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Read about the inspiring smiles of the people of Rio
It's said that when in Rome do what the Romans do. This saying is always on the back of my mind when I travel because blending in is the best way to get the full travel experience. When I went to Rio I did what the Brazilians do - I smiled. I smiled back to all the Rio inhabitants who treated me on their warm and genuine smiles over and over again. It's a bit of a paradox really. Rio de Janeiro, the city that is known for it's many street robberies, might be one of the most dangerous cities I have ever walked in. Yet, I dare to say that the people I have encountered during my visit were one of the friendliest people I have ever met.
Kindness is the way to share your happiness
It's the city where you never have to spend a day without pleasant company if you don't want to. I must admit that Rio's charming looks have something to with it. The sight of mountains, lively streets, palm trees and the beach not only made my face break into a smile, it also made me drool a bit. Nevertheless, if you are looking for random conversations at the supermarket, a helping hand when you are looking for directions, or some company while you are running, this is your place to be! The kind nature of the Brazilians feels like the treat of an ice-cold drink on a hot summer day. There is never enough of that type of refreshment. Kindness is the most beautiful way to treat others on your happiness. If you've got it, share it. Everything that you send out will always come back to you in tenfold. Why is it that I am so pleasantly amazed by genuine kindness though?
Differences enrich your life
I live in a society where we are individualists. Interaction with random strangers is not often on top of our priority list. It's not that we are not kind or we don't care, it's just not part of our internal system to share it all the time. Although I always enjoy the experience of new people, I must admit that striking random conversations with strangers is not in my system either. I blend in my own society like I blend in the society of others. In my country we talk about the weather while waiting at the bus stop and that's about it. But, when I am abroad I am not shy to adopt to the local habits. When I was in China last September I sang songs with a Chinese man at Burger King. Apparently that's what The Beijingers do at Burger King. I know for a fact that they take naps in Beijing on the beds in Ikea as well but I am not sure if I should follow all the local trends blindly. The moral to this story is that expanding your horizon is a life enriching experience. In Rio I felt so heartly welcomed by people's kindness. Inspired by their friendly nature I intent to share my kindness with random strangers more often too. When you are open to other cultures and habits it can make you grow as a person. Keep that in mind the next time your wanderlust is taking you someplace new.