Once in a Lifetime Experience
Last summer, I went to Brazil. My friend, Leo, is from there originally and invited me to stay with him and his mom. After months of dealing with all of the Passport crap and red tape, I was finally on my way. I never thought I would be so scared to visit another country. The pressure of flying out of the country for the first time alone was pretty overbearing. Thoughts of me missing the plane or getting on the wrong one just wouldn’t leave me alone. Customs in the Rio de Janeiro Airport was really intimidating. The Swine Flu was still a huge problem and any hint of sickness was inspected thoroughly. Leo and his mom, Leticia, were waiting on me right where they said they would be (even though those scared thoughts kept saying they wouldn’t be). Leticia has to be the best driver ever. Motorcycles drove on the lines between cars, the roads are narrower, and yet the roads still fit more lanes than roads in the U.S. Leticia’s apartment was so comfortable and homey. Leo’s friends were so excited to see me and hear me speak English. The first meal Leticia cooked for me was possibly the greatest meal I’ve ever eaten. Brazilian food is so rich in taste and flavor, with no shortage of rice and beans. The food in Brazil is amazing, the traffic is crazy, and the people love Americans.
Dealing with all of the paperwork to travel outside of the country is not fun at all. It took 3 months, over ten phone calls to the Brazilian Embassy, and a lot of money just to get a passport. After finally receiving the passport, I had to purchase the plane tickets. Out of the country flights are not cheap. There are a lot of security issues with international flights that just make the whole process last longer than I thought it would.
This was not only my first time flying out of the country, but my first time flying alone. Horror stories of people getting kidnapped and killed were lingering in the back of my mind every day until...