Taking Havaianas to Brazil

I’m not very good at travelling light. Normally it’s the shoe dilemma that stumps me. But when I found myself packing Havaianas to take with me to Brazil, it was time to have a word!

In my defence this is a longer trip that usual. Two months that will start with a week or so of pure vacation and then onto six weeks of  volunteering to mentor young entrepreneurs who are starting up social enterprises ahead of the 2016 Olympic games. I’ve never done anything like this before and I am both excited and nervous in equal measures.

Don’t rush through your 50s. Take your time, enjoy. They’ll be over soon enough.

Words of advice from my Uncle Ronnie on my 50th birthday.   I wish I’d acted on them sooner. But here I am, on the wrong side of 55, and a testament to the perils of working alone from my kitchen table for far too long.  Sitting for much of the past three years has meant that my behind has now spread to fit the shape of my dining room chair, my waist has expanded to the point where my Pilates teacher has something substantial to hang onto as she corrects my postures, and my shoulders are permanently tensed up around my ears. It’s time for a change. Time to shake things up. Time to get moving.

Notice period complete, I am excited to start this new phase of my life. Why Rio, you may ask? Quite honestly, when I think of Rio I think of fun  – samba, smiling faces, carnival – and I feel as though I am ready for some of that.  Add to that the challenges of volunteering and travelling with a purpose and it feels like a pretty great way for a solo traveller to become immersed in a whole new culture and way of life.

I’ll let you know how it all turns out – warts and all. I’ll be sharing my experiences, tips, tricks and anecdotes along the way. If my camera doesn’t get stolen in the first week  (yes, I’ve been warned by many people about staying safe and avoiding being mugged) I will also be sharing photos of my travels.

I’d love to read your comments and thoughts on my posts and any tips that you may have on getting the best out of Brazil. For now, it’s back to my packing. I think I can probably remove that sixth pair of jeans. After all, I’m pretty sure they have shops in Rio.

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