This is Why I Travel 

 December 31, 2020

By  Wilson

Traveling Solo to Barra Da Tijuca in Brazil for 2 Nights

I arrived in Rio a week ago. I had to finish up work before we hit the holiday break. I think I worked 12 hours each day for 3 days before Christmas Eve… ouch.

Since I’ve started becoming a full-time WFH Nomad, I have significantly reduced my stays in shared dorms at hostels. Why? Because I need to find a place to stay so that I can work effectively and have my privacy.

For the Christmas and New Years break, I have about 10 straight days off. So this was an opportunity for me to go back temporarily to my old, non-WFH days where I traveled either without a job or while I was on break.

Leaving Rio for Barra Da Tijuca

Barra Da Tijuca is about an hour away from the center of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a lot different – it’s like your typical suburb of a big city.

Right outside Barra Da Tijuca – Recreio

I had to check out from my hotel from Rio at 11am. I had not yet booked my accommodation for the same evening. In fact – I made the decision to go directly to the hostel in Barra Da Tijuca without making any reservations and without knowing anybody.

This was the adventurous and spontaneous spirit that I’ve gained from the last 7 years of traveling, and I wanted to go “back” to that.

Language Barrier

When I was in Guadalajara, Mexico, I feel like I was conversationally fluent in Spanish (starting from scratch) by maybe the 5th month. I have to say – I’m quite impressed with my Portuguese at this stage – I feel like my Portuguese is already better than the level I mentioned above (5 months into my Guadalajara experience) now that I am two and half months into my experience Brazil.

Anyways – I made it to the hostel (I saw on hostelworld.com but had not booked anything yet). I spoke my broken Portuguese with the lady and booked my reservations for two nights. She told me that so far I was the only person in this 9-bed dorm.

The view of Barra De Guaratiba

I packed three things for this trip: cell phone charger, 2 days worth of clothes, and toiletries. I left my other things in the storage room at the hotel in Rio. Suddenly two young men opened the door and I realized I was going to have 2 roommates.

Language Barrier does not Hinder Making Friends

These two young men named Nicholas and Matheus spoke zero English. They are from a small town called Uberaba in the state of Minas Gerais in the center of Brazil, and they have traveled to Barra Da Tijuca. What’s that in Gringo language? They’re from Oklahoma.

But this essentially meant that they spoke with a very heavy accent and with a lot of slang. I had to ask them to repeat and slow down…3 times… almost every sentence they spoke. I felt bad, but it was really obvious that they really appreciated me trying and learning Portuguese the way Camila explained overcoming language barriers on my podcast.

The friends I made from Uberaba, Minas Gerais. Nicholas is in the back left. Matheus is in the back middle.

They started teaching me heavy slang from Minas Gerais. “Ta Xique”? Every time I said that they would laugh. Apparently it means “it’s cool” – but the fact that I was foreign speaking their slang made it hilarious.

They introduced me to more friends who traveled with them: Bruna and Wainer. Towards the end, because I had a fantastic experience spending two days with them, I told them that I would really consider visiting them in the next few months.

This is Why I Travel

After two great days, featuring a trek to the Telégrafo Stone, I left Barra Da Tijuca and came back to Rio. The trip served as a reminder that traveling is the greatest Christmas gift I could ever receive. The ability for me to break down language barriers, consolidate differences, and foster relationships with friendly people from all over the world is extremely rewarding to me.

Me at the top of Telégrafo Stone

Thank you to Matheus, Nicholas, Bruna, and Wainer – after all of these years of being a WFH Nomad, they have made the motives of my lifestyle clear. At the end of the day, I look at great people like them and can definitively make the statement.

This is why I travel.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Hi, my name is Wilson, founder of WFH Nomad. I was born and raised in the US, and I boast engineering and business degrees from top programs in the US. I work a normal, WFH job for a great company in America. I am extremely passionate about traveling and my job in the Tech industry, and the best part of the WFH Nomad concept is that I can do both at the same time.

I have traveled to over 47 different countries in my lifetime and I look forward to continue this lifestyle for the foreseeable future. Thanks for visiting the website!

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