Janelas Abertas in English
(Text in English below)
Novidade neste fim de ano: o Janelas Abertas agora vai ter posts em inglês! Já tava querendo fazer isso faz tempo, mas resolvi parar de procrastinar. A ideia não é traduzir o blog inteiro, nem fazer versões bilíngues dos posts, mas sim escrever, de tempos em tempos, sobre meu Brasilzinho lindo e esses mimimis aleatórios da minha cabeça num viés mais voltado pros gringos :) Assim, meus amigos estrangeiros podem acompanhar parte do blog, eu pratico a escrita no idioma e, quem sabe, desperto em algumas pessoas a vontade de conhecer a terra brasilis. Peço um desconto pelos inevitáveis erros e coisa e tal, mas o importante é passar a mensagem, né? Então vamo simbora nessa viagem com “open windows” pra o mundo ;)
Hi! This is my first blog post in English here at Janelas Abertas (which means “Open Windows”, in case you’re wondering). If you can’t read Portuguese, this is probably the first time you stop by, so please allow me to introduce myself and this blog. I’m a 25 year-old Brazilian journalist born and raised in Recife, the capital of Pernambuco, a lovely state on the Northeast coast of Brazil.
A few years ago I found out that traveling can be way less expensive and more rewarding than most people think. To help spread the word about that, I write about travel tips and itineraries, living abroad, language learning and, of course, about trying to discover myself as I discover more of the world :)
But now that you know the basics, I’m going to travel back in time a bit to explain a little better why this blog came into being. I’ll do that not because I think that my life story is special, but because our past influences who we are – and also because trying to change ourselves for better is a fundamental part of life.
My love affair with traveling began even before I was born. My grandfather on my mother’s side was one of Brazil’s greatest Chemists, so he moved around a lot, teaching at universities such as Columbia, Indiana, Caltech, Geneva and Oxford, until he decided to come back and help science and education further advance in his country. My mum and her siblings followed him on most of his journeys, so I grew up listening to all these stories about different places and cultures.
However, I didn’t travel abroad myself until I was 15, when my birthday gift was to spend some time in San Diego (USA) with my aunt. At the time, I was this highly insecure teenager who cherished her comfort zone more than everything and came back feeling happy to be home. But four years later I decided it was time to let go of my fears and start opening my eyes to the world. So I went on my first exchange program: I spent one month in Buenos Aires (Argentina), and started to realize how awesome these experiences could be. Later the same year I departed to Seville (Spain), where I spent six months, through a university exchange program. And then, there was no way out: I was hooked.
After graduation, I went to Lyon (France), to study French and travel a bit around Europe. While I was there, I received an offer for a scholarship to pursue a master’s in Communications in Valladolid (Spain, once again), so it wasn’t long before I was back in Europe again. And since I was determined to make the best out of that year, I decided to extend my trip and get a taste of life in Budapest (Hungary) while doing a short internship at an NGO. And here I am now, back in Recife, working and making a billion plans ^^
This blog was born right before I went to Valladolid, as a means to document my adventures over there so that I could look back to it in the future, and as a way to share what I discovered, since it didn’t seem natural to keep it all to myself.
But since my first post at Janelas Abertas, some things have changed in the way I see my life and stuff around me, and a lot of that has to do with traveling, meeting people and crossing the boundaries I had set myself. From the scared 15 year-old to the person I am now, quite a lot has changed, but there’s still a bunch of other boundaries to cross – literally and metaphorically ;)
It has been a very enjoyable ride so far. The idea of turning 25 and not having a very clear idea of what I wanted out of life had always scared me, but then it happened: one more birthday came and I felt surprisingly excited about the idea of the unknown. Although I do see things clearer than before, the infinite possibilities that the future holds fascinate me, and the challenge of trying to better understand the world is quite thrilling – don’t you agree?
Soooo, after all this blablabla, I now invite you to join me in this journey, as I try to open my mind – that’s kind of the point behind the blog’s name, btw – and unravel some more bits of this amazing world. Shall we?