Is Leaving Brazil for Good the Better Option?

By 13:44 , , , , , , , ,

With the runoff elections coming up, there have been a bunch of comments like:

"Brazil can only get worse, if Dilma's reelected, I'm leaving"

"[Name of friend living in Australia/Canada or Ireland], I'm going to join you next year, can't stand the violence and corruption here!"

Or quotes accompanying photos of United States/Europe/Australia saying "I'm not leaving! Goodbye Brazil!"

I always kind of chuckle at these sort of quotes, because these people think it's so easy to just pack your bags and jetset to another country... forever.

I came across this post in a Brazilian newspaper that talks about moving to another country from Brazil, permanently.

It starts off with saying -

É comum ouvir histórias de pessoas que optaram viver fora do país para sempre e estão muito felizes. Mas será que isso funciona pra todo mundo?

This translates to: 

It's common to hear stories of people who choose to live abroad forever and are very happy. But is this true for everyone? 

This article is by a woman who lived in the US for four years and had the typical "first world" type of life many Brazilians (including my family), aspire to have when they move there. And although this is bright and dandy, she focuses the article on looking at your value system. This is what I always end up telling people when they ask me why I decided to move to Brazil, or when they ask if I like Brazil or the US better, I always say "Brazil, of course." I always say that to me, it's a matter of personal values, and for me, Brazil beats the US any day. 

My newest roommate was in a similar situation as me, we met in the US working at a restaurant 8 (!) years ago. Although I was fortunate to have gone to the US with my family and educated there, I only had to "restart" my life here in Brazil. She's had to do it twice, moving to the US at 19 and then back to Brazil at 32. 

We'll often talk about how we'd have fun in New York, buy lots of things that are so much cheaper than here in Brazil, and a series of "first world problems," like the 'old' cars we drove, how we could only afford to buy from TJ Maxx or Marshalls and not directly from the brand's stores, or how we didn't enjoy waiting tables, but the money was good. 

However the chat always tends to come around to, "It's harder to live in Brazil, but at the same time, it's so much easier." 


Although I'm far away from my immediate family, technology keeps us together and it comforts me to know my parents have future plans to return to Brazil. It's also a blessing to be able to enjoy my grandmothers now that I'm here, and every time I visit them, I spend as much time as I can with them, especially since I missed out on being with my family for so long, living abroad. I feel my parents suffer endlessly with this, living in the US. This picture above was at my aunt's wedding. A few cousins, an aunt and my momma. All together in the same place <3 nbsp="" span="">


I love the friends I've made in the US, I really do. But I feel like making friends in the US is tough. I don't know what I would have done if my Brazilian friends weren't so forthcoming and open to my entering their social circles. It's been tough seeing my friends and family in the US go through so much without me, but it's something I've learned to deal with, because I still keep in touch with who matters most. Brazilians though, tend to be more tied down to their roots and families. I actually like this, and my Brazilian friends who have moved abroad, seem to come home more often than I see my American friends visiting their parents, in the same country! This sense of unity and gratitude towards friendships in Brazil that I've experienced is also something that would keep me here. 

Being Home. 
No matter where I go, or what I do, I will never belong. I've come to terms with this. 
The below quote is usually used by people who like to travel. As much as I'd like to agree, I beg to differ. 

But if I have to pick somewhere to be forever, it would be in Brazil, regardless of the state. I know my unidentified accent (Baiana? Mineira! Sério?) will eternally give it away that I was not raised here or there, but I will always be Brazilian, and accepted as being in my home country. 

What most irritated me in the US was the constant haggling from others asking where I was from. Connecticut was never a sufficient answer because my skin's brown and my last name is unpronounceable. In São Paulo, "Minas Gerais," is acceptable, and although I get teased and called an American every once in a while, I know ultimately it doesn't matter to anyone here. 

Because of this, in the US I know that I would always be an immigrant. This happens anywhere. In some countries, immigrants are called expats, and this is chique, so they learn to deal with it for a few years, or become accepted members of society once they marry a local. In other countries, you can be born there, but if you don't look like a local, you'll be an immigrant regardless, because your parents were. I was an immigrant for 20 years, and I'd do it again, but in different conditions, and not forever, no matter how "bad" Brazil gets. 

I don't have a photo for this, because energy, just is. 

I'm not talking about the kind that powers lights and whatnot, I'm talking about vibes (ahá!), the type of energy you get when you meet people and you're either completely turned off by them or know right away they're good people. I've done my fair share of traveling, and it's really hard to beat the energy I feel in Brazil. I get that from a few clients I've hosted so far, and they agree that a city like São Paulo certainly doesn't compare to many world cities in terms of beauty, infrastructure and comfort. But... there's something about it. I'm not saying all of Brazil is like this or that everyone's going to love São Paulo, but there's something about the energy in this place, in this country, that keeps me grounded here. 

Again, I'm not averse to living abroad again. I think it's a wonderful experience and everyone should do it! I would actually like to live in a different country, maybe Europe or somewhere else in Latin America, or even Asia. Or all of the above! Just not for good. That decision, I've already made. 

What do you think about living abroad forever? Would you do it? Have you made that decision? 

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