How I Can Afford To Travel!

My most REVEALING post to date! If you've been wondering how the hell I've been able to last traveling this long, well here it is! All secrets are out in the open! This post tells you how I do it, and how YOU can do it too!

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Working On A Cruise Ship

I somehow managed to get myself a job working at a Cruise Ship. This post is an inside look on what it's really like to live and work below deck. You never know... You might be enticed to work for one too, and travel the whole world like me! Read on to find out more...

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Scotland: My Favorite Country In The World

I've been to many places in several different continents, and have seen spectacular beauty... But every time I visit Scotland, every other country pales in comparison. Read this post to find out why at this point, Scotland was and still is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place on Earth...

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On Finding My Bliss In Italy

When you go on big trips like this, however cheesy it sounds, you always do end up 'finding yourself'. And there are moments... difinitive moments when you achieve clarity, contentment, and pure happiness. This all happened to me in Italy. Read my most soulful post to date, inspired by the full moon in Italia...

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On Being Featured In A Documentary

I somehow managed to get myself featured in an upcoming documentary about "Voluntourism". This may be the big break I've been waiting for! The trailer is out - and I'm in it! It looks so good, I'm so excited! See for yourself... watch it here!

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An Epiphany At Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is one of my favorite places in Italy. We hiked 5 villages in one day, and it was breathtaking! But something completely unexpected happened on the hike... An encounter with a complete stranger made me realize possibly one of the most important things I need to do with my life...

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My Ayahuasca Experience

Ayahuasca, is by far, the most INTENSE thing I have ever experienced in my life. I died and was reborn. It is both horrific and beautiful at the same time... I can't explain it in a few words. You HAVE to read my story to believe... I promise it will be worth your while...

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Brazilian Chronicles: Halfway Through Copa Del Mundo

Bom Dia!

Tudo Bem?

That's about all the Portuguese I've got for now. ;)

Alright, alright! It's been - what - 2 weeks since the kick off of the World Cup here in Brazil, and the energy hasn't died down one bit! If anything, I think things are actually getting even more exciting!


I can't lie. It's pretty spectacular. And I'm not even a football fan! I mean I can only speak for myself and my experiences in Sao Paulo, and I can't say much about the other places in Brazil... But here in Sao Paulo, it's like the entire world stops for football. Hardly anybody works!

I teach  English classes and in these past 2 weeks, about 50% of my students cancelled because of the games. I honestly don't mind - I'm happy to have the time to watch the games myself, but it's gotten to the point where my friends don't think I have a job at all!
For example - If Brazil plays at 4pm, everyone only works half a day, to give people time to brave the Metro to get home or to get to various locations where they can watch the match. Automatically, all my classes scheduled from 12noon onward that day is cancelled! (Yippeee!)

Then you walk down the streets to *try* and take the Metro or the Bus, and EVERYONE is wearing green and yellow, or wigs, or crazy sunglasses or hats, green and yellow scarves, and green and yellow face paint. EVERYONE is thrilled and just HAPPY and EXCITED... both locals and foreigners alike, I gotta say.

I can't afford to watch any games at the stadiums, but you can practically watch the games anywhere over here. There's an open area in the center called the Fifa Fan Fest which is a lot of fun... But mostly we just see it on the streets of this neighborhood called, Vila Madalena. They basically just shut down a few blocks, set up a huge monitor, and hundreds or even thousands of people gather around to watch the game together on the streets. It's SO much fun... I LOVE it.

Sometimes, being a gringo has its perks, because once the Brazilians hear me talk and realize I'm a foreigner, the free drinks start pouring in. :) I LOOOVE Brazilians! :)


Then all the foreigners from all the other countries roam the streets to support their own teams. It's basically the same thing, only instead of seeing Green and Yellow everywhere, you see different colors. :)
At The Fifa Fan Fest


Is really expensive. Everyone hikes up the prices when there is an opportunity to, and with all the foreigners being here, well... Taking advantage is an understatement. But that's just the way business goes! And Sao Paulo is already expensive to begin with, even without the World Cup, so we can clearly deduce that I'm pretty much broke --- but happy!

Food is expensive... Like, a large pizza at a random diner could cost about 30 USD... Shopping? Well... let's just say I've been having my family send over some clothes because I'd rather wait than spend money over here. It's kind of insane. The Metro - you pay 3 Reais every time you enter (about 1.50 USD), same for the bus... And because of all the commuting I do everyday, I usually spend at least 10 Reais per day on transportation. It adds up.

What's cheap? Err... Havaiana's and cigarettes? Hahaha


With the whole crew, being featured at Globo 1

Incidentally, while I've been here, I've managed to be on TV twice! It's just the local news, but still. Pretty cool. They love interviewing foreigners, asking us the same questions over and over... "Who are you supporting"... "What's it like being in Brazil"... "Will you support Brazil"... blah blah blah.
It's really silly, and sometimes stupid... but it's FUN! :)

2 Weeks In, 2 More To Go

Brazil is playing against Chile on Saturday... And this is a Do or Die match. It determines whether Brazil moves forward or not, so it's probably the MOST important game to date. I'm not a soccer fan, but MAN the suspense is killing me! I have NO idea what will happen if Brazil doesn't win.

Right now, things in the country are good. No protests, no Metro strikes, everyone is just happy and excited to be here, and the Brazilians are SO open and friendly towards the foreigners.

But if things go badly for the team on Saturday, I can't guarantee that things will remain the same. Brazil HAS to win. They HAVE to. Because if they don't...

Shoot, can you guys IMAGINE what it would be like over here? I can't. And I don't want to. So we'll just have to see.

I'll let you guys know for sure. I'll keep you all posted.

In the meantime - VAI BRASIL!!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Brazilian Chronicles: World Cup Game 1 - Brazil vs Croatia

It's finally here! The first game of the 2014 World Cup is in Sao Paulo, and the city is buzzing!

I do not have the funds to go to an actual game (and quite frankly, even if I did, I don't think I would spend all my money on it), but over here, it's all about the viewing parties!

June 12th has been declared a holiday for the city of Sao Paulo, so EVERYONE was decked out in Green and Yellow, happily anticipating their country's first official WC game against Croatia!

I celebrated along with 80 other people at a WC viewing party at Hostel Brasil Boutique, the BEST hostel in Brazil. Since I practically live there, I have taken on the task of face painting the guests... You know, because that's just what I do. :)

The game wasn't till 5pm, but guests started trickling in at 2pm, nervously downing their free caipirinha's to warm themselves up.

I have no more words, so I'll just show you what happened through photos.

Green and Yellow Overload
First Goal
Another Goal!

Happy Campers

First Goal Selfie
Team Hostel Brasil Boutique!

And when Brazil won, we took the party to the streets and this is what we stumbled upon...


Thursday, June 5, 2014

An Extended Pit Stop In Brazil!

And after the longest AWOL in history, I'm baaaack!

I apologize for the long hiatus. I do have excellent reasons for it though. First is -- my laptop crashed. Yes. It was (and still is) a nightmare. A few months ago, I had a feeling it was about to conk out on me, so I asked my family to send me a terabyte's worth of external hard drive... but the laptop died 2 weeks before it was due to arrive. The good news is - all of my files are apparently still in tact. My whole year of travel is preserved. The bad news is, because my hard drive has some weird physical damage, I have to go to a specialist to get it fixed to be able to extract my files from it. So my data is there... I just can't get to it. I have a brand new hard drive now, and I'm out a few hundred dollars... The annoying thing about this is that the Windows 7 that was installed on my laptop is in Portuguese, and it didn't come with a language pack. And so I'm stuck with a laptop I hardly understand.
On the bright side, this definitely gives me more motivation to learn Portuguese.

Why do I need to learn it? Well... because...


... and I have been here for a month. A MONTH! I survived, and I will conquer! :)

OK... remember my Ayahuasca Retreat? Well, I didn't go into detail on my last post, but what it actually showed me was Sao Paulo. I asked Ayahuasca what I should do, and in so many words (and visions), it said - "Go to Sao Paulo"...

I know I must sound nuts, but I didn't just follow it on a whim. I had to be smart about it, and make sure I had a way to survive over here. I had a few friends who had mentioned I could earn a living here teaching English, and that they had a couple private students they could send my way. I also happened to have a friend with a friend who works/owns a language school who just so happens to be in need of a native English speaker right around the time I arrived... so... Enter Eartha. :)

I also happen to have made some very good friends in Sao Paulo... People who I now consider family... so knowing that they'll be here made me feel better and confident about the whole thing.

It wasn't easy though. It was extremely challenging trying to view apartments, finding my way around, and trying to get errands done (like getting the laptop fixed) with the language barrier. I had to rely heavily on those people in the photo above for help, and the stress during the first couple weeks has begun to catch up on me via breakouts on my skin. Which is part of the reason why I couldn't write anything till now.


But, after a very rocky start, I am now employed by 3 language schools, I have a few private clients, and I am renting a flat (with a flatmate) in a REALLY good location near the center of Sao Paulo! Seriously, it's almost a little scary how things have worked out so quickly. I guess this means I made the right choice in moving here after all!

The plan is to stay here for 6 months (basically until Brazil kicks me out) and just see what happens :)


Being in Sao Paulo makes me feel like I'm fulfilling my New York City fantasy. I've always wanted to try living there, and Sao Paulo is so similar to Manhattan, I may as well be calling myself a New Yorker!
It's similar because the city is just so compact, filled with skyscrapers... only it's about 10 times the size of NYC. All that everyone ever does over here is work work work - it's pretty crazy. Everyone is a workaholic... but Sao Paulo is where the money is, and all the Paulistas (what they call someone from Sao Paulo) are scrambling around for it. Money does make the world go round.
I'm hoping not to adapt this kind of mentality, although it is a little challenging, especially for someone like me who's basically running on credit. I want a good work-life balance while I'm here... Work hard, party hard -- and they DO have a really good scene here too...
A month in, and I think I've done a pretty good job. :)


It really wasn't my plan to be here for The World Cup. I just got lucky! I'm sure my football fanatic fans aren't very happy about me being here because I don't know squat about football... but I'll try to make the most out of being here!

I have received mixed reactions from the Brazilians about WC... Some of them love it and are really excited, some don't care, and some just plainly hates it. Word on the street is that the government spent and exorbitant amount of money for the World Cup, leaving a lot of the countries priorities (like food, housing, and all the other big problems) unattended... and the people are angry. I've actually seen the protests on the streets, I was here when the buses went on strike, and it can be a little intense.  

An example of some of the street art that started popping up regarding the dark side of World Cup

I can feel the excitement brewing though. Only a week till the first game and all I see around me are green and yellow! The hotels and hostels are slowly getting packed with foreigners, and pretty soon it will be CHAOTIC! I'm hoping it won't be as bad as Rio's Carnival. That experience drained the life out of me!


Yes. To a certain extent, yes.

Is it any more dangerous than, say, Los Angeles or The Philippines?

Não. I don't think so. I think there's a possibility of danger everywhere if you're not careful. My bag was stolen in the most posh neighborhood in Buenos Aires...a  place I never would have thought things like that could ever happen... So just like everywhere I go, I always have my guard up, and I carry my pepper spray... Just in case. Fingers crossed I never have to use it though...


I really feel bad about the month-long hiatus, but it couldn't be helped. I'll do my best to keep you guys updated on the World Cup happenings over here, and don't be surprised if the blog becomes a little bilingual. I gotta practice my Portuguese because one cannot survive Brazil without it!
It has to be said though, that I am having such a good time here. I'm always very fortunate to be surrounded by good people. I think it might be one of my superpowers... Knowing how to pick friends. :)
So wish me luck... Or rather, wish me Boa Sorte, and I'll speak to you guys soon!