Postcard from my collection with propaganda in Germany during the 19th century promoting immigration of Germans to Brazil

Link to my term paper about tourism and image of Brazil overseas (in Portuguese). There are pictures of advertisement and rare maps and illustrations at the end:

Travel blog (my favourite hobby) written by me, Carla Damasceno Ferreira, a 47-year-old journalist born in the south of Brazil and raised in Brasília, the capital. I love traveling in my spare time, being able to enjoy the best historical tourism, funerary art and the culture of each place through local gastronomy (in a humble, popular or sophisticate, fancy restaurant, it doesn’t matter), besides the material and immaterial cultural heritage of each locality to where I venture myself.

I decided to create this blog due to the constant encouragement of my husband and others around me, who believe I was wasting my time on publishing my photos and travel impressions only in my personal social media.

Here the focus is not going to be on travels for shopping, for example, who knows… In Miami or New York (nothing against those who like it, but definitely it is not my preference, because I can buy anything I wish on the Internet or in the city where I live) and not even on adventure travel (again nothing against those who like it, but I just do not adventure myself into radical activities such as climbing mountains and volcanoes or walking through practically impossible trails etc).

I’ve never been a backpacker either. I like having at the least a basic comfort and, when possible, I appreciate, yes, sophistication, staying in a good hotel, dining in at least one restaurant of high gastronomy in each city I travel to: finally, I enjoy the advantages capitalism has to offer (and why not?). What is natural, therefore, if one never had a certain profile, not even during youthfulness, then it is not at the age of 46 that a personality would modify all of a sudden. The tendency is that we become more demanding over the years – and so it has been with me. On the other hand, I like to investigate the popular culture, the traditional knowledge and practices of each people, what others call (derisively, sometimes) as folklore, popular and religious celebrations.

My pleasure related to traveling begins before the check-in, when I delight myself into researching in details about the chosen destination, carefully pondering the choice of a perfect itinerary. Organization is addictive to me. Addictive is also collecting refrigerator magnets, almost always acquired on travels, among remembrances and stories – hence the name I picked for the blog – as well as always present my mother with a CD of sacred, erudite and / or popular music representative of each itinerary of my trips – what she really enjoys, since she is pianist and a retired music teacher.

I am spellbound by Funerary Art and personifications of death on different cultures. And here I intend to dedicate a good space to these fantastic places which hold the memories of those who once built cities and gather a collection of works by the old style marble mills – what consolidated a trade activity between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – disseminating, through Epitaphs, different languages and cultures. I will share some of the cemeteries I have visited.

I have travelled to many countries, but here I will publish what I have registered in social media over the last six years. If I could I would travel for at least six months a year, but since this is not possible (and I’m also very homebody, I love being at home) I try to visit places on holidays and vacations whenever possible.

I prefer, above all, to travel through Brazil and I confess that I have “rediscovered” the diversity of Brazilian culture even more after my marriage. My husband is a foreigner (a German who had lived for many years in Australia) and moved permanently to Brasília in 2016. Among cultural (and shocks) adaptations, I committed myself to show him a considerable part of the country and much of the so-called “Brasil Profundo” (Deep Brazil, Real Brazil): my State Rio Grande do Sul, with the mixture of Gaucho, German, Italian and Afro-Brazilian cultures; Santa Catarina and Paraná, where German and Italian manifestations, as well as Slavic, are notorious; the Southeast Region (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and mostly the Baroque of Minas Gerais – a distinguishing feature that represents the genuine Brazilian soul), Brasilia, of course, where we live, and the splendorous atmosphere of Goiás, in places like Pirenópolis and Chapada dos Veadeiros, as well as Bahia and Pernambuco, with its colonial legacy from the Holland and Portugal. In a continental country like Brazil, it is clear there is much to discover (and to marvel at), what impressed my husband over the years, who confesses he was not aware about diversity of Brazil and associated it to clichés, common sense, stereotypes – which are, incidentally, de rigueur abroad.

While involved in this daily and arduous exercise of trying to translate such a complex and misunderstood country to a foreigner I married to, I also had the pleasure of rediscovering every city, region, State of a country as mine which overseas (and even domestically due to a short-sighted approach) is reduced to “tourism of human misery” (the infamous tours in favelas), to the script of sun and beach (the coastline, especially the ubiquitous Rio de Janeiro), to negative (when not calumnious) views on Brazilian women (doesn’t matter ethnicity and social class), football and a fixed idea (when not arrogant and intervening, of nearly a neo-colonialism disguised as post-colonialist discourse) on the Amazon. Everything here enumerated in this paragraph made me reflect over the years, together with the constant unpleasant (or uninformed) observations of some foreigners, that I had the discontentment to witness – and always debate, refute and re-educate them as possible, by the way, led me to write my postgraduate term paper on Communication Management in Organizations: my humble contribution to awake reflections about the construction of stereotypes about Brazil and why tourism in Brazil is so little used as a propeller for money-making and economic development.

On my term paper (what involved me in a vast but gratifying research), I strongly oppose myself to Slumming (the real name for tours in shanty-towns) and to the Leyenda Negra (Black Legend) as well. Over the centuries, the Black Legend consolidated a number of misguided views, lacking neutrality, and it still prevails in the four corners of the world regarding the Iberian colonization in the Americas. I intend to continue, developing the subject, in a thesis for a Masters and, later, a Doctorate. I am always studying, researching and thinking about the next step to follow, in a constant and careful planning about everything.

I think I’ve described myself quite a lot. This blog will not necessarily have a constant update. The periodicity may vary, depending on what I feel the need to ponder, the travel tips I want to give or on the regularity of travels over the months and years.

Feel free to use Google Translator, a tool available in the blog, if you are from overseas, don’t speak Portuguese and have a sincere interest to visit Brazil away from what the common sense qualifies as “Brazilianness” – or also if you wish to enjoy the posts with experiences and tips about countries I have visited.