Being a Local in Brazil
Our friend Irene Edwards over at GreenSpot just got back from Brazil and had one particular experience that really stood out. Here’s her story:
We stayed at the beautiful and isolated Costao Do Santinho Resort, where you can easily get lost in the relaxing ambiance of the Island where it’s located.
As I was sitting on my lounge chair at the beach, thinking about the difference between the kind of trips that we offer at GreenSpot, with the kind of experience I was having, suddenly the fishermen who had been there for the last four hours, started running around and yelling at each other in their language, what sounded like a series of instructions. They started pushing the little boat into the ocean and getting the fishing nets ready to get the fish that one of them saw jumping in the ocean. As they started moving, the tourists that were like me just sitting there relaxing, got up with such excitement and started walking along with the locals, helping them with the fishing net, and asking them about the technique used by the fishermen, and really getting involved in the event as it was happening.
After the excitement was over, I talked to the owner of the boat, who explained to me that the fish they caught was going to be divided between every single person who helped to pull out the fishing net (including my husband), I was like, is there enough fish for everybody? He said, yes and make sure your husband gets his share. I was just amazed by this system - the community working together to feed their families and at the same time (even though they didn’t know this) they were giving the tourists an unforgettable experience.
It made me think that many times we just don’t know what a perfect vacation is. Yes, being by the beach with a cold drink under the palm trees sounds ideal, but is that really what exploring a different country is all about?
It seems to me that today travelers are looking for more memorable travel instead of the “gringo vacation”. It is all about getting to know the culture by being part of what the locals do, eat, and experience every day. But we as travel agencies are the ones that have to be part of this change, by offering and looking for opportunities to get the communities involved in the trips we offer, and most important to spread the word to our travelers.
For more from Irene, check out her blog here.