Lady at airport: Where are you going sir?
Me: Sri Lanka to Doha, Doha to Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo to Rio.
Lady at airport: Wow.
Me: Yes, I take it that’s not a common place to go to from Sri Lanka.
This year has been one surprise after another. I didn’t expect to go to South America once, let alone twice in a year! Alas, I’m going back and I’m pumped. To the colourful, tropical and beachy lands of Brazil.
Why am I heading to Brazil?
I’m heading to Brazil to work on my very first TV commercial. I’ll be on set for a brand called FA, which is well known across Europe, America and South America. I don’t think they have a huge Australian audience yet but you may know their Mother company Schwarzkopf.
I arrived to Rio a little bit before the rest of the group which I was very happy about. This gave me some time to see a little bit of what was around. I was staying in Ipanema, one of the popular beach suburbs, right next to Copacabana. I made sure to get up for sunrise each morning which was definitely the favourite part of the first few days in Brazil. Ipanema and Copacabana reminded me very much of Bondi and the coastal suburbs of Sydney. Along the beaches were hundreds of runners, beach gyms every 500m or so and endless games of beach tennis and volleyball. The fitness scene was well and truly pumping and it is one of my favourite environments to be around. It’s something I’d like to see improved in my home town in Australia. In South Australia, I feel so many people would benefit if beach gyms were put in along the coastline. They don’t need any maintenance, encourage fitness and are often a great place to meet new people amongst plenty of other positives.
Once everyone arrived, we took a very wild bus ride down to Ubatuba in Sao Paulo. I think in the last two weeks I’ve well and truly exceeded my time spent in bus quota for the year. Brazillian highways like Sri Lanka didn’t seem to have many rules enforced and nor were they kept in prime condition.
For the next 5 days we would base ourselves out of Ubatuba, staying at an old banana plantation called Bananal Ecolodge. We would leave every morning for sunrise to hidden and secluded beaches to film.
First day on set, we caught the bus to a quiet little bay of local boats, where we were then taken out on to a private island. We spent the day here filming which was a heap of fun. Once again, I had a few friends on this trip with me so when we weren’t filming it was thoroughly enjoyable to kick back and bask in the immaculate surroundings with them. I hadn’t experienced beaches like the ones we were filming on in Sao Paulo; on the horizon were numerous layers and shades of mountains which is something you don’t usually see whilst at the beach.
Over the course of the five days we would continue to film, fortunately the weather was amazing so we were able to complete all the scenes without any trouble.
Some other highlights included the incredible menu of food at the Bananal ecolodge. I think it was the best food I’ve ever eaten on such a consistent basis. I have been eating mostly vegetarian this year but after eating such a wide array of vegetarian dishes that were incredibly delicious, I feel it is now time to make the switch and fully commit to being vegetarian.
Secondly, the company I had with the group of people on the trip was brilliant once again. Along with location, I am a strong believer that the company you surround yourself with any any location is what will make a place average, good, fantastic or unforgettable.
This week has been a blast! Catch ya soon.
Consistency is powerful. – JL