Whenever I see the billboard advertisement for Corona I sigh. A gasp of air escapes my lungs and I go off into my own little world. I get that glazed look in my eyes and immediately want to be sitting on that beach with a cold beer in my hand, as the sun sets in the distance. For a micro second, in my mind, it’s exactly where I am.
Honestly it doesn’t make me want to go out and buy a carton of Coronas, instead it makes me want to go book a holiday. Or I just end up feeling sad that I can’t escape my ruin.
Exactly 5 years ago I was in that billboard. Well not literally. And it wasn’t Mexico, but Brazil. I was in Rio De Janeiro experiencing what was the most eye opening, jaw dropping experience of my life. Rio Carnival.
I had travelled before, but I really think until that point my eyes were closed.
After a 72 hour delayed flight from Miami a derelict taxi finally drove us to our hostel. The smell of rotten fruit and ammonia filled our lungs as we watched on as drunk people staggered home from a big night of partying. The kick off party that we missed. I think we counted half a dozen drunkards emptying their bladders in the street on that taxi ride. That was our welcome to Brazil.
We got dropped in the middle of a mess that was the aftermath of the first night of carnival in the party precinct of Lapa. The hostel no where to be seen. A bunch of kids showed us the way, then demanded money or they were going to take our bags. The hostel manager got rid of them for us and then proceeded to give us a stern warning about not trusting the kids. The kids were dangerous.
My memories of this experience: Block parties. Dancing. Vibrancy. Acai. Energy. Haloumi. Vulnerability. Unpredictability. Fun. Fear. Discomfort.
I am not telling you this to try and sway you to get out of your comfort zone (although you probably should), and it’s not the entire story (Perhaps one day I’ll tell it, it’s a good story I promise).
I am telling you this to show the exact point my brain switched.
Where I decided there is more to life than living in a cubicle, living someone else’s idea of being normal.
This is where my eyes truly opened. This is where the seed was planted, yet lay dormant for another 5 years. This is where I’ll start this blog.