A More Simple Way of Living

by - 2:02 PM

I am in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. 

This is the second time I am travelling, not like a vacationer or tourist, but living like a local. The first time I lived in Manhattan, New York City (in which I will write about later).  But for now, Brazil!

It's my first time in South America and already I am seeing life lived here is very different. I'm here visiting family and have come to a couple conclusions about Brazil's way of life that I need to adopt into my own.

S p a c e.

Well, there's not much of it here.
When I first arrived in the city, all I could see was colourful concrete buildings, rocky uneven pavement, and traffic....lots of traffic. So much traffic that when we would come to a stop, there were people on the side of the road selling food, water, art, and car chargers. The only ones who were exempt from the jams were crazy people on motor bikes. They would commonly drive in between the cars to get to the front, pulling back mirrors so they don't hit them. The way they weaved in and out of traffic was getting me nervous and yet I was suddenly happy I wasn't subjected to that mode of transportation from the airport AND relieved I didn't have to drive at all during my time spent here in Brazil.

The houses are all so close to one another that I can literally open my window and talk to my neighbour right across the way (and believe me, that happened. His name is Carlos and a close family friend to my sister-in-law).

My bedroom cannot be more than 8x6 feet yet I manage to fit in perfectly. The window is so big that sunlight just pours in and there is so much cupboard space that everything has it's place. Back home, Im starting to realize that we have a lot of space. Maybe too much? Let me explain.

(View from the balcony at the house I am staying at)

At home, we all want more space. Bigger houses, our own office at work, and we are constantly plugged in (ipod/laptop/ipad/iphone,etc) in our own head space, away from everyone else. It's not an 'abnormal' thing, it's just how our culture is. We are very individualistic in our living. In comparison to our over indulged lifestyles, here they have less yet they have more.

In Brazil, the lack of "space" creates community. I'm finding more and more that everyone around here is so loving. When someone comes to the house to visit, they go to everyone in the house, greets them with a hug and a kiss on the right cheek, even if they are strangers! (like myself). I like this. We try to overload ourselves with money, space, technology, power and never seem to get anywhere. We miss the mark. I feel here they have a better grasp of what is important.

Family. Love. Community. Celebration. Music. Dance.

They don't seem to be saturated with the same kind of ideals as we are.

Every meal that is made is SO GOOOD (always served with rice and beans, no complaints here!) and everyone comes to the table to eat. Family. That was a rare thing in my life. We never had routine with meals and when we did sit down as a family it was either rushed or someone was missing from the table. I want to make an effort to have more meals like this. Sitting down. Conversation. Passing food between one another. love. community. family.

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