Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Living in Rio de Janeiro Forever?

I am usually asked about if we are staying or going. Are we going to be in Rio de Janeiro forever? Forever is a long time so it is a difficult one to answer.

Logistically, we will be here forever. Mr. Rant's job is here. We own a home. Our children have been born and raised here so far. And as much as I love Target, the idea of picking up the entire family to indulge my consumerist tendencies seems slightly selfish (even if I'll be mainly buying for them).

Then there's the other side of the story. Rio de Janeiro is an amazing place to raise small children! First off, they are widely accepted anywhere. Seriously, Cariocas love small children more than small dogs in Louis Vuitton bags. It's a special place like that.

Don't even get me into how life in Brazil is heaven for children. Even ignoring the natural beauties such as the beach and waterfalls, you also have the extravagant birthday parties and commonly late bedtimes. Kids are the dictators and people pretty much like it like that.

The only thing that worries me about living here is the general lack of stability, although the economy has been going strong for 10 years now. Brazilians my age have memories of inflation dramas, change of currency, minor epidemics, and general nervousness of parents surrounding government stability. As an American born in the fabulous year of 1980, I'm used to a government who averages a life of butterflies and rainbows. Of course that is not counting natural disasters, wars, and the current state of the economy.

None the less, I have realized in my young age that stability is in the mind of the beholder. Living within one's means makes all the difference in a world of flux. Just to clarify, I'm not saying that I do that. Of course I so immaturely blame Continental and their extremely high priced tickets from Rio de Janeiro to the US. That and my 8 suitcases full of crap that I just HAVE to bring back. Consumerism is a drug more addictive than crack and I am not even close to accepting that I have a problem, so don't even go there.

But back to the main topic, we live here. Taking away the little issues, like being thousands of miles from friends and family, we have a good life. We are happy. My children are well adjusted, bilingual, and love every aspect of the culture of their Motherland.

And when I live in a place that makes the 3 most important men in my life happier than anywhere else, how can I not want to live here forever? 


  1. a cry rings out in the night....a sigh...resignation....scrambling on line for cheap tickets to Rio.......

  2. cute pic!!
    If I lived in Rio I would be mostly concerned about security.I think the economy is much stronger now and hopefully infrastructure will get better and better to improves the poor and middle class folks.

  3. I agree about the happiness and the benefits of the culture in Brazil. While I don't LOVE living in rural Brazil, my husband is so happy out at our farm that it makes me happy.

  4. The pic is of my youngest and his second cousin :)

    Mom, You already knew this lol

    Jennifer, I totally get that.

  5. I get this question all of the time too. People always ask "If you could live in Los Angeles, why wouldn't you?". But it's not that simple. For one, while I know we could be happy in Rio or L.A., I know deep down my husband would be happier here in Rio. The other thing is his job...the aviation sector here in Brasil grew 19% already this year. 19%! It's a great time for avaition here, plus his seniority at his company is amazing, if we were to leave for any other country/company, he'd never see this same seniority is his working lifetime. If he could walk into the same position working based out of Los Angeles, no doubt we'd move...but that won't happen, ever. So...yes, for the long-run, we're here, and quite happy here too. Sure there are days where I'm frustrated out of my mind but mostly it's all good. And truth be told, it does keep getting better. Rio is a good place, and sometimes a great place to live. Now if those airfares to the U.S. would only come down! And I feel for your Mom, my Mom is EXACTLY the same, she checks fares regularly in the middle of the night. And her visa expired so now she's got to deal with that (living states away from a Brasilan Consulate)before even thinking of visiting soon. But yes, when I put my mind around this (and not my heart), Rio is a better place for us. And my boys are very happy here. Going back to another post you did about being a SAHM, when my son is a little older, I'll find something here that will really improve *my* life, whether it be school, or a job...something. I really look forward to that day.

  6. p.s. Rachel...I love the clock you put on your page!

  7. I used to get this question all the time in Sao Paulo, even before I got married. Maybe it's a little strange to talk about this now that we actually have left Brazil :) but I know that my husband sees Sao Paulo as home, as the place he will always go back to, the "colo" that always has a place for him. We may live abroad for a few more years, but Sao Paulo is his final destination. I know that he has stronger feelings and connections to SP than I do or ever had to any other place.

    There's also the money/career thing. He works in advertising, which is one thing that actually pays absurdly well in Brazil (although what you have to go through to make that money is one of the big reasons we left), and even if I got a good job, and used my Master's degree to its full potential, I would never make as much as he could, even in the US. Now that I've moved into full-time freelancing it's nice and portable.

  8. It is impossible not to over spend when you go to the US. Things here (Brazil) are over priced... I don't even have to tell you the stories of friends who fly over to the US just for shopping when they find out their pregnant, or in some cases, just because they can.
    Rio is amazing, I think you and your 3 man have a great life here. No reason to worry about ever moving moving back, unless things change, different opportunities come about and the wind blows on that direction.

    Anyway, since you already spent all that money to fly over there, might as well do some shopping, just compensate by shopping less here! Which I'm sure you already do!!


  9. i dont know if u ve read this before ...

    "Americans eye opportunities in Brazil's booming economy"


    I liked what Mrs Lizarraga says "We came with an open mind and felt embraced by the people. Our social life is already bigger than the 30 years I lived in the US".