This day I learned an important lesson about indulging myself. Treating yourself while on vacation is something we all do (a vacation is an indulgence in and of itself), and Brazil is a great place to indulge as you get a lot more bang for your buck.
Now, you can easily find hotels in Brazil where the experience will be very similar to a Canadian Hotel. They have Holiday Inn, and other brand name hotels just like anywhere else – and if you are just looking for somewhere to rest your head at the end of the day, that’s fine.
However, if you look at little bit, you can easily find an unforgettable place where you still won’t break the bank. Minha Namorada (My girlfriend) and I found this wonderful place called the Oasis Tajaja owned by a very friendly Italian woman, where our room was in its own building, and we shared the large pool with up to eight other guests (we actually only had one other guest when we stayed in the hotel).
Having such a wonderful place made the evenings a wonder to themselves, and the private pool allowed us to relax after our long days of exploring.
This is also important because, despite the recent droughts, João Pessoa is still a coastal city, so gets a lot of rain – sometimes the sun stays shining while it rains (a sunshower, my favourite type of weather), but it is rain. It actually rained most of the day. Not everyone wants to go out in the rain, and sometimes you’ll want to just relax at the hotel. But, even if you are just relaxing at the hotel, you’ll want to know you are relaxing in Brazil, and not feel like you are just in some random Canadian Hotel.
That first night in the hotel, Minha Namorada and I sat in the pool looking up at the sky, and that’s one of the first times I really realized how big Earth is – the stars weren’t in the right spot. João Pessoa is just south of the equator, and while I’ve always known that there are different constellations in the Southern Hemisphere, it is different to see for the first time. While living in a big city with lots of light pollution limits the amount of stars I see, they have always been a constant in my life – but here I was, looking up at the night sky like I’ve done all my life, and yet it was like I was doing so for the first time in my life. I could see some were simply in the wrong place, and yet others were completely new to me, and it really made me realize how big the world really is. Despite how far away the stars are, and despite how many billions of people have lived underneath these exact stars, I’d have never seen this part of the sky from my little corner of Earth. That childhood exhilaration, the first time you see the stars from the countryside, where you realize just how many stars are actually in the sky, that’s what I felt.
There is an important distinction to be made when staying in a hotel in Brazil. Despite the interuse of the terms in Canada, always look for a hotel, not a motel. Brazil is a very religious country, where children tend to stay at home until they are married. Accordingly, there is a thriving industry for couples that need to find alone time and so they have motels, which rent by the hour.