Top 12 things I’ll miss about Brazil:
1. Rio de Janeiro. Best beaches I’ve ever been to. I relaxed there for the first time in a long time.
2. Getting to wear a thong in public and no one cares.
3. Getting to wear leggings as pants and no one questions your sense of fashion.
4. Fresh mango juice. Fresh pineapple and mint juice.
5. Pao de queijo.
6. Brigadeiro with chocolate sprinkles.
7. Acai na tigela. With granola. And honey.
8. The relaxed culture. The only one who has expectations for me is me. My perfectionism has been challenged here, which I think is only healthy.
9. Places staying open past closing time without complaints. They technically close at 11 and you wander up wanting beer at 11:15? No problem.
10. Being an American is generally a good thing here. Something I can’t say for many other countries, where we’re seen on a spectrum from neutral to hatred. It’s nice not to have a negative stereotype stamped onto you the moment you meet somebody.
11. It’s an easy place to be a language-learner. Your Portuguese is always good, even when it’s bad, and almost everyone is willing to try to understand you, even though you may sound like a retarded toddler.
12. It’s easy to make fast friends. I have less positive things to say about the depth of many people I’ve met, but Brazilians sure do know how to be friendly with strangers. It’s easy to show up in a place and have people to go out with within a week, and as a foreigner, that’s invaluable and appreciated.