Through the Looking Glass | a Virtual Travel to Brazil

Virtual Travel to Rio de Janeiro

Whenever you close your eyes, even for a moment, you can hear it calling you. It’s a pull you hardly notice and barely recognize, but just as you cannot pin it down, you can’t quite shut it out, either. It’s faint at first, subtle, on the edge of your senses. A faint echo, the rolling of water. It comes and goes so quickly, at first you’re not sure what it is. Then, you shut your eyes again, and it’s unmistakable. The sound of the sea. Large, powerful waves breaking on a shore far from here. You’re not sure how you know, but you do. You concentrate on those waves, and you can feel them growing louder, nearer. Your stress begins to melt away.

You’re traveling to Brazil. It’s like you are there

You can feel the sea spray on your face. The air is warm, very warm- the ocean mist that sprinkles you is cool and refreshing. Your eyes drift open, and everything has transformed. The world you once knew, gone, far from here. Now you stand barefoot in the sand, and a gentle wave rolls up the beach, bathing your feet in beautiful swirling water. The blue-green of the sea is tinted gold by the setting sun as it slowly sinks behind the lush mountains in the distance. As you pace the crescent shaped beach in the surf, your eyes scan the shoreline- a line of towering skyscrapers coming to life as the sun sets, backed by even larger mountains, green with forests of life. Copacabana beach. Rio de Janeiro.
 
You’ve fallen through a window to the world, washed ashore somewhere completely new- or perhaps familiar. It’s a blur that captures every moment. You find yourself traveling along the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, bearing witness to the beauty of its wildlife and vegetation. You are a pilgrim then, ascending through the rich forests of Corcovado mountain in pursuit of Cristo Redentor. Finally, you reach the summit, and take a breath, long and slow. From there, you find the view is breathtaking.

Anything interesting to see? Everything!

Emerging from the lush forests upon the rolling hills, you come into the city under the night sky- the lights among the buildings rivaling the stars. And even though night has fallen, the city is not asleep by any means. The air is warm and filled with festive music, and the streets likewise with the hustle and bustle of people, business and pleasure, and even though you know that some have retired to bed, you also know that the city is quite alive. 
In its own distinct way, the city of Rio de Janeiro proves just as colorful and lively as the surrounding jungles from which you’ve emerged The towering buildings are lit with golds and greens, and the people around you are bedecked in bright colors of their own- reds and greens, blues and whites. You almost feel out of place, but they welcome you.
 
To be there- to wander the rainforests teeming with beautiful wildlife- to run the city; the loud and wild parties, sights overwhelming, the festivals, food and culture all showcasing a life of their own… Brazil, Rio- beautiful always, but even more so now, as summer reaches its peak and the world has become enraptured, caught up in the heart of the Summer Olympics… And you’re a part of it too, a small piece, united with the world all over in the spirit of competition.

One by one, the events unfold. The swimming. The biking. Archery. Footraces- each is different, and it’s unfamiliar at first, but you can’t deny your excitement. They unfold one after the other, a steady rhythm that you come to know well. You watch with baited breath, in silence with the strangers all around you as the athletes compete- the air, filled with numerous languages moments ago, is now still and silent. Then the climax, and that silence is replaced by wild cheering, and you realize that everyone celebrates in the same language. You close your eyes and smile. You hear it again- the roaring of ocean waves, and the tide is going out.

You open your eyes again, and while things have returned to normal, you find yourself feeling a connection to the world. And it’s beautiful.

Would you do it again? Look. You only have to ask.