Hi friends!! How is your week going? If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably worked out by now that the family and I have landed here in Brazil. We are still getting settled into our apartment. Luckily we found a furnished place so we have a bed and living and dining room furniture. We also took 14(!) pieces of luggage with us on the plane so we have a ton of clothes and we managed to pack in some utensils, sheets and pots and pans as well so we have all the basics. It’s a good thing because we shipped most of our stuff via UPS and our tracking numbers are saying the stuff hasn’t left NYC ????!
I’m super excited about our apartment. We lived in a one bedroom for six years in NYC and while we obviously liked it enough to stay for six years, towards the end space was really becoming an issue. We now have three bedrooms, four bathrooms (2 full and 2 half), a large kitchen, a massive pantry, our own washer and dryer and a big living room. We also have a ton of storage, which is a truly welcome change. I’ll be sure to post some pics once we have the place cleaned and ready to go.
I’m also pretty excited that it is summer in Brazil. The first couple of days we were here were so so hot (above 30 degrees celsius) but it has cooled down a bit since. Our apartment complex has a pool so we’ve been taking advantage of that.
There is even a baby pool for Coops!
We’ve been out to eat a couple of times. I am loving the coffee and fresh juice here but I have been less than thrilled with the food options. We found a great breakfast place but I’ve been having a hard time with lunch and dinner. There is A LOT of meat and pasta. I love pasta but I like some variety. I am missing my local Indian restaurant so much!
Although Sao Paulo is a huge city, it is actually very green. There is a nice park called Parco de Povo not far from our house. There is also a huge park called Ibirapuera sort of in the middle of the city. It is Central Park in Sao Paulo. I haven’t been there yet but have heard so much about it!
Getting set up is way more difficult than I imagined. We don’t have a car yet and we are hesitant to take Cooper in a taxi so we have been making trips to the mall and bringing back only what we can carry. Also, basic things seem to be outrageously expensive. For instance, we found the exact trash can I want for our kitchen and it was close to $300!!!! Crazy. I can’t find anything similar to Target or Walmart so we have to shop at fancy home stores that are not cheap.
It seems like there are two classes in Sao Paulo—those with a TON of money and those that live in poverty. I’m sure there is a middle class but it does not seem like the economy caters to it the way it does in America and Australia.
We STILL don’t have internet at our house. People, I am having serious withdrawals and my international data plan is taking a huge beating. We have to get our tax numbers before we can sign up with the internet service provider. We have to go in person to get these numbers. Such a pain!
Despite all the growing pains, I think our little family will be happy here for a few years. I’m looking forward to having some family visit us and traveling around South America! I’m also very excited to share my journey with all of you!
Readers, have you ever lived abroad? How do you get settled in a new place? How long can you go without access to internet?
Oooh nice, you are so going to enjoy having more space, especially now that you have a baby! I remember after I lived in a small apartment for a bunch of years, moving to a larger space was SO NICE. Having a garage to throw decorations and suitcases in is something I don’t take for granted these days! It’s also great that your complex has a pool. It’ll be nice when you have time to relax poolside!
I find that when I move to a new area, it takes me a good amount of time to get settled and find my new favorite spots/shops/restaurants/parks/etc. In a few months you’ll probably have found some fun restaurants that give you more variety in your diet!
Awwww so nice to have so much more space with the baby! I always wonder how people in NYC can manage with a baby!! Such an exciting adventure for you guys, I’m sure it’ll take some time to feel more settled and at home, but you’ll find your fav spots soon enough. Super jealous of your weather and pool right about now!
I actually saw an article once where a couple admitted to setting up a nursery in their spare bathroom in NYC. We lived in our one bedroom for six years and at the end we just had way too much stuff, especially with the baby. I will never take space for granted ever!
Your apartment sounds amazing. Moving is never easy, however. It is helpful if there is a newcomers club yet I doubt you will find one in Brazil especially for Americans or Australians. Maybe you will connect with some expatriates like yourselves and start your own circle of like-minded folks who help one another!
The first few months are so hard! Missing everything you’re used to and not really having your bearings yet. I’m sure you went through that a bit in Australia as well, but it has to be harder with a baby. Hang in there, I’m sure you will be in love with your new city before too long. On days you’re not, you should just wander around your ENORMOUS apartment and revel in the space!!! (so jealous!) 😉
There ARE Walmarts in Brazil, and it looks like there’s three in Sao Paulo. Brazil tends to be pretty good about importing US goods, so with a bit of searching you should be able to find everything you need! And yes, in South America, weird stuff is expensive. In Argentina, electronics are easily 2x more than they would be in the States. Also, I may or may not have just spent $7 US for a bottle of French’s yellow mustard (because it is the taste of home).
In terms of the diet… it’s a challenge. Our local supermercados have large selections of cheap, delicious, beautiful veggies and fruits–but you go out to eat, and you’re right, it’s all meat and pasta. I’ve found that reading expat blogs helps to find out where the “foreigner approved” cuisine is. (Pick Up the Fork is Buenos Aires’ version, but I’m sure there’s one for Sao Paulo, since there’s so many expats there as well.)
I just heard there are Walmart! I’m so happy! I need to get a car so we can get there and get some stuff! I’ve found that I’ve spent more on items that I really like from home. I just met a few other foreigners who gave me a few recommended places to eat so I’m working on that!
So happy to have some news and to read about how everything is going. I am sure it is a big adjustment but in a few months you will look back and you will feel great knowing what you accomplished. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures !
WOW! How cool is that that you’re living in BRAZIL! You have lived in and seen some incredible places. I’m excited to hear about your adventures down there. All of your food looks fabulous, as always. I also wish I had a baby pool like that!! I hope you can get settled in soon.
The most of the poorly developed countries lack middle class. The reason that they are don’t develop is because the politicians are corrupt and there is monopoly in every sector! The people are kept poor and low educated so it is easier to control… Sad but true! I used to live in Brazil… there is like this, I also lived in Albania and in Nigeria…It is like this everywhere. Thanks for the lovely post and I am sorry to spoil the positive vibe but you were wondering about it so I decided to write few words! Have a lovely time! 🙂