Overlanding in the Brazil and thoughts
EDIT: This post has gone out of hand haha. The idea was writing about my experience overlanding Brazil with my Jeep. It took a hard turn into the metaphysical structure of Being. I skewered all of my thoughts down. I hope that you can get the meaning of the message somewhere in the offing of my limited vocabulary. All the fun is always between the hard land and the vast limitless ocean of knowledge. Somewhere in that zone, great ideas get born and reborn.
Canada to Brazil
That country, you gotta be careful. Cause it’s going to steal your heart.
And you’ll be dreaming going back to Brasil non-stop.
Sure, I almost got rob at gun point at a red light in Rio de Janeiro – never stop at a red light in Rio when driving a black on black Wrangler with a giant CANADA flag on the grille – but hell, it’s like a drug: you need a fix.
I drove from Canada to Rio de Janeiro, which is crazy enough. I went all the way down to the very tip of Argentina. I look at that now and I’m like "wtf who did that!?”
Never limit your potential.
This is the take-away of this article. Just listen to David Goggins and read his book if you need an extra dose of self-motivation.
Dream larger, ask for more from the Universe, cause I was just a kid working in a chocolate factory in a little shitty town outside of Montreal when I was 19 years old…and five years later, I was driving my Jeep with the top down, Taylor Swift loud and clear in the radio, on the beaches of Mexico.
Two years later Mexico, here I was riding the Jeep in Florianópolis, Brazil. How did that even happened, right!? I wasn’t born rich, nor did I make any drug money. Money was made from the oil and gas business in Alberta and the Yukon Territory. There it is. That’s one heck of an opportunity we got here in Canada. If you wanna grind, you can grind as hard as you want and get paid big bucks for the insanity of your work (such as installing pipeline at minus -39ºC). Five years plan is a real thing: you can make it happen. Most people don’t end up where they want to be in life because…they don’t know where they want to be.
I feel like the luckiest man on Earth. Heck, I’m 27 years old, traveled through the Americas barefoot in the sickest convertible Jeep. I’m the luckiest bastard on Earth, and I asked myself daily how can I give back this world. I received so much blessing.
Back to Brazil.
Should I start an english school in a favela? Start a coding school in Rio? How do I give back to humanity!
Those ideas haven’t left me. What is the point of gaining the whole world if one soul his soul? I’m quoting Mark in the Bible, because sometimes calling the supernatural into the natural bridges the gap of the 3rd dimension interaction to the 5th, and that’s what I need right now.
Jordan B. Peterson says that sometimes Men can only get through some life’s circumstances by employing terms such as Good vs Evil, because that’s the only thing left to talk about once all the dead woods has burnt. When there’s no more pretending, no more masks, when all the backstops of a mission has been crossed, only then we can enter the holy ground of Good vs Evil discussions. Because this isn’t something to be taken lightly. It isn’t a conversation for the casual men that never gone through existential suffering. I might not have war PTSD, but when you see 42 countries at a young age you see desperation, you see inequality, you see real pain, real misery, real slavery. All of that stays with you. You carry these things. And you experience Good vs Evil itself: You start to understand that you are actual the full spectrum of the good versus evil dichotomy. You are Jesus to Lucifer, that’s how low you can go. You’re Lucifer to Jesus, that’s how good you can be.
There’s a spectrum of goodness that’s available to do with this life. Travelling in a poor hood with a Jeep and travel gear that’s worth more than a few houses on the street you’re on driving down the demise of humanity, paved with the own collective amnesia of who we were called to be, is one heck of a feeling to absorb. It’s like, hell, what do you do about it?
And the more you are aware of it, the more you owe.
The point of this life isn’t about the Me. It’s about those kids in the favelas, those single moms in Africa, those kids in Vietnam. It’s about them. But until you reach the point of understanding that you are not it, you have to become It. You have to focus on yourself at all cost before even thinking about saving anybody else.
So what the hell do I do now. Canada is truly the paradise on Earth – we have it so good down here. I got brothers and sisters in Brasil that I want to help.
I am now back to Canada. I take this time to carefully craft my next five years plan of life. If you stick with it, you can do anything you want. Just have to be ready to make extreme life sacrifice, but hey, that’s the rule of the game. If you want exceptional result, you have to be willing to take exceptional actions.
Above: Driving to Floripa! Gramado campground
My favorite places
I wrote a few days ago that highway 459 between Guaratinguetá and Paraty is one of my favorite road of the Americas. It’s a glorious road to do if you got the chance.
Brazil was one of my favorite country to overland: I went from the Pantanal in Matto Grosso Sur to Rio de Janeiro, down to Paraty to Floripa to Rio Grande do Sul.
Brazilians are the best. With the Colombianos, Brazilians are among the nicest people on Earth. I made more friends in Brazil then anywhere else on the planet. And not because I looked like a wealthy gringo: because they genuinely thought that I was fucked-up for having driving my Jeep from motherfucking Alaska to their country. Even cops pulled me over just to take pictures of the Jeep. I made friends at gas station; on the beaches; in coffee shops; in parking area. The friendliest people on Earth. That’s Brazil. If only I could hire 100 brazilians and give them Canadian wages. Because here’s the sad thing about Brazil: it is the richest country on Earth when it comes to natural resources, yet only a few people ever get the chance to make it to the top. The system is rigged. You can’t make it quick in Brazil. One of my friend was making less as a lawyer than a trucker here in Canada. A trucker needs one month course and can start making 14 000 reals/month. She was, on the other hand, making something like 5000 reals a month. After five years of university.
That’s what so crazy about it. They got everything, from oil and gas to mining to the Amazonias to cacao to coffee farm to the tourism industry, and they got the nicest people on Earth! Ah, corruption. My heart is filled with sadness for the local Brazilian. I need to make it here in Canada so I can hire Brazilian and Argentinian (they have it worst: they went from 1USD = 3 argentinian pesos to 1 USD = 46 pesos, in 10 years!)
My all time favorite spot in Brazil, and I feel that I only saw about 2% of the country, is Paraty Trinidad. Ohhhhhh that place. This is the spot. I could spend a life there.
Gramado is awesome too, but it can be weird if you’re coming from the North: Ferraris and Porsches are on the street. It doesn’t make sense in Brazil, but that’s there. Gramado is a German state based in South America haha: It doesn’t belong there neither. It’s ultra german and kind of cold climate: you won’t even feel like being in Brazil in this town. The best chocolate that I have eaten in my life is all found here.
I had a tremendous amount of fun in Rio Grande do Sul. I need to come back and explore more the region…the Amazonias, for example.
Above: Driving towards Gramado, Rio de Janeiro, a friend surfing in Floripa
I thought a lot while driving.
Away from the revelry of life, I was able to corral together my cruder feelings towards Existence. It led me to write a book. It led me to a better understand of what life is all about.
I am here as an harbinger for young Men: Yes, you can find meaning worth suffering for. Step out of the normalcy of the human rigged game of Society. Get the hell out. Pack your thing, heck, drive to Mexico. Or make a one-year budget idea and execute you a small get-away mission.
The idea that one can change the world without being in the world is wrong in two folds. First, to be part of the world, you have to be physically in the world. Traveling definitely puts you right at the edge of your comfort zone. In second hand, there’s no great change in civilization with a passive attitude to it. You change things you take a stand, even in front of giants. Martin Luther King is an example of a man that took a stand.
Here’s a story. I remember being in a back end alley with an american brother in Medellin. We went around town to listen to some loud Chino & Nacho in the Wrangler with the top down. Figured that we should get an energy drink to keep up dancing behind the wheels. So we found a small cornerstore. A small crowd gathered, as they saw the Jeep-with-a-giant-CANADA-plate pulling at their family-owned business. We exchanged smiles and small chats. At the moment, I knew that all of the trials and hard worked that I put in changed the life forever of the young kids there. They admired us. They will think about this moment for the rest of their life. The time that two canadian gringos showed up to their store…with the sexiest black Jeep on Earth…from CA-NA-DAAA.
This happened over and over through the Americas. I had a thousand smiles and a thousand thumbs-up. People aren’t even jealous of the luck: They’re just happy that one motherfucker made it out alive from the rat race.
I was driving down the highway between Floripa and Gramado, 120 km/h on the cruise control, no care in the whole damn world, top down, barefoot, Carlos Vives at the top of my radio.
If that ain’t freedom from the rat race, then I don’t know what it is.
Zero fucks given all the way up.
Some might think that I am crazy, and they would be just right.
This world has been ruined by given-too-much-fucks-people. They are everyone. They are the downers. They are the haters. They despise success in others because they are so unaware of their own ultimate demise, oblivious to their mortality, oblivious to the rules of the Game of Life, that they are left to hate what they crave the most: Freedom.
And freedom –the true one, not the one that gets sold to you in a church–, is the freedom of your Self. You get over the ego by dying to it. That’s metanoia, that’s Paul I recall from the gospel. Metanoia is the new born creature, new sort of intelligence, a new wave of awareness seeping profoundly through every layers of your own being.
You get there by looking at Death itself and fighting it in a duel. Jacob this right this in the old testament. He fought The Lord himself. I did that in my 80 000 kilometres roadtrip in the Americas. That bitch called death, I looked up in her eyes and dealt with her, over and over and over, through accidents avoiding meditation to downright scary roads in Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, Panama and the rest.
True adulthood gets attained by understanding –too weak of a word, let’s try experimenting– vivid realities: it can be war-zone, intense solo travelling in the Himalayas or the Americas, or solo meditation in a Bus deep in the Alaskan bushes.
We have a bunch of adult-teen running the streets of the Americas because The Power That Be engineered a system where everybody needs to chase the dollar to feed their own kins. It’s a mad race, a rat race where the promised rewards is an old-age hospice where they deprive you from your own right to die with dignity.
Nobody gets out of this game alive.
We are all dying here.
So I drove for all of us, for humanity, to give hope, that the total matrix, at least one part it, fought himself and the system to get out alive and embrace the warm sun on his skin.
That’s the reading I got from the last 20 000 faces that I’ve seen from older men across the Americas.
I did it for them. I reached the southern most point of the Americas –and reached the highest point in the Canadian Arctic–, for them, for all of those truckers that didn’t have a chance to travel the world. I wanted to give them hope. Look, it isn’t that easy when you’re 45 and got four kids and make a miserable salary working your ass off and because your government is so corrupted that your whole saving account melt like butter in a Mexican sun. Ain’t easy. Life’s a fucking bitch for 99% of the American, from Canada to Panama to Argentina.
It’s easy to dance when the music plays, but can you find yourself dancing when it stops? That’s what everybody has to find out.
Above: sunrise in Floripa, the street of Paraty, stuck in the Sao Paulo traffic
Above Gramado and last picture is Paraty Trinidad, taken with a drone
I am thinking about going back to Brazil eventually, to take more time there. More time to help the country.
As for the overlanding part of this post, well, it’s easy: Gas station has free wifi and delicious espresso. The highways and roads are nice compared to the rest of the continent. People are helpful and friendly, albeit not too many people speak English. If you can learn portuguese, kudos to you. I had a good time saying posto de gasolina somewhat okay for people to understand me.
Maybe that’s my next move: learning portuguese. Then I could start a coding or photography school somewhere in Brazil.
Thank you for your reading!
Thank you! Hope to see you soon!
Below: Me in a river around Paraty Mirim. Almost lost the Jeep in a river, as it went out of its bed during a heavy downpour. That Zero Fucks Given t-shirt means: Stop giving importance that don’t really matter and pay goddamn attention to those which do.