Kola in Brazil (Pictures Inside)

Scintillating coastlines, beautiful women, delicious food, and an incredible night life—that’s the infamous city of Rio de Janeiro.

The only problem with Rio, was that I wasn’t going there—my ticket said Sao Paulo and Sao Paulo only.

At first I didn’t see anything wrong with going to Sao Paulo, but everyone I know either said that they had never been there or that it was easily the most boring place to visit.

Boy, were they wrong!

A few days before kissing Atlanta goodbye, I connected with Nathalie Pires Souto, a Sao Paulo native, ardent traveler, and Partner at Rent a Local Friend (update: this website no longer exists unfortunately). I didn’t know it at the time, but that single connection would become the difference between a potential nightmare and a wonderful trip to remember. Take a peek:

(above) Samba Bar. The sound of their drums was intoxicating. It almost felt like being back at a Yoruba celebration (Yoruba people in Nigeria always find an excuse to get together. always).

(above) Pit stop at Mosteiro de Sao Bento Centro before getting to business with some Lebanese food.

(below) Nath with a….soldier? warrior?

If you’re starting to feel the itch to go to Brazil as well, allow me to also recommend Parque de Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera park), feijoada (the most authentic Brazilian meal there is), the local Saturday flea markets, and Liberdade (Japan town).

Touring Sao Paulo with Nath helped me to come to a new found appreciation of the fact that the world is boring only when we condense it to the things we already know and understand. You and I are like two little dots on a map. Unless we’ve met every other dot, speckle, and spot on that map, the world will always be bigger and more interesting than anything we know or understand.

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