John Reith

John Reith, age 42 and married with 3 children.

We are a South African family currently living in Rio de Janeiro. My assignment in Brazil is for managing 4 shipyards scheduled to build 22 Drill Rig projects.

I had very few expectations before moving to Brazil. This was due to very little information and no previous travels. I had to do some online research to try and identify if Brazil had any similarities with other countries that I could relate to. Unfortunately all the online information was negative.

The internet portrays Brazil as a very dangerous location. Common sense and taking advice to heart will mitigate almost all potential issues.

I have found Brazil to be very similar to South Africa and I enjoy the varied access to outdoor environments. The weather is great and I am able to enjoy my preferred sporting activities before and after work.



Brazil is a passionate country and what I have found people enjoy the most are – sport, fiestas, conversation and food.

I dislike the long ques and the way people drive. There is a contradiction in this. Brazilians are very patient and will wait in line for hours but when driving they will always try and get in front of you. Signals are not used which makes it difficult to know what other drives plan to do.

We have not had the opportunity to travel Brazil yet. My favorite place so far is Ilhe Grande. It reminds me of Jurassic park and has the most incredible forest. We have also found one of the most spectacular beaches ever, no it is not Lopes Mendez(:



I am still trying to manage the cultural shock of visiting the beach only to have other people and family place their chairs or sarongs right next to ours. There is a lot of bare skin in Brazil and it is usually very close to yours – at the beach, in the streets and at the restaurants.

When traveling to Brazil, keep an open mind, relax, enjoy being part of the local community (dress like a local), pay attention to your surroundings but be ready to have fun.


Post Author: Juliana Pavao

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