Other than Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas, I’ve never left the U.S. I am absolutely beyond excited to experience a different culture and a new language (Portuguese, not Spanish, by the way) and step foot on a new continent. I work with and have many Brazilian clients. When I tell them I’m going to Rio, I am met with a passionate and proud list of things to do, eat and drink: Cristo Redentor, Sugar Mountain, the Museums, brigadieros (a type of candy), feijoada (a pork dish), fresh fruit juices and more.
Of course, there are plenty of Debbie Downer Americans: what about Zika? ISIS? Economic turmoil! Let me put your minds at ease.
It’s winter in Rio. Zika is not as big of a threat as it was. And, it’s only really concerning if you want to start a family, which I don’t.
As far as ISIS, well, it appears that everywhere is a target. Movies, clubs, churches, French cafes…. so nowhere is safe. And honestly, Jen and I both believe that if we changed our plans because of the threat of terrorism, then the terrorists win. Of course, we will be vigilant and follow the “if you see something, say something” mantra. Or as I like to say, “If someone sets down a backpack and walks away, run like hell.”
I have a list of names and numbers of connections in Rio. Including one the top dogs in the Federal Police force who is part of security details of American heads of state. So if something truly bad happens, there are people we can turn to.
Oh, and one other thing, for the first time ever, the Olympics have an official bug spray sponsor. Off! will be giving out free sample sizes everywhere. So there’s that.