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Brazil and Carnival (Carnaval)

My feet are back on American soil after a few weeks in South America. However, my mind and my heart are still soaring with the energy of my trip to Brazil for the annual Carnaval festival. The Brazilians struck a chord in my heart that filled my whole spirit. If you have the opportunity to make the pilgrimage to this wonderful country then I would highly recommend you do.The thing that struck me most about the Brazilian people was the genuine warmth that they exude. I love America and I am a California girl through and through, but there was a certain relaxed vibe about the Brazilians that is not natural to America. I think when you live in a country where wealth and success are the ultimate end goal, there is a certain undercurrent of competition in all we do. I am not saying that it is necessarily a bad thing. I just noticed the difference.

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I especially noticed it in the women. Brazilian women are extremely friendly and so lovely. The self-confidence of the women there was in stark contrast to the standard insecurity of American women. The difference was so obvious to me that I actually felt a little sad for my American sisters and how hard we are on each other and ourselves. Not that it is entirely our fault. Our magazines are covered with images of gaunt, frail, under-weight women. In America, the thinnest one wins. Period end.

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The Brazilian magazines promote a much more natural and normal standard of beauty. The covers of their magazines look astonishingly more like real women. Patches of belly fat and a little extra hip were not air brushed away and I was in awe how lovely these natural beauties were.  The reflection of this shines in the self-confidence throughout the country. Women smile at each other. They embrace each other. They have warmth between them that is so effortless that I felt a void in my heart for American women that I didn’t even know existed.

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Even the lead performers in the Carnaval festival were imperfect. You could tell many of them work out, exercise, and eat healthy. However, they didn’t have an air brushed quality that is the standard in America that makes every single one of us feel like a failure. They had bits of cellulite and maybe even some stretch marks, but they were so happy and shiny that their beauty was undeniable. Don’t get me wrong. Brazil ranks among the top of countries getting plastic surgery with breast implants and liposuction topping the list of elected procedures. When I say “natural” I don’t necessarily mean they have not caught on to the trend of having a little nip and tuck here and there. But overall the country doesn’t feel like an episode of the House Wives of Orange County.  There seems to be a level of acceptance or even encouragement for a little more room to breathe. So I leave Brazil the way I leave Burning Man every year, with hope and a full heart.

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I hope you will enjoy the photos I took of the amazing Carnaval parade at the Sambadrome and will continue to follow me on my adventures in the world. If you enjoy connecting with me, maybe consider sharing my site with a friend.

Love always,

Nesta!

 

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Samuel J
We were lucky enough to have my good friend Samuel J sherpa us through our stay in Florianopolis. Samuel is a new member of our tribe who we recently met at Burning Man. An incredibly talented singer song writer, Samuel is British born, yet has been living in Brazil for the last 9 years. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule from recording his new album to come down from Sao Paolo to share an incredible week of surfing, hiking, yoga, pilates, music, and friendship with us. I hope you will take time to check out this rising star and I can’t wait for his new release “Into the Light” which releases this year!

 

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DJ Carla Schwiderski
Samuel brought with him another bright light, Carla Schwiderski. She is one of Brazil’s top Dj’s but more importantly she is a beautiful, kind, and wonderful soul. Carla will be moving to the US this summer and I look forward to watching her career unfold as she crosses over into the US market. Definitely stay tuned to see what happens with this Brazilian beauty.

Top 5 things to do in Brazil!

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1. Carnaval at the Sambadrome!. If you have the opportunity, do not miss this! It is an experience of a lifetime. If cost is an issue, don’t worry. Even the cheapest seat in the house is a good one. Choose a less popular night and just go. You will not be disappointed.

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2.Florianopolis Go there. If you wondered where the most beautiful and loving people hang out in Brazil, look no further. I was blown away by the energy and vibe of this small surf town. Not to mention the people. They are incredibly good looking and I live in LA so that is saying ALOT!! You can surf, hike, eat, party, or just chill at one of the many beautiful Praia’s. Praia Mole is top pick for sure.

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3. Take a yoga class from this Master Pedroca Castro Pedroca and his amazing, beautiful wife Iaia. They teach classes at their retreat compound  as well as several other places on the island. Whatever you do, try connecting with them. They are bright lights in the area and loved by literally everyone on the island.

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4. Party all night at Confraria Club!
Such a good vibe and not oversold so there is room to dance. May be the best club I have been to. It has great energy and the people are amazing. Granted I was there during Carnaval so it was really hopping but I think you would have a great time dancing the night away here.

Redeemer Rio de Janeiro

5. Visit Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. Ok it is kind of a tourist attraction but it offers some of the most spectacular views of the city and is definitely worth 2 hours of your day to make the trek up to the top. Hop on a Parque Nacional Da Tijuca shuttle and it will take right to the top of the mountain.  From here you can take in the vastness and density of this 20 million-person city.

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9 March 2014 Thoughts