Woken up in Paradise: My First Impression of Floripa, Brazil

Vinayak Rao is a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an ISA Featured blogger. Vinayak is currently studying abroad with ISA in Florianopolis, Brazil.

When given the prompt, “describe how your first few days in your host country has been”, I laughed out loud at the idea of summing up my experiences in words. The past four days have been unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and unless you are here with me in this amazing city then you cannot understand the plethora of shocks, not only cultural I’ve experienced. Here’s my best attempt:

View of Florianopolis, Brazil

Floripa is a city whose beauty cannot be captured in pictures, described by words or understood by speech. It has to be absorbed in the eyes of the beholder. When I sit down by the board walk, look out at mountains, Atlantic Forest and the vast blue expanse that is the ocean, I have to pinch myself. I wonder if I’ve gone to sleep and woken up in Paradise, a utopia I once thought to be only possible in my dreams. Like I’ve said, words cannot describe the vast beauty of this city and only if you are among those with me in calling Floripa home can you understand what I’m going through.

Restaurant in Floripa,Brazil

Author: vinayakrao

Ola! Meu nome é Vinayak. I’m a communication major at The University of Massachusetts at Amherst. From the tropical beaches of Southern India to the colonial expanses of Northeastern Massachusetts, I’ve called several places my home. Traveling holds a special place in my heart. Having parents that have been across the globe and having family that lives across an equally wide expanse has taught just how large, diverse and beautiful this planet is. This is why I’m studying abroad. I want to begin experiencing what my parents have and I want to have stories of my own to pass on. Every bit of culture I can absorb will make me a better person, and in my time in Floripa, I hope to learn as much as I can. From an anxious tourist I hope to become a native well versed in the local culture, and through this blog you’ll get to see my transition as I make Florianopolis one of my homes.

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