8 flights, 4 insanely long bus trips, a couple hitchhiked rides from kind strangers, a few boats, and 1 motorcycle ride later...I'm finally home from my backpacking trip in Brazil. And I am SO EXCITED to write about it. This trip was insane, in every way. I learned so much about the country, spirituality, body and soul needed this trip.

My decision to book a flight to Rio de Janeiro was incredibly personal and impulsive. I didn't really think about it—as soon as the opportunity arose, I knew that I had to go. To make a long story short (there will be another blog post featuring aforementioned long story), I jumped on a plane (3 planes actually) and traveled over 24 hours (including incredibly long layovers where I spent hours uncomfortably scrunched in airport chairs reading and trying not to fall asleep) to finally land in beautiful Rio and meet up with one of my friends. Here are some photos from my first few days, in between working (will explain in the long story):

Of course had to sneak some photos with the Redeemer himself 😏

While sitting on a beach one day, I looked up in the sky and saw several people paragliding and I decided I wanted to jump in on the fun.

And now I get to talk about Ilha Grande 😍🤤 A friend I met while staying in a hostel in Rio mentioned a little island just off the coast, so naturally I was all for it. More beaches!!! We took a short (3 hours is short compared to how long some of the bus trips I endured on this trip were) bus ride to a ferry dock, and from there we took a ferry to this beautiful island.

After 2 days spent on Ilha Grande (not nearly long enough, mind you), my friend Reyanne and I hopped on a plane and flew up to the northeast coast of this massive country, stopping first in São Luís, eagerly anticipating finally visiting a place we had been talking about for months. Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses was straight out of a dream. It completely blows my mind that places like this exist on our planet, and we are free to come and go and view them as we please. Walking up and seeing this natural phenomenon in person truly left me speechless. Hands down, my favorite experience of the entire trip.

Brazil is truly one of the most beautiful countries I've ever visited, and a huge part of this I attribute to the huge hearts that the locals have. More times than I can count, a man or woman gave us a ride in the rain, dropped what they were doing to help give directions/instructions, went completely out of their way just to be of's amazing how cultures can differ so drastically. A prime example of the insane generosity of the locals: Rey and I were struggling trying to find a way to this little beach town called Jericoacoara. The quickest way we could find to get there would take us 2 days by bus, and we really didn't have that much time to kill. By some miracle of the universe, this man named Leo (whom we had met when we first arrived in São Luís, he actually gave us a ride to our hostel in Lençóis) found us right as we were waiting for our Jeep after playing in the dunes. He told us he found us a ride to Jeri, and if we wanted, we had an hour and a half to get back to our hostel, pack up, shower and get ready for the 7 hour drive overnight. Next thing we knew, we were on the back of this man's motorcycle flying through the streets. Like...what? I can't tell this story without laughing. Two hours later, we were in the car with a FAMILY OF THREE, carpooling with them for the next 7 hours. Here we are, thinking Leo meant he had a transfer van for us...but nope. Just a generous family who was down to help a couple of backpackers out. Hours later, we arrived in one of our new favorite places.

In Jeri, Rey and I made some friends (all over the town) and spent almost every day lying on the beach. Here are some phone pics hehe

We hiked up (and then back down) a little hill where we watched THE most insane sunset in the history of insane sunsets.

From Jeri, Rey and I made our way to Pipa, where I learned how to surf, danced until 4am to reggae in the rain, and got eaten alive by mosquitos. This is also where we formed our new girl gang we self-titled "Pipa Babes." I love these women.

After a few days in Pipa, we made the journey to Salvador. Immediately, I knew I was going to love this place.

From beautiful Salvador, Rey and I made our way to a little beach down called Itacaré. We stayed there for a couple days, and from there flew back to Rio, where we packed our things and prepared for the long journey home (which ended up being more stressful than planned aka I forgot my phone in the Uber that took us to the airport, causing me to miss my flight, forcing me to purchase a new flight home by times). But I wouldn't trade any mistake, blunder, rained in day for anything. It all made the trip perfect.

Here are some photos from my phone that I look at way more than I'd like to admit. I miss Brazil.

travelasha bailey