Tag Archives: brazil

A Hobo Becomes Vagrant

For the second time: I arrived to Peru, began planning my trip to Cusco, and--suddenly--had to make an emergency trip back to the States. This time, it's not for a work trip to India--it's because my employment has abruptly come to an end.

A document is shown that reads "Spirit Boarding Pass. From Lima. To Fort Lauderdale, FL. Boarding Time 10:15 AM. Depart 11:00 AM. Arrive 05:54 PM."
Unexpected flight back home

ho·​bo  / ˈhō-(ˌ)bō /
(n.) a migratory worker

After my weekend trip to Foz do Iguaçu, I arrived to Lima to discover that my department's Director, myself, and many of my colleagues had been laid off. While it was a total surprise, I'm thinking positive. Though I can't call myself a hobo anymore, I can now be free to wander as a proper vagrant.

va·​grant  / ˈvā-grnt /
(n.) one who has no established residence and wanders from place to place without visible means of support

I've had many projects (including this blog) that I've wanted to dedicate more time to, and now I should have ample time to complete. I've had to scrap my plans for Cusco once again, but I'll be back to Peru. And--next time--likely with a bicycle. I haven't been on a proper (>1 month) bicycle tour since I started working full-time, and I think such an adventure (and new blog!) are due in the coming months 🙂


A couple of weeks ago, I found myself on an unfamiliar bicycle--winding through cars on the streets of São Paulo, Brazil. As we went over a narrow bridge, my couch surfing host shouted back at me, "watch out for the motorcycles!" They were splitting the lanes too, and a force to be avoided.

A woman and a man wait in front of a man wearing red holding a red flag that reads "PARE". Across the street there are high rises to the right of the road and large green trees to the left of the road.
Cycling São Paulo

I arrived to Southern Brazil after Argentina and Uruguay. After a couple weeks in Buenos Aires, I hopped a bus up to Montevideo, Uruguay--where I spent a week. As quickly as I fell in love with the people, the culture, the herbs, and the Fainá, I was off NB again. I had 2 days to bus 2,000 km up to Rio de Janeiro. There was no bus that went the entire distance, and bus companies in Brazil require Brazilian IDs to purchase tickets online. So I bought a ticket to Pelotas and crossed my fingers. When I arrived, the bus to Rio was sold-out, but I just bought a ticket North, and--after a few transfers--I reached a station in Florianópolis with a straight-shot to Rio.

Mikey stands facing away from the camera leaning on a wooden railing. The landscape in front of them is a lush green jungle with a huge river flowing through it. In the background, massive waterfalls gush water into the river.
Foz do Iguaçu

It was a bit intimidating stepping onto the street out of the bus station when I finally arrived (well, after chasing down my bus--banging on the side to let me re-board; I had forgotten my jacket in the seat pocket). Brazil, and Rio especially, is known for both violent crimes and petty theft--both on behalf of the poor and the police. This is a country with vast resources--one of the most powerful emerging economies in the world--yet there is still massive class disparity and corruption. In fact, the streets were still tagged with spraypaint condemning the political coup 5 months earlier that saw the ousting of Dilma Rousseff (from the Workers' Party).

Continue reading Brazil

From Peru to India

I'm laying on my bed in a small room on the 4th floor of my new room in Miraflores. In 2 weeks I plan to be in Cusco, exploring ancient ruins like Machu Picchu for my week off. I've grown to like this place; I'm sharing it with ~6 other International travelers, it has a nice rooftop right outside my window, and it's no-frills cheap. $280/month rent. Beats the hell out of $850/mo in NYC.

Drop Machu Picchu. Drop Patagonia. Drop festival in Rio de Janeiro. I'm going to India!

I'm switching tabs back-and-forth between launching nodes in aws and researching bus routes for my next 6 months in South America: Valparaíso, Buenos Aires, Los Ríos, Christmas in Torres del Paine (Patagonia), Montevideo, Festival in Rio de Janeiro. I'm excited as I read through the internet travel guides and multi-day, international bus routes.

My boss sends me a message. I expect he's going to yell at me for signing-off for an hour during lunch. Instead, he asks, "Would you be interested in working in India for a couple months?"

Drop the phone. Drop everything. Drop Machu Picchu. Drop Patagonia. Drop festival in Rio de Janeiro. I'm going to India!

Continue reading From Peru to India

Leaving Santiago de Chile

I have 2 days left in Santiago, Chile. This weekend, I'm taking a 54-hour bus to Lima, Peru.

On Friday I'll wake up at 05:30 to walk myself and all my possessions to the bus station. The bus goes north up the Chilean desert, through the Chile-Peru border just past Arica, across the Peruvian mountains that hug the Pacific Ocean, and down into Lima, Peru.

Continue reading Leaving Santiago de Chile