platform of instant Pandemic celebrities, millions and millions of views, and in my case a very diverse For You page. I learned that your page, most likely because of algorithms, will show what you like to see. I’ve seen all kinds of different content and I support them all. People forget that the internet is also a place where you can learn about different lives and points of view. Learn about people’s journeys and cherish their stories. I follow trans people, indigenous, lgbtq+, people of color, immigrants, and people who indeed need their voices heard and found on TikTok a safe space to share. My 35-year-old bum is there to laugh and learn.

I had different goals when I created the account

When I first created my account, back this past February, I did it with the intention of finally put the Shrubbery Show into a fast-paced platform, to have some visibility, as after I gain some followers, I would drag these people to youtube. Again, I was too shy. I had everything ready, the skits, the characters, the scenes, as I got ready to film I realized I knew nothing about the app. And I mean nothing.

My video editing learning curve stopped in 2009 when I used to work on Windows Movie Maker, putting files together, and sharing on youtube. It’s been so long, that at that time, you could use any kind of music you wanted to make videos and it wasn’t infringing copyrights. Today, if I sing in my video, they drop it, because I’m singing without permission.

The greedy people really ruined my Mariah Carey performance.

I also couldn’t keep up with the new software because one: I didn’t have a computer, I mean a decent one, two, I couldn’t afford the software. And 3 I always doubted my abilities to learn the software.

The Shrubbery Show got put aside, again when it may, we bought a 1995 truck camper to remodel and travel around Colorado. So I decided to change the name of the channel, to travel with the camper, and then change again to Live Out Loud Too – Travels, and next month when the app allows me, I will do it again. But I do feel that Live Out Loud too as my brand, should work fine.

I’m 35 and I can’t figure out how TikTok works.

The videos I’ve been putting there are short videos of our first trip, as I couldn’t figure out how to edit it properly. I don’t know how to put my persona out there, without feeling stupid, so it all seems too serious. It happens with my blog too.

I’m constantly held back because I’m afraid of being criticized by strangers, who are not always too nice with other people’s ideas, so I’m still testing the water. I have seen some people of my age group doing the funniest thing because they don’t care. I need to get on their level of confidence.

How much time do you need to be successful on TikTok?

I heard that to be on what the app considers a success level you have to post 3 videos a day. There is no way unless you are 16 this is your only job. You just dance away and get endorsed to show products. So I started to calculate that to be an influencer, you have to live a life on your phone.

Paris Hilton said in her documentary that she stays 16 hours a day logged in, and guess what? She just got her own cooking show.

Pinterest says you have to post 100 pins, IG said you have to make reels and post fresh content at least once a day. You have to have a Facebook Group and be active on it. Look how much you have to do, only to remain relevant. I’ve seen people who steal content from others, people who criticize people for being themselves, but I also saw some very funny people.

I’m the person who watches your video to the end, likes it, shares it, and makes comments on it. And I do that mostly with small accounts, just like mine. When it comes to creating videos, I rarely show my face on them. The other day, I saw a video from a Pakistani girl, who makes cooking videos. She talked on that video about how someone in the comments said her accent was giving headaches.

“I’m sorry my accent gives you headaches”

I felt so sorry for her, especially because of how nasty people can be when this is not our first language, and we don’t sound like we are from the Valley. If you read this blog, you know how much this type of attitude irritates me and my entire soul. I followed her immediately and commented on it. “Your English is amazing, please don’t let people discourage you, your accent it’s great too!”

I’m all here for all kinds of diversity creators. I’m too old to give a 16-year-old audience, just because she dances. I need more.

I need more cooking with accents. Trans people teaching how to fix things around the house, Indigenous people telling me how they feel, and talking about their culture. People who gossip about celebrities and make fun of movies.

Just because I don’t seem to have the app figure out yet, that doesn’t mean I don’t spend a good amount of time watching it. I wrote all that to say that, last week we went camping for the first time.

 

We went to Thunder Ridge Camp Ground, which is 2.5 hours away from home. These are the TikTok videos I created. The only thing I could think of was making a mash-up of Crib MTV and Pimp My Ride. The camper is from 1995, after all. As you can see, it was all filmed in one shot.

MTV Cribs and Pimp My ride.

I will post more about the trip on a different post. If you have TikTok and you follow me here, follow me there too.

Thanks for reading and keep up with my mid 30’s crisis! See you next week!

Be safe, Stay healthy!

J.S

 

You are Enough.

You are enough.

Following the last post about being a failure, this question came to my mind, after listening to a podcast, of the actress/comedian Cristela Alonzo, where she addresses the situation of never being enough. I’m not done listening just yet, but it gives me a great idea to write this post.

The constant feeling of running around the clock, being always good in everything you do, and having great ideas all the time stress us out. Social Media tells us all the time we should get better, either trying to sell us beauty products, weight loss products, and trendy clothes. It’s like we are some sort of experiments for marketers, that gather all of our information, likes and dislikes, to sell us stuff. And make us feel bad. That’s only the portion of beauty standards. There is also the part of success standards.

In my last post, I wrote about how society wants us to be a certain way. Be married by a certain age, have a good job, either have your own company or be a CEO of someone else’s company, have saved money, travel to cool places, drink wine in Italy or Greece and post the sunset picture of these places. It sure feels like you are not doing it enough. We are not Paris Hilton.

It feels like, no matter what you do, you are not doing it enough. Not putting enough hours in your writing, not putting enough hours in your business, not making enough money. While all the worry happens in your brain, you open your IG, and there it is a broker who just sold a million-dollar house, traveling to the Bahamas, with her beautiful family, in a perfect setting. I know I’m not supposed to care about a stranger, but my brain goes to “What am I doing it wrong?’

Being a writer is a long way until you succeed if you ever. Some people are great writers and they can’t get past the fact that they will also have to promote their books, market, network. Unless the person is a personality, who already tackles the fame part. The book is just a bonus for them. I heard many times “Oh you are a writer! Do you have a book yet?” and the common answer is “I’m working on it”. Either on my brain, or I already put some pages out on my computer. Why do I always have to be explaining to look like I have my life on track? The answer is: I don’t.

I keep trying it, but somehow, I always get derailed by some wacky circumstance. Moving, not having enough money to invest in the apps I need to work. Having money to invest in the apps, but then not having the time to work on my projects, since I’m selling my time to a company. It all seems to be working against my projects.

Having to be convinced that all I’m doing is working the way it’s supposed to be, it’s a hard job. We are constantly interrupted by tweets saying “look I have a new amazing job!” or “Travelling around the world and film it to youtube. I already got paid for!” and all you did was eating cookies seating on your couch, while you scroll your phone endlessly. Remember, you are enough.

If eating cookies on your couch while you plan your next move, or dream about what you want next, is enough for now, is all good. Who knows if all that persons posting those photos wishes, were to be seated down, eating cooking while watching random shows on tv, in peace at home. Instead of being frankly posting about their life on the internet to please others.

It’s all about the point of view.

In the age of the internet instant famous people, it feels like you are always behind a new trend. The 30 something age group feels lost and creates animosity against the younger kids, who grew up with a phone in their hands and had plenty of time to learn how to use it. We, the folks that had to work for something, can’t keep up. That makes us feel like we are never doing enough to get the success we are aiming for.

Last year, I stop looking for jobs at LinkedIn. The pressure to succeed is enormous and in that platform, we get one kind of people: The coaches that shove in your face that if you didn’t get what you want, you didn’t work hard enough, woke up early enough, didn’t invest the coffee money. Sometimes you did, and most of still do. Some of us work super hard, but sometimes, we have to do it all alone and it takes longer than someone who had investors. Some of us slept more because we were tired from the day before. Some of us wanted that coffee to have some peace of mind before the day starts.

We are overwhelmed.

Raise your hand if everything was great for you during the pandemic, if you didn’t freak out about having your plans canceled, scared of losing your job, of loved ones getting sick and dying, of never being able to see your friends in person.

My mental health went down the drain and I’m still working to gather all the information we’ve been receiving, with all that happened last year, like a hurricane, spinning the house around and landing on the witch. The witch in this case was the plan I had to keep moving on.

You are not a failure and you are enough. You are doing enough. Don’t let anyone tell you you are not. Get suspicious when you see too much happiness on IG, a nice house and a great job are not always a sign of happiness. Most of the Americans I know are always after assets. These people work their entire life, endless hours, to get a better tv, a better house, a better car, a better education, and so on. The American dream convinces you to work hard to have the best of the best, without measuring the consequences of all this, like the levels of stress and the unhappiness all this pressure can bring. Society makes you feel like you are never doing enough

More! More! Always More.

Work more and show your boss your absolute devotion to a company that is not even his. Make other people feel bad to not work as hard as you. Make them feel behind in life, because your work your butt off, and they didn’t. Life is not always easy, but what everyone forgot is that it might not be easier, because of how you feel about others people’s attitude towards you.

In my culture, we work hard for everything we have, but we also know how to enjoy life the way Americans can’t. We barbecue, we dance, we gather friends and family every time is possible and instead of working hard for stuff, we put it on the credit card and make debt. Just like Americans, but lighter. Josh loves going to Brazil and eat good food and have fun.

We are enough.

You are enough.

Stop for a few minutes and be thankful for just being alive. Make time to appreciate your surrounding.

Thank you for reading it.

I see you around on my social media, while I post pictures of my coffee cup and pie.

JS

Travelling abroad during Covid.

I’m finally back and ready to take the wheel with the blog again. It was a great break, but now it’s time to put in perspective all the new projects I had blocked in my mind because of missing my family.

The last time I went home was December of 2018, and I left with a promise of coming back soon. Or at least having my parents visit me, in case I was not able to take time out to go see them. When Covid started in 2020, we were still hopeful they could come to see us, at some point, until the borders were close, with no intent to open anytime soon.

Mama, I’m coming home.

My mom also had the PCR test done before my arrival.

Not being able to go home last year and hug my parents was a struggle. I was hoping we could switch presidents here in America, so I could travel with peace of mind I would be able to come back to the country without any issue. Brazil is in such a chaotic situation, that if we kept Trump, I might have to stay there, as I’m a resident, and not a citizen of the United States yet.

I promise myself, as soon as the elections were over and he would finally be out of the office, I would buy my tickets to go home. I waited a few days after he left the White House, because of crazy conspiracy theorists, so I could purchase my tickets and that’s exactly what I did. On January 28, I finally purchased my tickets to go home.

All the preparation and anxiety, days without sleeping, waking up in the middle of the night, led me to a state of alert as my eyes were on the news, in case something else changed for the trip.

The PCR Test.

Brasil only lets citizens and Americans in if they have a negative covid test in their hands. My husband and I set up a drive-thru appointment at Walgreens, to do the PCR test before our trip, it costs us about 120 dollars each.

The drive-thru of Walgreens works like the Mcdonalds, but instead of getting food, they give you a swab so you can stick it on your nose. The results come out a little over 24 hours, as the lab works non-stop. I was very nervous because the trip was on Monday, and they told us the results could take up to five business days. We called and the lab told us to be calm, the results would come up fast.

The airport.

Denver doesn’t have direct flights to Brazil, so we bought the domestic leg separated, from United airlines. It’s funny because they are all careful to separate the boarding by rows and yet, you are on a packed plane and being asked if you would like to fly on a different flight.

The flight was crammed with people. The crew served us some snacks on a bag and soft drinks. Besides eating, we were supposed to keep the mask on all the time.

We got in Fort-Lauderlade from Denver to our international flight, to check in our bags and prepare to fly out. At the check-in line, there was an airline worker, making sure we all had a negative covid test in our hands. When we got to the counter, the lady asked for it again and stamped our tickets confirming we were negative.

I asked her if I could put the paper away or if I would have to show it again. She said they would not ask for it in Brasil and explain that it was the airline’s responsibility to check its passengers to make sure everyone was negative before flying. I kept the paper close to my hands anyway.

The flight.

I found out if you seat by the window, the plane will shake less. Booked all the flights with window seats.

As everyone on the plane tested negative, it gave us a little bit more peace of mind for the many hours trapped breathing the same air as other people. The airline crew reinforced that even though everyone was negative, we should keep our masks on, only removing to eat and drink. I’m not gonna lie, it was terrible trying to sleep with the mask on.

Planes are already uncomfortable, I’m an extremely nervous flyer. I’m always on alert even when the entire plane is asleep. I either take some Dramamine or wine. I need something to pass me out and on this trip, my drug of choice was Dramamine. After eating and the cabin lights were turned off, I took my scarf, covered my face, and held the mask in my hand.

The arrival.

When we arrived in the country, it took us a good hour to get out of the plane, as now they are only letting people out, row by row. Let me tell you that people are slow as they can be when it comes to getting out of a plane.

I had my PCR test in my hand, but no one asked me to show it. The Homeland security officer advised my husband that if something happened, like borders closing, he could easily renew his visa stamp for another 3 months. I wish we could stay that long!

The airport in Sao Paulo constantly reminds us over the speakers of the importance of wearing a mask, cleaning our hands, and keeping a distance from others. That’s not what I saw.

Brazil is a huge country and it’s nearly impossible to control the people, as they have a hard time following the rules. Some of them, because they can’t, and some of them because they are stubborn.

People need to work and they don’t have any government subside money to live off. I’ve seen buses crowded with people, with no AC, in 90F degree weather, and that’s Corona paradise. When we left the country was going on lockdown again.

Josh loves Brazil and always has a great time visiting. He loves the food, the people, and how cheap it is for us when we arrive in the country with some dollars. We eat what we want, drink and enjoy the warm weather. My mom is constantly asking why the man is blistering in the heat of the room when he could just be outside with a fan. Whats its torture for us locals, its a blessing to my Indiana guy.

The way back.

Once again, we had to take a PCR test for the trip back. I think it’s fair, as you don’t want to contaminate the airline crew and other passengers, it gives everyone peace of mind. It costs us half of what it costs us in America, expensive for Brazilians, but 1 dollar is worth about 5.70 reais. Let me explain this better. It works like this: If something would cost me 57.00 Reais, I would be paying 10 dollars, plus a small amount of transaction fee.

We had to set up the drive-thru appointment, at the lab stand outside the mall, and wait in line. When it was our turn, the lady was all prepared to perform the test on us, which scared Josh. On this trip to Brazil and another reason why we traveled since the American health system is inexistent.

We went to the doctor and found out Josh has an autoimmune disease, called Nasal polyposis, which is a small benign tumor inside his nose, that can be controlled with antibiotics and medication.

The polyposis obstructs his nose, impeding the PCR Swab to go all the way up. The lady stuck up the swab to my brain, with him, she attempted, but he hurt so bad, she had to stop halfway before he slapped the swab away from her hands. Get the vaccine when it’s available to you, so you don’t have to go thru this invasive procedure.

This time we were requested to show the negative PCR at least three times before boarding our final flight. Once at the Airline check-in point, at the check-in to the international flight in Sao Paulo, and lastly, the Homeland security. Nobody asked us for it inside of the United States.

Traveling with the Covid restrictions was hard, but all worth it.

Seeing my family, spend time with loved ones, and getting josh the treatment he needs was all worth it. We didn’t visit places, didn’t go to any parties, all we did was staying with my family because I still need to protect my parents. After all, they are in the risk group.

I didn’t cry saying goodbye, but I cry my eyes out when the plane took off.

It was hard to say good-bye. It getting harder and harder, as when I go there, I see my parents and I’m not around to be with them. I just have to put on my big girl pants and plan the next trip, hopefully, next January, after the holidays. Since we have to go back to pick up Josh’s medication.

All I have to say is if you want to go home, go home. Life is too short to plan too much, wait for the next opportunity, or to the perfect time to do what you want. Take your chance and jump in, life is a short breath of air. Don’t waste it. Don’t forget to Live out Loud Too!

On the next post, I will write about how going back home re-centers my mind and focus.

J.G.Snelly

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