My work recently started up a new worldwide tournament series, and part of the rollout was sending observers to see how it was going. My boss needed someone to go to Brazil for a long weekend, and I leapt at the opportunity. (Strangely, no one else in my department did – maybe they don’t love travel as much as me?) It did a take a couple stressful weeks to get my (10-year!) visa approved, but then I was off on a 20 hour airplane/airport adventure!

I have never been down to South America, although it’s been on my list. Due to my short time there, I was only able to see Sao Paulo, but wow, what a city! It felt like an enormous, old European city. The people, especially the Magic playing community in town for the event, were beyond friendly – they were amazing! During part of Sunday, I walked down the central financial district street that had museums, restaurants and a giant rainforest park. More than any other trip I’ve taken in recent memory, this one whet my appetite for seeing more of the country and hanging out more with the people. (Also, every kind of food – including pizza and sushi! – can be found as a rodizio, or as you may more commonly know it, all-you-can-eat buffet a la Brazilian Steakhouse churrascurias.)

It may be on the other side of the world, but it was so nice to visit that Brazil will be on my short list of places to return.