Recap of Our First Year in Brazil!

It's hard to believe we have lived in Brazil for exactly one year. Time has gone by so quickly! We arrived in Brazil on June 1, 2014. It took a lot to get us here! I struggled with the decision to leave my job which I loved. My father was diagnosed with cancer after we already accepted the job offer. I didn’t want to leave my family but turning down the job offer wasn't really an option at that point. We hoped that our house would sell quickly but it didn’t. Dale was nervous about starting a new job in another country. Life as an expat is not sunshine and rainbows all the time!

However it turns out that despite all the stress everything worked out as it should. My father is doing well, I love not having a full time job, and Dale is gaining so much work experience. Our house eventually sold. It took quite a while! But we have settled in well to life in Brazil.

So here is a little recap of our first year in Brazil, followed by what’s to come for our second year in Brazil. Wow what an amazing adventure!


  • Settled into our new home.
  •  Several months of World Cup parties and festivities.
  • Elizabeth’s dad started chemotherapy and radiation and gave us several scares but he was tough and pulled through!
  • Elizabeth found a job teaching English.
  • Went to our first Brazilian house party.
  • Joined gyms.
  • Dale began playing soccer every Wednesday.
  • Several trips to the nearby beaches (winter time so we occasionally wore sweaters).
  • Saw monkeys on the beach!
  • Drove to Blumenau and had lunch and beer in the German Village.


  • Made a Visa run to Houston for our permanent Brazilian Visas.
  • Spent a weekend in Houston and Galveston beach.
  • Ate the most amazing Mexican food and crab legs.
  • Spent time with our families in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • Elizabeth applied and was accepted for Global Entry! Yay!
  • Returned to Brazil with lots of goodies from the USA. Yum, coffee creamer!
  • Weather started warming up and we spent our first weekend in Florianopolis at the beach.
  • Dale bought a body board.
  • Our first trip to Rio de Janeiro.


  • Weather’s getting warmer, lots of beach weekends.
  • Our first Halloween in Brazil.
  • Invited to a Halloween party at a friend’s house.
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving with our Expat American friends. Delicious!
  • Dale bought a surf board.
  • Another trip to Florianopolis.


  • Went to the beach almost every weekend.
  • Trip to USA over Christmas vacation-white Christmas!
  • Elizabeth’s dad finished with chemotherapy and radiation and his energy started to improve.
  • Our house in the USA sold. We had to spend our vacation moving furniture, stressing out, and signing a lot of paperwork. 
  • Returned to Brazil and enjoyed the beaches some more.
  • Elizabeth got braces!
  • Elizabeth and fellow teachers prepared for the new school year.


  • We started the blog!
  • Elizabeth’s first summer birthday!
  • Dale bought Elizabeth a stand up paddleboard.
  • More beach weekends, lots of them.
  • Second trip to Rio de Janeiro. This time for Carnival!
  • More bad news from home, Elizabeth’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has surgery and they remove the tumors. Good news, the cancer has not spread and is localized.
  • Saint Patrick’s Day party at Didge with English school. Lots of fun!


  • Elizabeth’s sister successfully completes radiation therapy and they believe all of the cancer was removed.
  • Cinco de Mayo at Guacamole with English School.
  • Trip to Brazil’s capital city Brasilia.
  • Dale’s birthday.

When I write it all out like this I’m stunned by how much we have done in such a short time. We are excited to share with you some of our plans for our second year in Brazil.

  • In June 2015 we plan to slow down a little. The plan is to take a few trips on the weekends closer to home and explore around our city of Joinville. We need to save money because we have big plans over the next few months!
  • In July we are taking another trip to the USA and are excited to see our family and friends! With all the health issues faced by our family members this past year, we plan to relax and enjoy our time visiting to the max.
  • Sometime between August-September we are going whale watching near Praia da Rosa.
  • In September, Dale’s dad is coming to visit us for 3 weeks. We are excited to have our first visitor! We plan to return to Foz do Iguaçu and Rio de Janeiro. We also plan to show him some of our favorite beaches and the beautiful rolling green hills of the European Valley.
  • In October, Elizabeth’s friend Elisabeth is coming to visit for a week and a half. We are planning another trip to Rio de Janeiro, Oktoberfest in Blumenau, and of course showing her our beautiful beaches. FYI - we never get tired of Rio. It is an amazing city with so much to do!
  • In December we are planning a trip to Santiago, and the Atacama Desert in Chile. Then we head south to Patagonia in both Chile and Argentina. We can’t wait for this amazing trip!

And of course there will be many amazing beach weekends, and quite possibly some surprise last minute trips as we can’t seem to sit still for very long. You never know what can happen! Thanks again for following our adventures and we look forward to sharing more with you over the next year.