Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Making a Change

I'm living a backwards life, and I'm sure anyone living in a foreign country can relate to some extent. When I'm living in Rio, all I can think about is how much I miss Mexican food, my family, my friends, cold nights, ugg boots, good tv etc. But when I'm in my little town of Ojai, all I can think about is how much I miss açaí, my namo, buses, the beach, chopp, Portuguese, etc.

So I've decided to intervene. I am so lucky to have not one, but two amazing homes, in beautiful cities, and I am wasting it by not "living in the now". The weekend trip to Santa Cruz was sort of my wake up call and since coming home, I've made two big steps towards taking advantage of my great life in Ojai.

I think the basis of these changes should be taking advantage of things I can do here, that I am not able to do in Brazil. The first thing that comes to mind is FOOD (how obvious!). Instead of binge eating Mexican food for the next 6 months (the past month and a half was excessive enough), I've decided to return to my vegan ways. It's day #2 and it's going great.

It's funny, I've been vegan once before in my life and I find that the decision is met with a lot of hostility. Some people get personally offended when others choose this "lifestyle". So for any haters out there, I carefully watch what nutrients I get and YES it is possible to get B12 without consuming animal products. I realize that being a vegan is something I could never do in Brazil (I can't even imagine trying to explain to the sogra why I can't eat anything she cooks, nor would I dare to do so...)

My second big step was joining a yoga studio in town. There are yoga studios in Rio, so I guess this isn't 100% unique to california, but none that are this cheap and taught in English. I'm pretty excited about this change in attitude and choice to be more positive about my living arrangements, lets see how long it lasts!


  1. Hi!
    I randomly stumbled on your blog and I just wanted to say hi and that I've had fun reading it so far. I'm from Fremont, CA and I was laughing as I read that you went to that Brazilian Cafe in santa Cruz because my family and I have been trying to go there for weeks before I left but there is always a crazy line. I am in Argentina right now and arriving in Rio to study at PUC Rio on the 16th, where did you study when you did your exchange?


  2. Hey, that is so exciting that you are going to study at PUC. I also studied there and started in Feb of 2009...whoaaaa I haven't realize yet how long ago that was. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email:

  3. When I'm living in Rio, all I can think about is how much I miss Mexican food, my family, my friends, cold nights, ugg boots, good tv etc...

    Missing your friends and family is understandable.

    Cold nights you can get in the South, South-East of Brazil in the hill/mountains.

    Ahhh look it that, a typical US citizen who misses so called "american idols tv show" and her local Taco bell restaurant :D. Do you know how many US citizens outside the US type how much they miss Mexican food? I wonder why since it's not a USA tradition to eat mexican food..or perhaps it's just so much better than real "mainstream" food from the US like for example Mcdonalds, pizza hut, apple pie (what is Dutch) and burger king..upps wait, the Brazilians (Brazilian hedgefund 3G Capital) took that one over....:D

    Dutch expat ( a fancy word for immigrant) in Miami Florida

  4. Nancy, perhaps you can do some research and blog about how
    "well" people from the US integrate into so called mainstream Brazilian culture, whatever that is, since each region (Brazil has 5) has literally it's own culture and habits that variates sometimes state by state in the same region. Since majority of US citizens only go to Rio de Janeiro-RJ and Sao Paulo-SP (seriously, sometimes it looks they only know those cities and when they go there, they act as if they know whole Brazil), to live or study, or something else. In my opinion Europeans integrate faster in Brazil while keeping their own "real" culture (what is encouraged by the Brazilian government, federal and state level) compare to the people from the US.

  5. Nice blog! Gonna follow :) I also used to be a vegan but nowdays I also eat milk an egg.. I think I'd find it harder to be vegan here in Brazil then in my country, Finland...BJO

  6. If you miss your family toooo much than I highly recommend CWIIL AIR ( for your (or their) traveling requirements. They provide Single Window Solutions so you not have to worry about anything from the time you leave till the time you come back home :)


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