a year abroad: 2018 adventures

2018 marks the first full year Dave and I have lived abroad. And what a parade of adventures it has been!

Of course, my plan was to blog extensively about each and every one. But alas, time–and a stupid Iphone photo configuration issue {GRRRRR}–has prevented that. But as I look back on the year and get excited for the next, I can’t help but revisit the places we’ve…well…visited.

We spent January in Rio learning Portuguese. I wrote about that here and here.

For carnaval in February, we road tripped through Curitiba (cool little Brazilian city) to Florianopolis (Brazilian island) to Blumenau (mountain town known for Oktoberfest).

Mid-March, we zipped over to our favorite quick beach getaway town: Guarujá. The end of March brought us jam sessions at Lollapalooza.

Early April, we fell in love with the mountain town of Campos do Jordão. When can we go back?!

The last weekend of April, we found ourselves on chilling on Boiçucanga Beach with a friend. I did my first open water swim there in training for a triathlon.

June and July took us home to friends and family in Colorado. We camped, hiked, spent 6 nights at a silent retreat, reconnected with friends, and visited with Dave’s family in the mountains. Oh yeah, and I completed my first sprint triathlon!

In September, I traveled with our senior class to Pernambuco. I swam in Recife waters, where some of the most deadly shark attacks are prevalent!

In October, we rented an AirBnB with some of our friends in Guarujá. We also attended one helluva Halloween party.

One Saturday in November, we attended one of the best beer festivals ever! We can’t wait for next year.

For November, we also drank a lot of wine and enjoyed stunning scenery in the beautiful Mendoza valley of Argentina.

And in two days, Santa is bringing us friends with whom we’ll ring in the New Year and do some more exploring of Brazil.

And then we start 2019 off right with a dream trip to Patagonia!

As I finish this post, I cannot help but think of one of my favorite Scriptures, Psalm 16:6:

Thanksgiving trip to Buenos Aires

I know, I know. I am trips behind in blogging. Such is the way of the writing life when there is just too much living happening.

And I’m ok with that.

But before I lose the pictures, and more accurately the memories, I want to share about our trip to Buenos Aires for Thanksgiving of 2017. It was our first intercontinental, international South America adventure. Such easy and quick access to another country was surreal and awed us again with this blessed life we are living.

For the most part, we ate and drank our way through town–as is our usual mojo; good thing we did a ton of walking! We arrived late on Thursday night to our hotel by way of taxi. Uber is illegal in Buenos Aires, so most of our transportation was the flagging-down-type. By the end, we felt like such New Yorkers. Thursday night we hit some dive bar next to our hotel in Palermo where we bellied up next to college kids and other late-night hipsters. The food was terrible, but we had our first experience with how weighty the dollar is to the peso…wow, the best bottle of wine on the menu was under $10. It was crazy!

One of our days we spent strolling through La Recoleta Cemetery, which was hauntingly beautiful at first, then abundant in spiders (everywhere, ewww) and redundancy. It was odd to see how much money people spend on something that eventually becomes someone else’s tourist attraction. Naturally, afterward, we quenched our thirst at a nearby brewery. The sunshine was warm and the beer was cold.

On the other day, we toured open-air markets. We bought these really cool gemstone wire baskets to hold crystals. They also serve as a meditation mandala-like tool. It honestly was one of the most unique items we’ve ever seen at a market and we were glad to snatch up a few of these handiworks. Down the street from the market was the world’s most del.i.cious French bakery that I would go back to in a heartbeat.

In general, we loved Buenos Aires–though it ate up our cash (few places accept credit cards). It was a beautiful town with cobblestone streets and colonial buildings juxtaposed with street art (that Dave was constantly stopping to photograph) and urban vibes. We ate well, and late. Craft beer (!) was everywhere. And…the streets were on a grid! No spaghetti-esc scattering of streets like in Sampa. The best part was… SPANISH! It felt so good to be in a foreign country that didn’t feel so foreign. Dave and I felt right at home butchering our Spanish, and it was a small victory after so many difficulties learning Portuguese.

It is still hard to believe that our flight from “home” to Buenos Aires was the same duration as a flight from Colorado to Illinois.

This life of adventure rocks.

Here are some pics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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