In the past year, I’ve been noticing something that I’d call a trend or a movement among Brazil bloggers and expats…they’re leaving Brazil. Sure, they aren’t leaving for good as I’m sure they will return in order to matar a saudade or perhaps to retire, but still, they are leaving and that leaves me wondering why. Through my own experiences in their shoes, I can understand the hard parts of life in Brazil but still, I ask myself if they know something I don’t because most (if not all) have enjoyed longer stays than I.
In general, it seems they are going back to their own countries because their journey of adventure and self-exploration ran its course, which makes Brazil their testing grounds. Does this mean Brazil on its own is a special place for testing theories and doing experiments or do gringos simply find the country and culture to be at enough of a contrast to their own country that they allow themselves to exlpore (both themselves and that which is foreign)? There seems to be a correlation here with the rite of passage into adulthood which, in itself, could be deemed foreign.
Extracting the ‘lifers’ (the long-haulers) out of the equation, we’re looking at in-country stays of anywhere between a few months to roughly two years. Take away the financial struggle of trying to stay afloat in another country and I’m wondering how many would gladly stay put in Brazil. The other question which remains is if expats in other countries follow the same patterns and keep time with the flow of the gringo gain and drain in Brazil, although I suppose there are too many factors to consider, mainly their type of visa (tourist, student, work or marriage).
What is interesting about the drains is that Brazil is experiencing a boom leading up to the World Cup and the Olympics which means those that leave won’t be first-hand witnesses of what could be epic changes and the excitement that goes along with it. Then again, for us cultural lifers, Brazil has always had a cool factor so world-sporting events or not, we know that our time on the playing field, and not merely as spectators, gave us epic changes in our own lives. Where we go from here, only the orixas know.