This is a transcript of a video I made, so there might be a few weird errors, lets just roll with it.
Hi, I'm Sean Morgan. I'm the founder of Breakthrough Brazil Retreats. I'm from the United States, but I've been living in Brazil for 2 years. Before that, I lived abroad throughout South America, Asia, and Europe for 3 years. One of the things I love about traveling, is the ability to get really objective about your own culture and your own beliefs. Now that I have traveled, I understand much more about American culture, and what makes us unique. If I had one word to describe America, it would probably be "ambition". Not selfish ambition, but ambition to push the boundaries, discover, innovate, and achieve independence for yourself and your family. This is not a bad thing.
But now that I have lived in Brazil for 2 years, I know how different the Brazilian mentality is. If I had one word to describe Brazilian culture, it would be "Juntos", which means "together". And if I had a few more words allowed, I would include carinoso, familia, and festa- affectionate, family, and party! As you can see, all of the Brazilian Portuguese words have to do with being social and connected to the ones you love.
When my Brazilian wife was upgraded for a flight to be allowed to sit with her mother and I, she started screaming with delight in the airport. I was a bit shocked by her behavior, but I was also touched that sitting together with us meant so much to her. When you see a crowd of people sitting and watching a show in Brazil, you will see most of the couples actively caressing each other (in a completely appropriate way for public). You will also see more hand holding and a lot more kissing (socially acceptable kissing).
In Brazil, it is customary to kiss all women on the cheek when you meet them and when you say goodbye. I have never kissed a stranger before, so this was new to me. I was also shocked when my brother-in-law kissed me on the cheek, as I have never been kissed by a man before. However, in Brazil, being kissed by your in-laws in the greatest show of trust!
Brazilians love babies! If you have one, be prepared for strangers to come and try to kiss, hold, and touch them. In America, if you are over 40 years old, you get a certain level of respect compared to when you are younger. In contrast, in Brazil, elders don't look down on you if you are a young person. They don't force you to prove yourself, or command your respect. In Brazil, it is cool to be young and unfortunately, not so cool to be old.
A nice thing about traveling in Brazil is that the country is very open to foreigners. Brazil is a mosaic of cultures from indigenous, African, European, and others. The level of English isn't very high, but Brazilians are always willing to try to figure out any communication challenges. You don't get rudeness for being from a different culture or looking different. Sometimes you might get a few stares if you don't look like a "typical" Brazilian, but to be sure, it is not meant to be rude.
In summary, Brazil is one of the best places in the world to travel, especially for Latin Americans, North Americans, And Europeans because of the similarity in culture. Of all of the countries I have traveled to in Latin America, Sao Paulo, Brazil is the most like Europe It's something like southern Italy in the way people constantly drink espresso, speak emotionally, and kiss each other often.
If you are lucky enough to connect with a Brazilian, you will have a friend for life. And if you fall in love with one, get ready for an overload of emotions and affection. For me, this is real magic. If this culture appeals to you, please contact me and we can set you up with a custom retreat to experience everything Brazil has to offer for culture, nature, food, and music. And since we do "Breakthrough Retreats", you can break an addiction or achieve a personal goal at the same time!