Pause and Forward

Trip Start Aug 19, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Minas Gerais,
Saturday, December 4, 2010

I don't have much to say about Belo Horizonte.  I didn't really intend to go here.  I just didn't know where to go after Ouro Preto.  This middle part of Brazil was a bit of a mystery to me.  The coastal parts of Brazil from Rio southward appeared to be pretty densely packed with stuff.  However, the parts between Rio northward to Bahia (where Salvador is) was a bit unknown to me and to a lot of other travelers. 

I ended up in Belo Horizonte because it was the nearest big city to Ouro Preto and I figured that I could park there for a couple of days to figure out what next.  It was a big enough place where I could catch a bus or plane to anywhere.

Belo Horizonte didn't make any big impression on me.  It certainly was nice and clean, but I didn't get this overwhelming sense of "What is this place and why is it so awesome!?!" - it was kind of like how I felt about Curitiba.

Anyway, during the two-ish days I spent there, I looked into going back to the coast to Espirito Santo state.  Apparently, it's one of the Brazilian states that hasn't fully embraced tourism (or it has, at least, not figured out that it could exploit its beaches for the sake of tourism).  Seemed like it would be an interesting and worthwhile next move.  But I was still feeling a bit off (still!), so I ended up deciding not to go to Espirito Santo.

Something felt wrong when I decided not to go to Espirto Santo.  I feared I'd lost some of that adventurous spirit, which would suck if it were true.  But really, after thinking about it, nothing was wrong. I had technically been on the road since March/April and as far as non-stop "backpacking", I'd been going full-steam since I got to Brazil (which was six weeks ago). I was just tired. Not in the physical sense but in the mental sense. That proverbial adventure button had been pushed so hard these last few weeks that I needed to let go and hit pause for a second.

I ultimately decided that I'd head all the way up to Salvador on a bus.  A 25-hour bus.  I could have gone up to Salvador on a 1 1/2 hour flight for slightly less money, but in a way, I looked forward to being in a bus for that long of a time.  I thought that this was sort of what I needed.  I don't know about you, but I like the literal act of traveling.  On a boat, on a plane, and especially on a long bus or train ride.  There's something about it that makes me feel like I am doing something productive - that is, I am moving forward and making progress towards something, and seeing things along the way, too. But at the same time, sitting on a bus or a train for a long time is passive and easy - you're just sitting there letting it all happen to you.

I wasn't in any sound mental state to choose-my-own-adventure just then but at the same time I needed to keep moving.  I was a little sad to miss out on what I might have seen off the beaten path in Espirto Santo (or even deeper in the mountains of Minas Gerais), but I needed to take that long bus ride to right myself.  I needed to keep-on-keepin'-on in order to feel like I am continuing to move forward - more mentally than physically - and that I haven't stalled.

When I got to Salvador, I think that the trip helped a lot, but I wasn't completely de-funked yet.  But it seemed like I was above the lowest point.


Reading list: Didn't read.

Playlist:  This is just me catching up on the musiqueue of stuff people have sent me and I haven't gotten around to hearing.  One Two Three Four


Until next time.
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