Archive | May, 2011

The foreigner’s experience according to Daffy Duck

27 May

After the last heavy post, I thought I’d lighten things up with a cute video. This portrayal is strikingly similar to my first trip to Brazil, including my experience with cachaça.

Luckily, cachaça and I had a talk and we’re now on friendly terms.

I <3 my family

25 May

To me, this feels like just another move to a new school dorm room or apartment. But, this time, my parents wont be there to unpack my boxes. All my life I’ve been blessed to have my entire family just a drive away. Which is why I’ll get teary eyed when my mom isn’t there to decorate my apartment and my dad wont be there drink all my beers when I move in.

We’ll get accustomed to Skype sessions, I’ll rack up my international calling minutes/frequent flyer miles, I’ll update my blog regularly, but all the while I’ll miss my family dearly. This will certainly take some adjustment, but it’s a good thing that my parents love tropical weather and once we get our apartment I’ll always have an extra room (hint hint).

I know how hard this will be on my parents and that’s why I’m so thankful for the unconditional support and love they provide me with. Family has and always will be the most important thing to me. You may find this statement ironic given I’m moving across the world from mine, but I know nothing can or will pull us apart.

This is not goodbye, this is just a new beginning in tropical paradise!

Challenges of an expat

23 May

Being the nerd that I am, I’ve read through hundreds of blog posts written by expats living in Brazil. I feel like I’ve already experienced all the emotions of living abroad before actually making the move. I know that every person will react differently in this particular situation, but I want to be prepared for every possible emotion that may come my way.

I know I will learn so much about myself and grow in incredible ways, but I think the following things will be a challenge:

  1. Being away from my family
  2. Being away from my friends
  3. Becoming more reliant on others (initially)
  4. Learning a new language
  5. Fitting in as a foreigner
  6. Making friends
  7. Glistening from the humidity 24/7
  8. Learning the ins and outs of a new city
  9. Becoming accustomed with Brazilian culture

I don’t want this post to come off negatively. As you’ll notice, the majority of these items were on the list of things that excite me. Change is appealing and I embrace these challenges with open arms!

If I told you I thought this journey would be easy, I’d be lying. But, I’m not worried because I know that I have more than an amazing support system/family both in Brazil and in the US that will be by my side every step of the way.

The countdown begins

17 May

In less than two months I will officially be a resident of Brazil. I have so much to do in terms of preparation, and all I can think of is how excited I am.

I look forward to (in no particular order):

  1. Living in 85 degree temperature year round
  2. Learning another language
  3. Getting tan
  4. Making over my closet with fabulous bright clothing
  5. Wearing heels (not!)
  6. Eating delicious food while not gaining weight (still have to figure this out)
  7. Discovering a new culture
  8. Having dinner at 9pm and going out until the wee hours
  9. Working on my glutes
  10. …becoming Brazilian…

Perhaps I should focus more on selling my car, transitioning out of my job, packing my life, getting my VISA handled, and moving. Nah.

Since I have nothing thrilling to share with you, here’s a picture of the beach Porto do Barra, one of the most popular beaches in Salvador. Delightful huh?

Até logo trabalho!

16 May

Since college, my life has been a blur. I immediately began working at Facebook after graduating and during my employment I’ve held 5 different positions in 3 different departments.  I’ve always been planning my next role and career move. Thus, it may come as a surprise when I tell you that I have no job lined up when I arrive to Salvador (insert horror movie scream).

For the first few months I plan on getting settled in Brazil while studying Portuguese. This will be a full time job. If you are familiar with Brazilian Portuguese, you’d know that it’s not the easiest language to learn. I’ve taken a couple classes and gave Rosetta Stone a spin, but the real lesson will be full immersion. I hope to prove that old dogs can learn new tricks!

Once I’ve mastered the nasal sounds of the romance language, I’ll get the career ball rolling once again. I think it’ll be refreshing to have a change of pace, but knowing me, I’ll manage to find a way to keep myself more than busy.

I know I’ll be a little stir crazy without a job, but it’s important that I stay patient while getting acclimated.

Why Salvador, Bahia?

12 May

Several people have asked me why I chose to move to Salvador of all places. To which I have replied, why not? Honestly, who wouldn’t want to live in tropical paradise?

I’ve visited this city several times and absolutely feel in love with it for several reasons:

The people– Besides my boyfriend Marcos and his amazing family and friends, people in Salvador are extremely hospitable, generous, friendly, beautiful, happy, and fun-loving. I’ve never felt more welcomed and alive.

The culture– Bahia is known for it’s cuisine, music and dance. The flavors of food are wildly different than anything I have ever tasted and the way the Baianos move their hips is beyond me. While I’d love to learn how to samba while I’m there, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen.

The beaches– Having grown up in southern California, I know good beaches. And boy, the beaches are breathtaking in Bahia.  Salvador rests on 50 kms of white sand and crystal clear water that you can enjoy year round. I definitely plan on enjoying a caipirinha or two while lounging seaside.

The history– As the first colonial capital of Brazil, and one of the oldest cities in the New World, Salvador is rich in history. When you’re walking on cobblestone streets you’ll see a 16th century cathedral on your left and modern architecture on your right. The Afro-Brazilian town is unlike any place in the world and it’s definitely lured me in.

These are just a few of the many reasons I love Salvador, Bahia. I’ll be sure to share more with you later.

For those of you who do not know where Salvador is, I’ve provided a map below.  If you ever want to visit, I’ll only be 6,500 miles away.

Goodbye Facebook, but not for good.

11 May

This morning it was announced to my department that I’m leaving Facebook in the end of June. What an amazing ride I’ve had with this company! I was hired in February of 2007 as employee 200. Today, our company has over 2,500 employees worldwide and I’ve been at Facebook longer than 97.2% of them.

At Facebook I’ve had numerous jobs, developed as an individual and businessperson, been blessed with so many amazing opportunities, and last and most importantly, I’ve met life long friends. Chances are it will be impossible to find a career in the future that even compares. There’s no doubt why it’s been voted the best tech company to work for several years in a row.

While it’s a bittersweet goodbye, I have no doubt that I am making the best decision for me and my future. I’ll leave with everlasting memories and heartfelt gratitude after being a part of Facebook and it’s mission over the last four years.

Even though I started a blog and I’ll no longer be working at Facebook, don’t expect my activity level to dissipate on the social networking site. The product, employees, and company will always hold a dear place in my heart!