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Brazil

So I'm leaving for Brazil tomorrow (Recife, Brazil) to attend a conference for work/school. I'm presenting my research at a poster session and two of my co-workers are giving talks. 

I feel like I should be more excited. . . has anyone ever been to Recife or Brazil in general? I need to get pumped! Also, we're doing a redeye flight from Miami -- the flight is 11 hours which is the longest I've ever flown before.  Any tips on "surviving" such a long flight and being able to function the next morning? 

I think I might miss you ladies while I'm gone!

Re: Brazil

  • calindicalindi member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    This is my speciality!  Never been to Brazil, but my colleague used to live there and her husband's still in Rio until the end of November.  And I travel a LOT.

    Look up what TripAdvisor has to say about it - usually there's some great recommendations for things to do and places to see, even restaurants to eat at.  I'm a major culinary tourist, so the first thing I want to know is what the drink and food specialties of the region are and where the locals go to enjoy these things.

    Also, Lonely Planet (both the books and the website) is good for budget travelers for ideas for things to do - I love their books!  Fodors and Frommers online also have a decent amount of information, though on previous trips I've disagreed with them on a number of items so I don't use them myself anymore.

    As far as flights go, the best thing to do is try to sleep as much as possible.  You're going to be tired the next day, but the time difference isn't too drastic (4 hours, right?) so the jet lag shouldn't be too bad.  It'll just be like having a night when you don't sleep well.

    I usually bring an inflatable neck pillow - for me, it's a good investment so I bought a $40 one from Brookstone that I love.  But any old neck pillow is pretty good as long as you find it comfortable.  Eye patches are good because lights get turned on in the cabin often.  Earplugs for screaming babies.  I also bring a soft carry-on that I can rest my feet on as I have short legs and I like to have a foot rest so I can extend my legs. I'll usually pop 1-2 Benadryl as soon as I get on the plane - it'll make you a bit sleepy, but it won't "make" you sleep like a sleeping pill, so you won't feel groggy from it the next day.  Try to sleep - if you really can't, read for a bit then try again.  Don't watch movies as your brain has a harder time shutting off after digitial stimulation like television and computer screens.  Usually I'll sleep 2-3 hours at a time, then read for 45 minutes or so and eat something then try to sleep again.

    Good luck!  It's not so bad, I promise!

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    Anniversary

  • Elle1036Elle1036 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I would be totally pumped if I were you.  I've never been to Brazil (well, I've never been anywhere, really), so I'm completely jealous.

    You'd better miss us!
  • coastiegrl25coastiegrl25 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Cate is so wise. She needs a badge.  Oh and yes, Brazil sounds amazing be sure to take advantage of everything you can while being there!
    When is my wedding
  • edited December 2011
    Wow! That's awesome! I'm so jealous. All of my conferences have been in middle-of-nowhere Ohio or Maryland.
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    Married! :) 5/19/12 The Domesticals

  • edited December 2011
    Don't bring anything valuable.  Theft/Robbery is a major problem in Brazil.
  • calindicalindi member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Shoes is right - try to keep a low profile, and be sure to have your hotels call you cabs.  It's not uncommon in LatAm for "cabs" to drive around to pick up people, then rob them.  Keep your passport and an extra credit card locked in a safe in your hotel.  Also, don't carry a lot of money on you at one time.

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    Anniversary

  • Blue & WhiteBlue & White member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I think the point of a "redeye" flight is to sleep on the plane.  That being said, I'm horrible at sleeping on planes.  I might just pop a Benadryl to assist in the sleepage.

    My bride (that I'm MOH for) is originally from Brazil.  The way she talks about it totally makes me want to go.  I hear Rio de Janeiro is quite the party spot.  She lived right by there (until she was 13 or so) - not sure about Recife.

    Conferences tend to be pretty ridiculously busy in my field (science) though, so the best thing to do might be to find someone at lunch who has been to the conference before (in that location, if it doesn't change...) to give you a little tour.  Obviously, don't go off with some random person by your lonesome.  The buddy system is your friend.
    I guess, to tell you the truth, I've never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I've managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache. - Peyton
  • CASK85CASK85 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for the advice ladies :) I'm getting more excited as the day goes by, and I'll try to do some research tonight on places to eat/see.

    Blue&White -- I'm in science too. This conference only takes place every 4 years and it is in a different place every time. I doubt I'll have a ton of time to do stuff, but JIC I want to have some ideas.
  • edited December 2011
    Phrase books are indispensable.

    The Lonely Planet phrase book goes for about $9, is tiny enough to fit in any bag, and contains every phrase you will need.

    Even if you are in a place where "most people speak English" it's helpful to have. Many times, cab drivers will not speak English. Chances are, neither will security guards, grocery store clerks... and those are oftentimes the only people around when you need to ask directions.

    Just as a tip, if you don't feel comfortable trying to pronounce a phrase, you can always point to it. It may feel embarrassing, but I do this all of the time. They get a good laugh, and I get what I need :-)

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