Today was a glorious day. I received my World Cup tickets, and my secret validation that I was going to be in Brazil in 6 short weeks! As most people know, I've been planning this trip for two long years. Am I obsessed with soccer? Not really. Many ask why I'm going. I would say that I like to visit places and cross things off my bucketlist at the same time. Two years ago I crossed Tomatina (see Wikipedia's definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Tomatina) off my list. That epic event was on my list and really gave me another chance to change my mind about Spain (my first impression wasn't the greatest, but I'll save that for another time). Anyways, getting to experience Brazil in all of it's soccer glory is something that could not make my heart happier. When I found out Brazil was hosting the World Cup, it was kismet...and I knew I would be going.
Anyways, the whole "World Cup Lottery" was insane, and I was extremely nervous about even getting a ticket. I definitely prayed a few times in hope God would send me to his holy land in Brazil. In my heart I knew I would not go to Brazil if I didn't have a ticket. It wasn't an option because I would essentially be an outsider, knowing that others would be going to matches and I would not be able to get in.
I remember sitting on my air mattress in Milwaukee, WI, and going online the day tickets were released for bid. It was late August 2013 and I would be moving to Seattle, WA to start a new chapter of my life. I was so confused by this "lottery" system because there were so many explanations, pie charts, and tiers. I knew you could select either the exact stadium (I chose Rio) and/or match (based on what teams you would want to see), or you could let the lottery decide where you would go. The pickier and more detailed you were gave you a smaller change to get tickets, versus if you didn't have any restrictions. I didn't care what team or match I wanted to go to, but I did know that I wanted to be in the Rio Maracana stadium. I also knew the time frame I wanted to go, because I wanted to take advantage of paid holidays in the USA (July 4th). So I applied in August, submitted the exact names of who was going, and also submitted the credit card that would be used - this made me nervous because if my bank denied the transaction (from an out of the country company), they would not give me the chance to try another credit card and I would not get a ticket. I submitted my information and waited.
It was the first week of November, and I realized a large sum of money had been taken out of my bank account. I was upset, and went to look at my online statement. I froze when I logged in. I had gotten tickets!!!!! It was an early birthday present, and an amazing surprise. After that it was all downhill, and I was in full trip mode.
So back to the title of this post. After I declared to the world that I would be on my way to South America in Summer 2014, many people started to become "afraid and worried" for me. Many things that I have heard were: "You shouldn't go there because it isn't safe for two women to go alone", "The murder and crime rate is extremely high", and "Maybe you should invite a guy to go along on the trip".
I would say that sometimes I am a little too trusting of people, and yes I do see the good in every person. BUT I know that I am street smart, and yes I have been robbed before (in other countries). I've done my research on the countries/places I am visiting and I am making an itinerary (to pass out to family and friends) in case of an emergency (because there was that one time that everyone thought I was kidnapped in Spain - but I'll save that for later).
I would describe myself as fearless because I want to experiences things: travel, culture, and everything that life hands me. I am not an irresponsible traveler. I know that I will not be bringing any jewelry (le sigh), and nothing that makes me technologically savvy. Except for my camera. I also have contacts in Brazil in case of an emergency. Some people say, "What if something happens to you"?. You know what? I believe in kismet, and that we are exactly where we are meant to be. I'm not hung up on fear, and not to sound too cliche...but whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So do not let anyone discourage you, or your dreams. Follow your heart and passion will come.
Bellisima = "Extremely Beautiful" in Italian, and how i would describe the world, and how I view it through travel.