#2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I'm excited to share the first city out of three that I traveled to during my trip to Brazil last month - RIO! I landed in Rio de Janeiro just in time for the big celebrations centered around Carnivale; a long-standing tradition leading up to Fat Tuesday before Lent. Rio holds the largest Carnivale celebration on earth and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to see and participate in this wonderful tradition up close.

Aside from celebrating this colorful, beautiful, vibrant holiday, Rio is seriously one of the most stunning cities that I've ever been to. The beaches are endless and expansive, the famous landmarks are absolute must-sees, great hiking and nature, the food is fresh, and the people are so welcoming. I was in Rio for about 7 days total, and it really began to feel like home - I'd grab coffee at the same shop every morning and chat with the locals there, went running along the coast multiple times, and made great friendships with other travelers. 

This episode features two conversations with people that I met in my hostel in the neighborhood called Leme, just north of Copacabana. Ricky is originally from Belgium, traveled to Rio, and never looked back. He volunteers and works in the hostel that I stayed in and thinks he won't ever leave. I also spoke with Pablo, originally from Chile, who owns the hostel that I stayed in. After lots of traveling when he was younger, he decided that Rio was the place he wanted to make home, and built the hostel from the ground-up. I'm so glad I crossed paths with these two wonderful people, and I hope that I accurately expressed the crazy passionate vibe that is Rio de Janeiro.