Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Rio de Janeiro, etc.
I am a business professional in my late 20’s. I have lived in Russia, Israel and the USA before deciding to move down to Rio following a job offer I received. I am currently working for a large Brazilian company and enjoying the great advantages of living and working in Rio.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I have always loved observing the world around me and learning from it. I knew that my move to Brazil will put me in new situations and experiences I would like to remember and tell my friends about. I am learning so much every single day and writing about it helps me reflect, appreciate the big and little things that happen in my life and share the learnings with others.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
- Live in Brazil
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil start up scene
- Date a girl who travels
- The complexity of social skills
- When am I moving back?
Tell us about the ways your new life in Rio de Janeiro differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Life in Rio is pretty much opposite from my previous lifestyle of working in the financial industry in New York City. First, its natural beauty forces you to get out of the house and really take work/life balance aspect seriously. Second, Brazil is not America. Things are not as straight forward, easy, or well organized. This is, however, a challenge one has to embrace with a smile and not let it get in the way of enjoying him or herself. I guess the most difficulties I have experienced are in terms of how the professional world is mixed with the personal world. The importance of building relationships goes above and beyond results and efficiency which is quite different mental model to adopt in the corporate world. In the day to day life I had faced various difficulties in the beginning because I didn’t speak Portuguese and hardly anyone speaks English.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Rio de Janeiro? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
There are always things that we cannot anticipate in advance before moving to a new country. I went with an open mind and this helped me deal with all sorts of challenges I faced. I don’t think there would have been a better way of doing this.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Rio de Janeiro?
- Keep an open mind and be flexible to adapt to your new environment and enjoy it
- Be patient as things don’t happen the way we expect and within the timeframe we expect
- Learn Portuguese!!!
How is the expat community in Rio de Janeiro? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
The expat community is varied. The best approach for me was to have a mix of friends who are local Brazilians, local foreigners and foreigners who are here on temporary assignments. Rio is a party town and so it’s sometimes may be difficult to build deep friendships, but with time and effort this definitely happens.
How would you summarize your expat life in Rio de Janeiro in a single, catchy sentence?
There is something magical about crazy, messy, inefficient Rio. It forces creativity out of you and leaves you a better and happier person – a carioca.