4 min read
A few years ago I was in Istanbul & a man working as a shoe-shiner walking in front of me dropped one of his tools. I caught up to hand him his tool, "Sir, you dropped this". He teared up and asked to shake my hand, explaining that it was the first time in years someone had called him "Sir". I gave him a hug & I've never gotten over it.
The moments add up as you travel more & the most addicting thing for me is the intense curiosity I feel every day. I'm not looking three days or three weeks out. If you're doing it right, you're fully present. What will today bring? Who will I meet? How do I describe to the barber how to cut my hair in a new language? In my 20's I was fortunate enough to travel often but it was always quick - a few days, maybe a week. I was able to gain a glimpse into their lives. Eat the food. Have a few laughs. Strong connections were rare because there wasn't enough time. You can be vulnerable & assertive in trying to get close to people but you need time.
This time around I'm staying weeks or months and it's a different experience. Your neighbors, employees at the restaurants & stores you frequent, new friends... it all changes when you have time to develop the relationship and that's when you really start to understand the culture. I've been accused of being overly optimistic but once you start to understand and feel a new culture, how can you not love it? All of them. The ultimate human experience.
The challenge becomes replicating the curiosity and person you are while traveling - when you're home. As we get older it gets even harder, right? To be excited and curious about your own life in the same Town with the same people as you get into your 30's, 40's, 50's etc. can be a struggle. I think it's healthy to get over ourselves & lose interest in our own personal development as the end all be all. The years add up, you've seen it all. I think having a child can combat this. To experience their curiosities through their eyes every day & care for their wellbeing above yours. I feel something similar to this when I meet people like the man in Istanbul. I'm ready & can't wait for that next stage of life but it can't be forced & the only other way I've found to feel fresh, curious and happy is to get out of my comfort zone. I won't return to the US until I can figure out how to replicate that curiosity & maybe I won't return anyways.
Brazil. I love everything about it. I've been a few times before and have very good friends in Rio & Sao Paulo. This -- as with anywhere else in the world -- makes a big difference. Experiencing Carnaval was high on my list & it did not disappoint. A family affair throughout the day & during the show with adults only parties following well into the morning. The work & detail that goes into the costumes and floats is unlike anything I've seen. The music & energy matches step for step.
Brazilians live in the moment. When you're at dinner or out for drinks with friends they sincerely enjoy each others company. Phones are in pockets. And they love hard. Very affectionate, family and friends are priorities and they take care of each other. My favorite culture in the world - so far.
Rio v Sao Paulo? Personally, Rio all day. Being seaside naturally relaxes everyone's shoulders. The beach can be a party any time you're in the mood with mini beachside bars every few hundred meters and it goes for miles. The cuisine is international, as good as anywhere else in the World and you can walk straight from the beach to the relaxed yet cosmopolitan vibe in Leblon. Sao Paulo is New York City South. The City never stops and the restaurant/bar scene is never ending. In NYC, escaping to Central Park is a must to keep your balance & that's Ibirapuera in SP. Both cities are World class.
Sao Paulo Recs
Purgatorio - Spanish Tapas. Sit at the bar & Diego will take care of you. Cozy two/four tops as well.
Arlete Bar - Popular spot. Food/drinks. Chill sceney.
Boteco Belmonte - Best place to get a beer and hang out with friends. Indoor/outdoor spilling into the street
Princesa Bar & Restaurant
Bar do Mineiro
Tasca Miuda Restaurant
Ladies HNLY was released and had a great 1st week. If sales continue to trend up we will green light a short sleeve version of the initial style. Further out, additional fabrics (cashmere, merino wool) will be considered.
Baby HNLY onesie - In development.
HNLY Journals. Ep. 2 - Releasing in June. If you'd like to see ahead of time - reach out and I will share with you.