“My velvet escape travel tip” is a guest series about what the name ‘Velvet Escape’ evokes and what that would be in the hometown of the guest writer. With this series, I hope to uncover travel tips from places around the world to help visitors have a truly local experience.
I love escaping, in all connotations of the word. Whether it is physically parting on a journey or mentally transporting myself to places I get contentment from. It is no coincidence that my blog’s name is Genuine Escapism.
A velvet escape for me is going somewhere that feels good, makes me feel alive and free. A place I could stare forever, where sometimes I sigh by simply being there because of its beauty or the way it makes me feel blissful.
My velvet escape in Rio de Janeiro is a very sensual experience. Not in a carnal, sultry way, but in an implication that it involves all of my senses. I start my way through Leblon’s black and white Portuguese stone boardwalk by standing on the edge and staring at the ocean for a moment. It’s hardly ever cloudy. The sun’s reflection on the water makes me think of a path I wish to walk on, made of stars.
I then start walking towards Ipanema. It is so lively here – beach volleyball practice, fresh looking swimmers (still dripping wet), ice sellers on their tricycles, dog walkers, meandering skaters, bikers, runners, baby strollers…
I try to mentally exercise that absolute truths don’t exist. What is true for me, might not be for you, what is necessary, pleasant and beautiful for me, might not be for you. But in Rio certain truths have proven themselves as absolute – there’s always someone at the beach, the beer is always cold and the Christ statue always has its arms wide open.
As I walk from Leblon to Ipanema I can smell sea air, sunscreen, sweat, bathed babies, roasted coalho cheese…
I often bump into someone who is always generous with a hug or a friendly kiss on the cheek.
By the time I get to Arpoador beach, I’m sticky, perspiring, a bit more suntanned and smiling. I climb my way up a few rock hills until I find a spot to sit. From there, I contemplate the view of Ipanema and Leblon beaches with the Dois Irmãos Mountain on the far end. I take a deep breath. There’s not a time when I look at that mountain and not lose my breath – but is that my truth or an absolute truth? I could gaze at that landscape ceaselessly. Until I feel the dryness in my mouth and remember I’m parched. I then make my way towards the nearest kiosk and order a fresh, cold, green coconut and sip on a straw, holding my round, natural drink and savor the sweet taste of coconut water, still staring at the most lively beaches I treasure dearly.
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About this week’s guest writer
Adriana Lacerda was born in Salvador, Brazil. She first moved abroad when she was eleven months old and has been on the move for the past 26 years in Peru, Brazil, USA, Spain and Cyprus. A few months ago, Adriana decided to move back to Brazil and now lives in Rio. When she’s not in an office engaged in marketing activities, Adriana is out taking photographs, writing and planning her next trip.
Read more ‘My velvet escape travel tips‘: